Anglicans Help To Build a Creation Care Movement In Southern Africa
[Green Anglicans] Twenty-eight Anglicans from eight countries attended the Creation Care and the Gospel Workshop in South Africa. The Conference was organized by Lausanne / WEA Creation Care Network and A Rocha ZA with Green Anglicans as one of the partner organizations.
The concept of Caring for God’s creation was affirmed at the 3rd Lausanne Congress on World Evangelization held in Cape Town (2010) by more than 4,200 Christian leaders. The congress stated:
“The earth is created, sustained and redeemed by Christ. We cannot claim to love God while abusing what belongs to Christ by right of creation, redemption, and inheritance… If Jesus is Lord of all the earth, we cannot separate our relationship to Christ from how we act in relation to the earth. For to proclaim the gospel that says ‘Jesus is Lord’ is to proclaim the gospel that includes the earth, since Christ’s Lordship is over all creation. Creation care is thus a gospel issue within the Lordship of Christ.”
The Lausanne/WEA Creation Care Conference (Southern Africa) is part of a global campaign to stimulate a creation care movement across countries of Southern Africa. The conference seeks to empower Christians to develop new and strengthen existing creation care partnerships and initiatives throughout Southern Africa.
GOAL OF THE CONFERENCE
• To explore the theme of creation care in the Bible.
• To equip, catalyze and facilitate Christian creation care movements in local contexts and to encourage existing initiatives within the region.
• To exchange stories of creation care in action, share resources and knowledge, and foster new and existing partnerships.
• To develop a strong and active regional network of creation care practitioners and advocates.
Twenty eight Anglicans from Anglican Church of Central Africa and Southern Africa attended the conference from Zimbabwe, Zambia, Malawi, Botswana, South Africa, Swaziland and Mozambique.
THE WORD OF GOD
The conference looked first at the Word of God, with inspiring speakers looking at Creation Care in the Bible. The key note speaker was Rev Dave Bookless of Arocha who is from the Diocese of London – he shared on the Old Testament and Eschatology. Ruth Valerio also an Anglican works for Tearfund and shared on the life of Jesus. Bishop Chad and Rev Sam Sifelani from the Diocese of Harare, Zimbabwe shared on the call to Eco-justice.
THE WORLD OF GOD
Bruce Hewitson (Diocese of Cape Town and a South African rep for the IPCC) shared on climate change. Rev Peter Houston (Diocese of natal) challenged us on Water Justice. Seth from Arocha Ghana looked at environmental degradation.
THE WORK OF GOD
Wonderful breakaway sessions were held on topics such as “forming partnerships (Rev Sifelani –Diocese of Harare), “Creating a Creation Care service” (Rev Rachel Mash ), “Energy “(Safcei), “Farming Gods way – conservation agriculture” ; “How to care for creation in a world dominated by economics”Seth Ken Appiah Kubi, “Eco-church “ Ruth Valerio.
Held in a beautiful part of Kwa-Zulu Natal in South Africa, there were opportunities to visit some of the wonderful conservation programs in the area – and to participate in tree planting and clean ups.
Evening worship was held next the river on the theme of “Sacred water” and under the trees on the theme of “Hope when the climate is changing” led by Rev Mpho Mohale (Diocese of Christ the King) and rev Zama Sigudla from Swaziland.
A wonderful cultural evening was held to celebrate the vibrancy of the cultures and languages of this part of Africa.
Action plans were then made which focused on tree planting, clean ups, campaigns on banning the plastic bag, soil erosion and conservation agriculture.
Evening services were held in creation on the themes of “Sacred water” and “Serving God in a changing climate”
A wonderful closing Eucharist was held by Canon Sumani of Malawi and Rev Rachel Mash of South Africa.
The Green Anglicans movement had the opportunity to stay for an extra half day to look at how to take the movement forward and to build partnerships with Tearfund in the region.