The Anglican Church’s response to Creation Care.
But don’t just listen to God’s word. You must do what it says. Otherwise, you are only fooling yourselves. (James 1:22 NLT)
The Anglican Church has taken “caring for the earth” very seriously and at the Provincial Synod 2019, the Canons were amended. At present I am part of a team that is taking these Canonical revisions and putting an action plan together to empower Churches to put action to our beliefs. A great deal of work has been done in terms of Liturgical resources and the Seasons of Creation Resources provide wonderful liturgies and prayers and services which we are using. The word “Liturgy” comes from a Greek word that basically meant the work that one did to build the society. The Liturgy we use in our “prayer and worship” provide the words and thoughts, the philosophy, and the prayers to educate, encourage and empower us to live out what we profess. Every action we perform in the liturgy needs to be translated into an action that we take in the world. Just as we use candles on the altar to remind us of Christ’s presence through the word, so we need to shine like candles in the darkness of this world as a sign of the presence of God. But thinking and ideas do not change the situation, action does! Our action must involve putting God’s commands to work. The concept of Jubilee is not a call to inactivity, it is a call to deliberately and consciously change the order of our lives to rely on God not ourselves. Note how many times Jesus healed on the Sabbath! The Sabbath is a time that God is meeting the needs of His people, restoring our hope, rebuilding our lives.
I wish to share some of the Canonical amendments that show the direction that the Anglican Church is taking.
Deacons, Priests and Bishops shall in their vows include “I commit myself to a lifestyle which safeguards the integrity of creation and sustains and renews the life of the earth.”
Creation Care has been included in the “duties” of all levels of Church structures.
Duties of the Parish Priest have been amended to include:” take responsibility to safeguard the integrity of creation and sustain and renew the life of the earth within the parish boundaries.”
Naturally the way that this is implemented in each parish will vary, but the Canons now make it very clear that dealing with the environmental issues of our time “IS the work of the Church.
We need to engage liturgically, and put this into action: in education, in advocacy and in activity.
Let us pray
Lord God as we Pray you Kingdom come, we work within the structures of society to bring environmental justice and restoration. Father the challenges are great and it is only by the power of your Holy Spirit that change and healing are possible.
Hear our prayer and heal your earth,
we ask this in Jesus name.