Green Epistle to the Indian Churches :
“Remember your Creator and Creation” (Ecclesiastes 12:1)
World Environmental Day (June 5, 2017)
From time to time and as and when necessary Churches have been responding to Ecological Catastrophes through various ministerial and diaconal interventions. Rather than waiting to address such catastrophes, it is imperative for Churches to deal with the context of climate change and the environmental crisis that destroy lives and threaten the future of earth communities, that are created by God almighty.
The summer this year has reached a decade high, resulting in drought in several parts of the county, while the monsoon season is expected to result in floods that would swallow agricultural fields. Such extreme weather conditions are not at all favourable to our country, but yet, we have to go through the experience of the same.
Obviously, such erratic ecological phenomena are the result of human exploitation of nature; it is sin against God and God’s creation. Beholding creation, God had said “…it is indeed very good”. However when we look around we might not be able to see much goodness in creation, because we have done severe damage to creation for our own selfish ends. For instance, mismanagement and misuse of water has dried up usable water, resulting in drought in several places. The drought that has affected parts of our our nation has dried up fields making them barren, leaving many creatures starving for food. This has also led to suicidal-deaths of many farmers who had taken huge loans for successive years to invest in crops, but were unable to pay back because of our human-made droughts.
On the eve of World Environmental Day (5, June), the United Nations invites earth loving communities including faith communities around the globe to ‘re-commit’ ourselves to salvage mother Earth through our prayers and other ministerial and diaconal interventions.
We, the NCCI – Unity and Mission, appeal to and encourage all Indian Churches and faith communities to make a national call and undertake mobilization for action on 5th June, “World Environment Day” (WED). We invite all to commemorate and celebrate WED on June 5, 2017 or any other convenient day to sensitize our congregations and society to thankfully remember the creator and creation and encourage them to commit themselves to join the ‘SAVE EARTH CAMPAIGN,’ addressing the looming environmental issues like deforestation, increasing global warming, food shortage, water wastage, privatization of natural resources, and so on.
Efforts are on to promote carbon neutrality, focusing on forest management, reducing greenhouse effects, promoting bio-fuels production by replanting degraded lands, use of hydro-power to enhance electricity production, encourage the common public to use solar water heaters, adopting life-giving agriculture and practices, enhancing energy production through solar technology, developing new drainage systems, promoting coral reefs and mangroves restoration in order to prevent flooding and erosion including other ways of environmental preservation, and so on. Living well within the planetary boundaries and connecting people to Nature are the most promising strategies for ensuring a healthy future and let this be our missional call on WED 2017.
Therefore this year we call upon Churches in India to raise State and National awareness about the importance of a healthy and green Earth for human lives and all creation, to help to combat climate change and help us breathe clean air by implementing some of the positive environmental actions. Let us make rural and urban populations in Districts, States and the Nation at large aware that everyone is responsible for protecting the environment.
Let the Indian Church strive to make the Earth more greener and contribute to the abundance of life that God had envisioned for us humans and all earth communities.
With Prayers and in Missional Solidarity,
NCCI – Unity and Mission