Green Epistle to the Indian Churches :
“Curse devours the earth and its inhabitants suffer for their guilt ” (Isaiah 24:6)
World Environmental Day (June 5, 2018)
Dear Fellow Pilgrims in faith Journey,
Grace to you and Peace from God our Creator!
God created earth and heaven. In the process of creating the cosmos, God created human beings along with other earth communities. Unfortunately, due to human greed and irresponsibility, all of God’s earth is polluted with several toxic gases, degradable wastes including plastics. The deep seas are filled with plastic wastes and consequently the species in the deep seas are adversely affected by plastics. Every year 8-10 million tons of plastic is dumped in the sea.
So also the species on land are afflicted by plastics. Daily we see so many plastic bags lying scattered here and there. Plastic is such a material which cannot be reused. Plastic is damaging our existence. It is estimated that one third of all plastic waste ends up in soils or fresh waters. Most of this plastic disintegrates into particles smaller than five millimetres, referred to as microplastics, and breaks down further into nanoparticles, which are less than 0.1 micrometre in size. In fact, terrestrial microplastic pollution is much higher than marine microplastic pollution – an estimate of four to 23 times more, depending on the environment.
PLASTIC IS A DANGEROUS INVENTION OF HUMANS AND IT NOT ONLY AFFECTS BUT ALSO KILLS THE EARTH COMMUNITIES INCLUDING HUMAN COMMUNITIES. We as faith communities need to be dedicatedly engaged in eliminating the very presence of plastics in our day to day life. The use of plastic has to be stopped.
In this alarming context of the earth being filled with plastics, UN Environment is making its biggest global call and seeks to mobilize humans for action on 5th June, World Environment Day (WED). The theme for this year is “Beat Plastic Pollution”. While WED day has been observed every year since 1973, from the last couple of decades it is being observed on a larger scale.
We have been experiencing tremendous climate changes since the last few years. These changes have brought much suffering to living creatures in the various forms: global warming, drought, floods, landslides, incurable diseases, irregular climate changes and so on . Today the question is ‘How do we as Christians deal with this concern?’
One of the reasons why God created humans is that they should take care of the earth. God has entrusted us with this responsibility. Therefore, whatever good or bad happens, we are responsible. So far we have not done much in nurturing, sustaining and protecting God’s creation.
Prophet Isaiah talks about the earth being polluted by its inhabitants. In Isaiah’s context he was talking of earth being polluted by the inhabitants through their disobedience of God’s commandments. This situation continues even till today; in fact it has become worse. Humans are not only tempted to continue disobeying God but they are destructively tampering God’s creation. Chris Appleby, in one of his sermons states:
“The great temptation for Christians as well as for the Jews is the temptation to take God’s grace for granted; even worse, to feel a sense of superiority, of smugness, because we’re part of God’s chosen people. The way to overcome that temptation is to remember that with the privilege of being God’s people comes the responsibility to remain faithful; to allow God to be God in every part of our lives.”
Talk about issues faced because of pollution and what can be done about it, is often a topic of discussion in our family and friend circles, but we fail in taking appropriate actions. Global warming is a curse not only for human kind but also for all living beings.
We are responsible for the phenomena of global warming, climate change, and the ever increasing pollution, and we have to bear the consequences. We have to do something about it. Today is the time to get into action! Now the question arises ‘Where do we start?’ and ‘When do we start?’
Therefore to start with, the NCCI – Unity and Mission encourages all its members and the public at large to give up the use of plastics in our day today life. We have to start someday, so why not today? The UN has a very practical slogan this year “If you cannot reuse it, refuse it.” There are few alternatives for plastic which we need to start using. Let us make our campuses and neighborhood ‘PLASTIC-FREE’.
Let us boldly and publicly declare “NO TO PLASTIC !”
Rev. Dr. Roger Gaikwad
Rev. Christopher Rajkumar
Executive Secretary – Unity and Mission