Do you live Sustainably?
Sustainable September: Do you live Sustainably? Regeneratively?
by Kath Moller
Will the world be better because of how you live?
God rejoices in the Creation. It is all very good, including us! Multiple species co-exist in biodiverse abundance. Everything works together and supports complex life. God shares the beauty and joy with us, entrusts, and invites us to care for the creation of which we are part. We are to do justly, love mercy and walk humbly before our God (Micah 6:8).
Instead, humans often build empires and exploit creation, extracting resources. Sometimes we do this through the things we buy, our investments or superannuation. Some people live comfortably while others suffer or starve. Humans now move more rock and soil than all natural forces combined. We are in an anthropocentric geological age. Plants and oceans help to buffer global warming. But human activities such as deforestation, for monoculture agriculture, reduces the capacity to absorb those changes. Many people are dismayed at the desecration that humans have wrought on creation. The IPCC report tells us that Australia has already passed 1.4°C warming.
Jesus met people at their point of need. People go where they feel heard, have their fears acknowledged and their needs met. When the church is seen to share those concerns, people are more likely to hear the good news and join us in worshipping God who created, listens to our worries and loves us.
Many people in the wider community feel helpless about human exploitation of nature. You don’t have to be Christian to be aware of sustainability and caring for the environment. But we, who know of God’s love, have a responsibility to step up and care for Creation. We must become aware of the impact of our actions.
The Marks of Mission all Proclaim the Good News of God’s kingdom:
- The proclamation of the Word must be put into action;
- teaching, baptising, nurturing;
- responding to human need in loving service;
- transforming unjust structures of society, challenging violence of every kind and pursuing peace and reconciliation;
- safeguarding the integrity of creation, and sustaining and renewing the life of the earth.
Would you like some assistance to strengthen the 5th Mark of Mission in your church?
The Parishes of Greenwood, Kingsley North-Woodvale and Duncraig have hosted a Sustainable Living course. In the six-week course, we talk about Water and Biodiversity, Energy, Sustainable Transport and Community, Waste and Gardening for Food, Healthy Home and Healthy You and about Simple Living. We encourage critical thinking. Permaculture is referenced as a design framework which assists in practical, ethical decision-making. This course raises awareness, equips participants with thinking tools, helping to solve issues in our own behaviours and address concerns about the world around us. Participants make incremental short and longer-term goals for change in their behaviours concerning each of the 10 topics. We are sent out into the world in peace, to be of good courage and take hold of what is good. Love and serve the Lord.
Hosting the course in your parish invites people from the wider community into your church building. There has been a mix of parishioners and wider community at all three of these courses. Participants have said they didn’t know the church cares about living sustainably and now they feel more open to attending.
God invites us to step up to Care for Creation of which we are a part. We each make choices. Our living can become more sustainable.
If you would like to host a course, please contact Kath Moller firstname.lastname@example.org.