Ecumenical Mission Evening in Diocese of Limerick & Killaloe – Stewardship of God’s Creation

Dioceses of Limerick and KillaloeDavid Frizelle, Secretary to the Diocesan Council for Mission sent ECI this report:

Stewardship of God’s Creation

Rev Andrew Orr, Chairperson of Eco-Congregation Ireland, was invited by the Diocesan Council for Mission to speak on this theme at the ecumenical mission evening on Tuesday 16th October in Adare.

He began by identifying the environmental issues facing us, including air and water pollution, climate change, habitat loss, soil destruction and desertification. Humans have put increasing amounts of greenhouse gases into the atmosphere, leading to rising temperatures globally and climate change. Here in Ireland we are experiencing more frequent extreme weather conditions. Today tens of millions of people are threatened by what some scientists are describing as ‘climate genocide’.

Some have blamed the Judaeo-Christian interpretation of Genesis for encouraging a view that creation is there for human beings to exploit. But there is a better way of thinking Biblically, he said. He pointed to passages of scripture which call us to care for creation, not abuse it. Care for creation is not optional but an integral part of living the Gospel, reflecting the Trinity of God the creator, Jesus the first-born of creation, and the Holy Spirit animating all creation.

Andrew then turned to the many things that can be done in parishes to be better stewards of creation. The Eco-Congregation Ireland website has many useful resources to get started, including an environmental check-up, and examples of what different parishes have done. The Eco Congregation Awards scheme provides recognition of parishes’ achievements, and the Climate Justice Candle travels around Ireland helping to raise awareness.

In the discussion that followed, Canon Patrick Comerford also pointed to USPG resources including the booklet ‘Faith in a Changing Climate’ which can be downloaded from their website. There is much good work already being done in individual parishes, and Bishop Kenneth suggested that the best way to make real progress across the diocese would be for leading parishes to seek an Eco-Congregation Ireland Award for it.