The Anglican Communion’s Advocacy Officer and Head of New York Office, Jillian Abballe, took part in a UN TV discussion this week Photo Credit: ACNS
[ACNS, by Rachel Farmer] The vital role of the church and faith
communities in tackling climate change was highlighted during a
televised discussion broadcast live from the UN Head Office in New York
yesterday (6 June). Advocacy Officer and Head of New York Office for the
Anglican Communion, Jillian Abballe, was one of six panellist taking
part in the live UN TV discussion about the role of faith communities in
planting and nurturing the seed of climate responsibility.
Addressing the crucial role that faith-based organisations, religious
traditions and communities play in addressing the threats of climate
change, Jillian shared stories of how members of the Anglican Communion
are having an impact through influence, earth stewardship and in
modelling responsibility towards the environment.
She said: “The Anglican Communion is a global family of churches that
is located in over 165 countries throughout the world representing
roughly 85 million people.” She told the delegates that the Communion is
working to address both current and future environmental challenges.
“Along with my colleague Jack Palmer-White, who is the Anglican
Communion Representative to the United Nations,” Jillian said, “we work
to bring Anglican voices and expertise to the global stage, build strong
relationships with the UN and other partners so that the grassroots
work of our parishes and dioceses is more effective.”
Jillian said the Anglican Communion is speaking out about the
environment and how to understand the world through a holistic theology
that reconciles the people, the planet and prosperity.
She said: “The commitments we make as communities and global networks
make a statement to the world and re-shape our imagination of mission
and how we respond to such crises. For example, at the recent 17th
session of the Anglican Consultative Council a resolution was passed
that recognised the scale of the global climate emergency and encouraged
all Anglican churches to live out what is called the fifth Mark of
Mission – ‘to strive to safeguard the integrity of creation, and sustain
and renew the life of the earth.’”
She highlighted the role of the Anglican Communion Environment
Network in advocating for responsible environmental stewardship, support
and leadership to local initiatives, and educating Anglicans as
individuals and communities to become better stewards of creation.
Jillian said the Communion has begun to implement collaborative
strategies across its provinces and working with the Environmental
Network and the Anglican Alliance, it is bringing together development,
relief and advocacy activities combined with capacity building and
The proactive role of the Communion in South America and Southern
Africa were cited as examples of action in areas where, according to
Jillian, the most vulnerable are already experiencing catastrophic
climate change-related disasters.
She said: “Bishops and representatives from six South American
countries are pursuing environmental justice work in their dioceses with
high priority given to land use and deforestation, youth-oriented
community organising, reducing carbon footprints, recycling and organic
gardening, water issues involving public use rather than privatised
water, soil contamination from oil drilling, and education around the
Sustainable Development Goals.”
Further examples of the Communion’s active work in tackling climate
change, highlighted during the live programme, included Sri Lanka where
in the Diocese of Colombo, 450 children participated in an Environment
Art Competition to create awareness and concern on environmental issues
among Children. Jillian also spoke about Pakistan where a small-scale
Christian faith-based organisation – the Society for Peace and
Sustainable Development – is working at grass root level in five
districts of South Punjab, Pakistan running Green Climate Clubs and a
Green Schools Project to engage children with nature.
She said: “from the UN office, we take all of these concerns
seriously and are going to start work on a strategy for the acceleration
and implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals across the
Communion from 2020-2030. We are also placing a specific focus on
climate induced displacement, indigenous rights, and Pacific small
island developing states (P-SIDS).”
Responding to questions, Jillian said: “there is urgent action that
needs to be taken that we possibly haven’t fully imagined. . . I hope in
our faith traditions we can call up the spirituality to usher us into
an era where we can have that imagination to create new solutions.”
Religious communities must stand united in solidarity and show
extremists that they will never succeed in dividing them, the Chief Imam
of the Islamic Centre of Ireland, Shaykh Dr Umar al-Qadri, Chair of the
Irish Muslim Peace and Integration Council, said in a visit to Christ
Church Cathedral in Dublin last month. Dr al-Qadri made his remarks in
an address to the congregation before the Cathedral Eucharist on Sunday
28 April, one week after the Easter Day massacre in Sri Lanka which left
257 people dead. His visit mirrored one made to the Islamic Centre of
Ireland in March, following the terror attacks at mosques in
Christchurch, New Zealand.
In his address, the imam expressed solidarity with Christians in
Ireland and worldwide, and said that, as Muslims, they strongly
condemned the cowardly attacks against peaceful worshippers and stood in
solidarity with the victims of these attacks and their Christian
brothers and sisters everywhere.
St Bart’s helps people who are homeless or at risk of homelessness
achieve positive life outcomes. Their vision is to eliminate
homelessness. They work in the areas of accommodation services, aged
care services, community housing and mental health support services. We
will have someone from St Bart’s come and give us a talk about all they
do very soon.
In the wake of the shooting in New Zealand, the
Archbishop of Canterbury spoke at an interfaith gathering at Regent’s
Park Mosque in London.
Much of what I was going to say has already been said.
The killings in New Zealand are monstrous. The response of New Zealand,
all its people, with Muslims in the forefront, is beautiful and
inspiring. What they say to each other we say to you. Those who attack
Muslims in THIS country or elsewhere attack every human being. You are
not “the other”, you are us. Those who act out of hate for Muslims act
out of hate for all here. Those who acted or supported the actions in
New Zealand attack all of us.
God of grace and mercy, We pray for the people of Christchurch and New Zealand. We pray for the 49 victims who have died in these attacks, for the mercy of your eternal love. We pray for all who mourn, for families, friends, communities, a nation. We pray for Muslim communities grieving and we pray for understanding and acceptance throughout the world between people of all faiths and none. O God of many names, love of all peoples, we pray for peace. Peace in our hearts and homes, peace in our nations and our world, the peace of your will, the peace of our need. Through Christ, the prince of peace. Amen. Collect from A New Zealand Prayer Book – He Karakia Mihinaare O Aotearoa
The Anglican Communion’s Environment Network (ACEN) is encouraging
Anglicans to reduce their use of plastic in Lent. Organisers hope that
those taking part in the “plastic fast” will learn to use less plastic
in the longer term in order to protect the earth’s environment. The
Environmental Co-ordinator for the Anglican Church of Southern Africa,
Canon Rachel Mash, said that that by 2050 there will be more plastic in
the oceans than fish. “Plastic is already entering into our drinking
water”, she said. “Plastic clogs our rivers, leaches into our soil and
is one of the greatest challenges the planet faces.”
The International Anglican Women’s Network is calling for better coverage of women’s sports as part of International Women’s Day’s gender-balance 2019 theme, #BalanceforBetter.Photo Credit: Skeeze / Pixabay
Our Inaugural Community Meal was this last Friday the 22nd of February. It was good to meet more of the the Greenwood community over a shared meal. This month we were having Hamburgers and Sausage Sizzles. Next month we will have a different culinary theme. Everyone is welcome to be there. Here are a few photos from the evening.