Background

Sustainability - being able to meet our present needs without compromising the ability of future generations to meet theirs - is about caring for the environment, and is necessary for the survival of humanity.

Concern and responsibility for the environment involve all aspects of life. They are as much about religion and morality as they are about science.

If we seek to create communities that are sustainable through time, we must not only care for the ecological systems that support life, we must also affirm the rich cultural, physical and spiritual heritage that supports human societies, and the views of all who are marginalised and disempowered. In the way we act on these matters, we can learn much from the approach of indigenous people to their culture and natural heritage.

Theology

Concern and responsibility for the environment flow directly from our faith, and are becoming increasingly significant for a growing number of Christians.

We are all part of God’s creation, together with our fellow organisms and the natural processes and resources that sustain us all. We and our fellow creatures need air that is clean enough to breath, water that is clean enough to drink, and soil that is clean enough to grow our food in. Our spiritual existence is at one with our biological existence. And we look to the ultimate fulfilment of all creation through Christ.

We believe that physical creation is precious in God’s sight. In taking on flesh, God took on the material nature of the world. This affirmation of matter by God points to our important task of preserving the natural richness and diversity of the Earth, in order to maintain healthy life on the Earth.

Although environmental care and action are in some ways new concerns, they can help us rediscover some of the basic tenets of the faith. Christianity is a faith of the past and present, but especially looks to the future. Our focus on social justice and evangelism point us in that direction. And our future depends upon our ability to build a sustainable world.

The Trinitarian basis of our faith means that theologically we are already attuned to reciprocity and diversity within a wider unity. This understanding echoes the ecological view of the world as comprising systems which contain a rich diversity of reciprocal parts. The diversity of creation is vital and reflects the diversity of God’s very self.

It is crucial that we become more aware of the environment, and allow God’s Spirit to transform and challenge us to see the Earth, and our role in caring for it, through God’s eyes. We want to reflect these beliefs in our whole life, as individuals and as a church, and include them in our worship and community life.

Principles

  • God created humankind as part of an interdependent world of organisms and the natural processes and resources that sustain them.
  • We have a responsibility to look after God’s creation.
  • The mission of the Church now takes place in a time of planetary environmental crisis.
  • This crisis has a spiritual basis, and is a consequence of neglect of the environment, and of an economic past dominated by greed and over-consumption.
  • The solution to the environmental crisis will involve transforming heart and will, attitudes and action, and the way human institutions work.

These principles impact on all aspects of the life of the Diocese.

Action

Given the above principles, as members of the Diocese of Melbourne, we resolve to care for and sustain the environment in which we live, work, worship and play by:

  • bringing prayers and actions concerning environmental care, justice, human rights and sustainable development to the forefront of our public worship, and of our private study and reflection;
  • publicising developments, events, publications and sources of information on the environment within the Diocese and its parishes;
  • providing opportunities throughout the Diocese for hands-on experience of the environment and of issues related to sustaining it;
  • encouraging members of the Diocese at all levels to become better informed, and to speak out and act on environmental matters within the wider community;
  • encouraging all organisational levels of the Diocese, including its agencies and parishes, to commit to the four Rs of environmental care - refusing to use resources unnecessarily, reducing consumption, recycling materials where possible and reusing resources where appropriate; and
  • calling on all committees, boards, agencies, vestries and individuals of the diocese to assess the impact of their present activities and any proposed activities on the environment.

 

 

 Climate change

 

 

 

 

 

 Carbon Change and Substainability

 

Since we installed solar panels in August we have not had any power bills in fact we are in credit. We had a 5 kwh system installed for $9,000 and it will save us about $2,000 pa a great investment. Happy to discuss this with any Parish.

The Revd Alan Colyer, St Thomas’ Moonee Ponds

Like Alan has done, please share any insights or initiatives that you can offer as regards environmental sustainability and responses to climate change.

All we can do is take those steps that are possible. You may recall my admiration for Gandhi's:

the problems are huge...what I can do does not seem like it will make much difference...nevertheless, it is ESSENTIAL that I do what I can..

 

 Related websites

 
 

 SRC Topics