Care for creation and climate justice

Care for creation and justice are at the centre of WCC work on climate change. The Bible teaches the wholeness of creation and calls human beings to take care of the garden of Eden (Gen 2:15). The God of the Bible is a God of justice who protects, loves and cares for the most vulnerable among his creatures.

Donate

Care for creation and justice are at the centre of WCC work on climate change. The Bible teaches the wholeness of creation and calls human beings to take care of the garden of Eden (Gen 2:15). The God of the Bible is a God of justice who protects, loves and cares for the most vulnerable among his creatures.

The present world development model is threatening the lives and livelihoods of many, especially among the world's poorest people, and destroying biodiversity. The ecumenical vision is to overcome this model based on over-consumption and greed.

Since the 1970s, the WCC has helped develop the concept of sustainable communities. Since the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change was adopted in 1992, the WCC has been present at all UN climate change conferences.

Over the years, the WCC helped foster a movement for climate justice touching millions of people around the world.

It's time for climate justice. When creation is threatened, churches and Christians are called to speak out and act as an expression of their commitment to life, justice and love.

The Special Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change on 1.5°C warming indicates that we are well on our way to passing the relatively safe limit of 1.5°C warming and stresses that only with “rapid and far-reaching” transitions in the world economy, on a scale and at a rate without historical precedent, can we keep under this target. It estimates that the necessary transformations must take place within a rapidly disappearing window of opportunity, perhaps within as little as a decade, if we are to avoid catastrophic impacts of climate change.

Against this background the WCC relentlessly advocates for climate justice at the annual Conference of Parties of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change as well as in other fora. 

 

WCC Central Committee and Executive Committee statements on climate justice:

Statement on COP 24 and a Just Transition to a Sustainable Economy

Statement on the Amazon Under Threat

Statement on Climate Justice

Statement on the US Government’s Withdrawal from the Paris Agreement on Climate Change

Statement on COP 21

 

WCC statements on behalf of faith groups at the high-level segments of the UNFCCC COPs:

Climate Justice is at the Heart of Just Transitions

To Bonn and Beyond: Act Now with Justice and Peace

The Bond between Decision and Action

We have Hope and the Right to Hope

 

Other resources:

Interfaith Reflections on Just Transitions: Linking Climate and Economic Justice

WCC General Secretary Statement on the Report of the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change

Final Message of the WCC Conference on Just Peace with the Earth

WCC General Secretary Advent Message on the Eve of COP 21

WCC 10thAssembly Minute on Climate Justice 

From 1 September to 4 October, Christians around the world pray and care for creation. It’s the “Season of Creation”. 

Since 1 September was proclaimed as a day of prayer for the environment by the late Ecumenical Patriarch Dimitrios I in 1989, the Orthodox church year starts that day with a commemoration of how God created the world. On 4 October, Roman Catholics and other churches from the Western traditions commemorate Francis of Assisi.

The proposal to celebrate a "Time for Creation" during these five weeks was made by the Third European Ecumenical Assembly in Sibiu in 2007. The following year, the WCC Central Committee invited churches to observe "Time for Creation" through prayers and actions. In 2015, Pope Francis designated 1 September as a World Day of Prayer for Care of Creation for the worldwide Roman Catholic Church.

In 2016, Pope Francis and Patriarch Bartholomew released their special messages for the World Day of Prayer for the Care of Creation, kicking off the month-long Season of Creation celebrations. Their special messages are available here.

The Season of Creation is facilitated by the WCC, Global Catholic Climate Movement, ACT Alliance, the Pope's Worldwide Prayer Network and the Anglican Communion Environmental Network, among others.

 

Resources:

Season of Creation

 

Liturgical materials for ecological justice:

Ecumenical Season of Creation website.

Worship resources for the four Sundays produced by Eco Congregation Scotland on behalf of the Church of Scotland.

Sustainable September resources from the Uniting Church in Western Australia.

Educational resources for all ages from Creation Justice Ministries.

Prayers, songs and texts on climate, spirituality and peace with the Earth available in English, FrenchGermanKisuaheli and Bahasa Indonesia on the website of the United Evangelical Mission.

Multilingual brochure "God’s creation – a house of life for all" published by the Evangelical Church in Central Germany in cooperation with partner churches from Slovakia, Sweden, Tanzania and the United States.

Season of Creation eucharistic prayer in English, Portuguese and other African languages, by the Anglican Church of Southern Africa Environmental Network. See also their revised Season of Creation resource collection (pdf).

Sermon notes, intercessions, group study and harvest festival ideas by Churches Together in Britain and Ireland (in English with Welsh and Irish translations).

Resources including a set of worship service outlines by the United Church of Canada

“Come, Repair my Home”, World Day of Prayer for the Care for Creation, 1st September 2018 - by Lic. Elias Crisostomo Abramides, Ecumenical Patriarchate

Resources collected by the Anglican Communion Environmental Network

Resources provided by Let all Creation Praise

Exegetical and liturgical resources collected by the Network of Earthkeeping Christian Communities in South Africa (in English and Afrikaans)

Prayers, blessings and meditations collected by the European Christian Environmental Network (in a variety of languages). See also their Time for Creation dossier.

Readings, sermons, songs and other liturgical resources are also available on the Australian website Season of Creation.

Worship, teaching and prayer material by the Uniting Earthweb

Prayers and liturgies, preaching and educational resources by the Canadian Green Church project (in English and French)

Prayers by the Christian conservation organization A Rocha.

Season of Creation resources by Rev. Dr Jason John of the Mid North Coast Uniting ecoministry in Australia

Creationtide collection compiled by the Diocese of Rochester in the Church of England

Resources in Swedish by the Christian Council of Sweden

Documents by the Globalization and Environment unit of the Federation of Protestant Churches in Italy (in Italian)

Outline of the ecumenical prayer service at COP21 prepared by the Council of Christian Churches in France

Prayers related to the Sustainable Development Goals

Outline of a prayer service on the theme of creation held at the Ecumenical Centre on 22 April 2013

See also the Ecumenical Water Network's reflections and resources from the Seven Weeks for Water.

 

Other links:

Living The Change

Interfaith Rainforest Initiative