"2005 marks the Anglican Peace and Justice Network's 20th anniversary and its meeting in Jerusalem in September 2004 brings it full circle to its first meeting which also took place in the City of Peace in 1985. Invited by the Right Reverend Riah Hanna Abu El-Assal, APJN convened 23 Provinces of the Anglican Communion under the leadership of Dr. Jenny Te Paa of Aotearoa, New Zealand and Polynesia ... (p. 7)". "APJN was both nurtured and shaken during its visit, the former by the warmth of the people of the diocese (virtually all of them Palestinian), and the latter by the conditions of Occupation under which most Palestinians live (p. 7)". "We recognize that the Israeli people have endured attacks and suicide bombings causing great suffering, loss and agony, and that the fear of further suicide bombings continues. We also recognize and lament the historical context of the experience of persecution and genocide by the Jewish people. However, the extent to which the Israeli government has gone in annexing Palestinian land and pushing the Palestinians into cantons and denying this people both dignity and self-determination is unjustifiable. If Israel continues with its actions in the name of security (as is often argued) then their hope for life without fear is diminished as the Palestinian people will continue in their struggle for nationhood (p. 9)".
Contents divided into four main sections.
Contents: List of Participant Provinces -- The Local Context of the Meeting -- Moral Responsibility of Investments -- APJN Statement on Palestinian/Israeli Conflict -- Honoring a Peacemaker -- Regional Conflicts : Seeking Conflict Transformation -- A Personal Challenge to the Communion / Pie Ntukamazina -- The Challenge of Globalization -- Environmental Justice -- Theological Education as Foundational to Peacemaking -- Interfaith Relations as a Tool for Justice -- A Conversation with Mordechai Vanunu -- Recommendations to the Anglican Consultative Council -- Networking -- Business Meeting and Closing Comments.
Section III Recommendations organized into four subject sections: Conflict Transformation -- Theological Education -- Interfaith Relations -- Environment.
The Anglican Church of Canada was represented by Ms. Cynthia Patterson.
That this Council of General Synod receive and endorse the declarations of the Global Anglican Congress on the Stewardship of Creation (Appendix B) and request the EcoJustice Committee to take appropriate action. CARRIED #31-11-02
(COGS Doc. #005-04-02-11 Appendix B)
Global Anglican Congress on the Stewardship of Creation
Declaration to the United Nations World Summit on Sustainable Development
The Good Shepherd Retreat Centre
South Africa, August 18-23, 2002
We desperately need a change of spirit. The environmental debate is as much about religion and morality as it is about science. Sustainable development us one of the most urgent moral issues of our time. It begins in sustainable values that recognize the interrelatedness of all life. Sustainable development cannot be defined in economic terms alone, but must begin in a commitment to care for the poor, the marginalized, and the voiceless. Therefore it is sustainable community that we seek. The ecological systems that support life, the qualities that sustain local communities, and the voices of women, indigenous peoples and all who are marginalized and disempowered must be approached from this perspective.
As we move into the third millennium, it becomes increasingly obvious that human beings are set on a path of unprecedented environmental destruction and unsustainable development. A profound moral and spiritual change is needed. Human exploitation of the environment has yielded not only benefit, but also appalling poverty, pollution, land degradation, habitat loss, and species extinction. Despite political and scientific debates in some quarters, it is clear that human desperately need to change.
We write as representatives of the Anglican Communion. Our 70 million members are present in 165 countries across the globe. They speak from their experience of the problems of development in both urban and rural communities. At all levels of the life of the communion the environment has repeatedly been identified as one of the key moral and religious challenges before us.
Religious faith properly understood can and should be a major force for change towards sustainable development, sustainable communities, and a healthy environment. Anglicans accept the need to oppose all forms of exploitation. Specifically, we believe that a better, more holistic, and religiously informed understanding of Creation, which recognizes that human beings are part of the created order not separate from it, will make a major contribution to the transforming change of spirit that is essential in the third millennium. We are committed to putting our faith into action.
Many different religious traditions start from the belief that the world primarily belongs to God and not to human beings. Land, sea and air belong first and foremost to God. At most they are entrusted to human beings who are expected, in turn, to respond with gratitude and to hand them on faithfully and intact to generations to come. As stewards of the environment human beings are required by God to act faithfully and responsibly. Other theological perspectives within the Christian faith also support a renewed ethics of caring for the whole creation.
All religious traditions call their believers to disciplines of life that show respect for the environment that we inhabit. We value life more than possessions. We value people more than profits. Based on this shared commitment this Anglican Congress calls on people of all faiths to act together by
-seeing creation as good, beautiful and sacred;
-understanding that humanity is a part of the created order, not separate from it;
-evolving a new relationship with the created order founded on stewardship and service, with production and consumption restrained by genuine need and not simply governed by desire;
-locating our unity in the Spirit that breathes life into all things;
-celebrating the glorious God-given diversity that is everywhere.
We therefore call upon Governments of all nations to support sustainable communities, by
-working together for peace, justice and economic prosperity within a context of ecological stability;
-refusing to subordinate the good of all for the good of some;
-recognizing the intrinsic worth of the diversity of life, as well as the inextricable link between biodiversity and cultural diversity on which the survival of indigenous peoples, indeed all humankind, depends;
-rejecting the destructiveness of the culture of militarism, that spends disproportionate amounts of money on armaments when so many people in the world are still hungry, and stockpiles nuclear weapons and materials at great cost to the environment and to human well being;
-recognizing that environmental degradation constitutes a violation of the universal declaration of human rights. Poverty and environmental degradation are interwoven and it is the poor, and the exploited, often on the basis of race and gender, who suffer most from this degradation;
-recognizing that development is not sustainable if it steals from present and future generations. The security of future generations can only be attained by addressing the urgent questions posed by the intolerable burden of unpayable debt, the challenges of unsustainable agricultural practices, and by the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions to ecologically stable levels. To this end we recommend serious consideration of the principle of contraction and convergence;
-affirming that the rivers and the land, the sea and the air are a global commons, entrusted to human beings to be handed on faithfully and intact to generations to come.
-Defining the rules of international trade in ways that demand greater corporate responsibility in promoting greater inclusion of the marginalized and more sustainable environmental practices.
-Recognizing that current rates of HIV/AIDS present a profound challenge to sustainable community, which must be met by adequate and equitable access to education and treatment
"The Anglican Communion Environment Network (ACEN) has developed an action plan that sets out concrete steps to address climate change and 'human-induced environmental degradation'. The plan includes everything from ways individuals can simplify their lifestyles to lobbying the United Nations and addressing the plight of environmental refugees. ACEN representatives met in Lima, Peru, in August ". [Text of entire article.]
The author, a priest in the Anglican Church of Canada, reviews the Christian, scripture-based commitment to creation and hence to environmental action. He describes the history and work of the Arocha Ecumenical Christian Conservation Centre [i.e. ARocha Christian Field Study Centre and Bird Observatory] at Cruzinha in southern Portugal which was founded by Peter Harris, a Church of England priest and member of BCMS. "The centre works with local environmental groups and is now managed by a local board. It welcomes visitors, mostly student groups coming to study the birds and plants of the Alvor estuary close to the centre. In addition to the work of Christian hospitality, the staff are actively involved in research." "[T]he Anglican Consultative Council is seeking to set up an Anglican Environmental Network. This work will be co-ordinated by the Rev. Canon Eric Beresford, Consultant for Ethics for the Anglican Consultative Council. Our hope is that the network will help Anglicans to work together and, with our ecumenical partners, to reflect something of God's love for all creation, and to promote more just and sustainable environmental practices."
In August 2002 the Global Anglican Congress on the Stewardship of Creation was convened in South Africa prior to the United Nations Summit on Sustainable Development in Johannesburg. "One purpose of the Anglican Congress was to have an impact on the UN Summit. Its greater purpose was to share our own experiences of earth stewardship in different Provinces of our Church and to organise and empower the Communion as a whole." Over 80 delegates attended at the invitation of the Anglican Observer to the United Nations, Archdeacon Taimalelagi Fagamalama Tuatagaloa-Matalavea who organized the even in collaboration with the Rt. Rev. Geoff Davis, Bishop of Umzimvubu. Canon Eric Beresford of the Anglican Church of Canada was involved in the congress in his role as Anglican Communion Adviser on Ethics and Technology. "Many of the delegates of the Congress went on to the Summit, and participated not only in that event, but also in the Global Peoples Forum." "The Congress also issued a declaration to the Anglican Communion, which was duly endorsed by the Anglican Consultative Council (ACC) at its 12th meeting in Hong Kong". "In a substantial way, the Congress addressed the major issues facing people throughout the Communion and at the UN Summit: water, health, food, energy, community, gender, biodiversity, economic and ecological justice, and human empowerment."
The text of the Global Anglican Congress on the Stewardship of Creation Declaration to the Anglican Communion is reproduced on pp. 39-40 of the article.
"Prepared for: The Ecology and Theology Working Group Anglican Diocese of Ottawa, Kate Davies -- October 2002".
Foreword by the Rt. Rev. Peter R. Coffin, Bishop of Ottawa.
Includes bibliographical references.
"The Ecology and Theology Working Group of our Diocese of Ottawa has worked long and hard to develop this resource as a tool kit to enable us to continue -- or maybe even begin -- our good stewardship of the earth. The Working Group has impressive credentials and passion; technical expertise and profound spirituality. It is a group committed to a holistic theology of creation, redemption and re-creation so that the tides of destruction may be stemmed, and in which God's children may share in, and take responsibility for, the divine purpose". -- Foreword, p. .
Contents: [Foreword] / Peter R. Coffin, Bishop of Ottawa -- The Author [and] Acknowledgements -- Introduction -- Environmental Education and Awareness -- What You Can Do at Church -- What You Can Do at Home -- What You Can Do in the Garden -- Transportation -- Shopping -- Resources and Further Information -- Appendix A: Environmental Checklist -- Appendix B: The Ecology and Theology Working Group of the Anglican Diocese of Ottawa.
That this Council of General Synod receive the "Statement to the Anglican Communion from the Anglican Communion Environmental Network" (Appendix A), and
a. endorse its recommendations that all Anglicans be encouraged to:
- recognize that global climatic change is real and that we are contributing to the despoiling of creation
- commend initiatives that address the moral transformation needed for environmentally sustainable economic practices such as the Contraction and Convergence process championed by the Archbishop of Canterbury
- understand that, for the sake of future generations and the good of God's creation, those of us in the rich nations need to be ready to make sacrifices in the level of comfort and luxury we have come to enjoy
- expect mission, vision and value statements to contain commitment to environmental responsibility at all levels of church activity
- educate all church members about the Christian mandate to care for creation
- work on these issues ecumenically and with all faith communities and people of good will everywhere
- ensure that the voices of women, indigenous peoples and youth are heard
- press government, industry and civil society on the moral imperative of taking practical steps towards building sustainable communities.
b. commend the following steps to the EcoJustice Committee for appropriate action and implementation and report back to COGS at its next meeting:
- include environmental education as an integral part of all theological training
- take targeted and specific actions to assess and reduce our environmental footprint, particularly greenhouse gas emissions. Such actions could include energy and resource audits, land management, just trading and purchasing, socially and ethically responsible investment
- promote and commit ourselves to use renewable energy wherever possible
- revise our liturgies and our calendar and lectionaries in ways that more fully reflect the role and work of God as Creator
- press for urgent initiation of discussions, which should include all nations, leading to a just and effective development beyond the Kyoto Protocol
- support the work of the World Council of Churches Climate Change Action Group
- bring before governments the imperative to use all means, including legislation and removal of subsidies, to reduce greenhouse gases. CARRIED #09-11-05
The statement, Appendix A of the EcoJustice Report, is attached as Appendix B.
Statement to The Anglican Communion from The Anglican Communion Environmental Network
We send greetings from the environmental network conference of the Anglican Communion meeting in Canberra, Australia, April 2005. This second global Anglican conference on the environment was the first meeting since becoming an official network of the Anglican Communion. The focus of our meeting was the challenge posed by global climate change. We have met in the name of Jesus, the incarnate work of God, whose coming amongst us compels us to take seriously the whole created order made sacred in Christ.
He is the image of the invisible God, the first born of all creation; for in him all things in heaven and earth were created ... all things have been created through Him and for Him (Col. 1:15-17)
The Faith that Moves Us
Holy Scripture reminds us that, "the earth is the Lord's and everything in it" (Psalm 24:1). All of creation belongs to God, not to human beings. We are part of the created order and our first calling by God is to be stewards of the earth and the rest of creation (Genesis 1:28-29).
God has called us to stewardship of the world to ensure that it remains fruitful for the future. We are becoming increasingly aware that the world is being harmed by us and we know how to eliminate the harm we are doing. This is a breaking of the most fundamental commandments know to us, in that we are knowingly causing the degradation of the world's ecosystems out of our greed and selfishness, rather than living with and protecting the design that issues from the Creator's generosity. Adam (humanity) is explicitly told to be content with what is rightfully allocated (Genesis 2:8) and not be tempted to take that which is appropriately denied. Ignoring this injunction continues to be our abiding sin. It is one matter to act out of ignorance, it is quite another to act out of willfulness. Willfully causing environmental degradation is a sin.
It is clear from the reports of the represented Provinces, and the presentations of the scientists who spoke during the conference, that humanity has failed to fulfil God's will for creation. The earth and everything therein now face perilous and catastrophic environmental destruction, often as a result of human activities. The Archbishop of Canterbury has warned that our continued failure to protect the earth and to resolve economic injustices within and between societies will lead not only to environmental collapse but also to social collapse.
We met in the joy of Eastertide, celebrating our hope in the Risen Lord, a hope that makes us claim, "If anyone is in Christ, there is a new creation, everything old has passed away, see everything has become new" (1 Cor. 5:17). The mystery of His creation is still unfolding and, watching and waiting in hope, we call on the whole Church to respond. What is now needed is that the stewardship given to us by God be proclaimed and acted upon, for "all this is from God who reconciled us to himself for Christ, and has given us the ministry of reconciliation" (1 Cor. 5:18-19). We must take the lead from the Holy Spirit to be instruments in the renewal of that "whole creation" which has been "groaning in labour pains until now" (Rom. 8:22).
We confess that the Anglican Communion as a whole has failed to promote its mission priority, "to strive to safeguard the integrity of creation and sustain and renew the earth." We commend our Anglican/Episcopal brothers and sisters worldwide who are contributing to the protection of the environment in response to the call of our baptismal covenant to serve Christ in all creation. "Just as you did it to one of the least of these ... you did it to me" (Matt. 25:40, c.f. 45).
The Realities that Concern Us
We gathered to reflect on the current impact and threat posed by climate change both globally and locally noting that current global CO2 levels have not been experienced for over 400,000 years and average global temperatures rose by nearly 1 degree C during the twentieth century, which represents an unprecedented rate of change in human history. These temperature changes are already causing severe environmental stress to vulnerable populations and fragile ecosystems. We also heard that the current scientific consensus predicts significantly increased CO2 levels by 2100 and locally catastrophic consequences.
Climate change impacts are already being registered across the world and can be illustrated from the experience of the communities whose stories we heard at our meeting:
Sea level rise in the Pacific
Our delegates from Polynesia and Melanesia described how low-lying atolls in Tuvalu and Kiribati are experiencing coastal flooding and contamination of fresh water. Kiribati has lost one island already. Current sea-level is rising at 6 cm per decade and by 2100 this could increase to 4-11 cm per decade, presenting an even greater threat to other island nations.
Global warming and health
Our delegates from Kenya and the Philippines reported an increase in the range of mosquitoes, resulting in more widespread malaria. This is attributed in part to rising temperatures. Projected further increases of 1.5 degrees C to 5.8 degrees C by 2100 will further exacerbate this trend.
Melting of glaciers, ice sheets and frozen ground
Our delegate from Kenya reported melting snows on Mt. Kenya mirroring the well-known reduction in glaciers on Mt. Kilimanjaro. Projected further melting of the tundra in Canada's frozen north could release catastrophic amounts of methane - an even more potent greenhouse gas than CO2.
Enhanced climatic variability
Our delegates from Australia and Africa reported longer and more severe droughts, which, in the case of Kenya, are also coupled with uncertainty over the length and timing of the rainy season. Prolonged droughts across Africa are already affecting local food security, causing increased poverty and suffering. This trend is set to intensify under projected temperature rises.
Increased Storms and floods
Our delegates from the US, Canada, Oceania and the Philippines reported increased storm activity severely affecting vulnerable coastal populations. Further increases in atmospheric and sea level temperatures will intensify this trend throughout the century. In Scotland and Wales (along with much of northwest Europe) widespread and severe flooding has occurred since 2000. Projected increases in rainfall by the end of the century will substantially increase current losses.
Many of these impacts on vulnerable populations are also being experienced by fragile ecosystems upon which the whole of human kind depends for food, shelter and well-being. Ecosystems in the Brazilian Amazon and in the Philippines are changing more rapidly and extensively than at any time in human history, resulting in an irreversible loss of the diversity of life. Degrading ecosystems locally increases poverty but also poses a major threat to future generations and to the achievement of UN Millennium Development Goals. Climate change will further intensify these threats.
The Responses We Propose
We see hope and rejoice in progress made. We heard at our meeting that:
- The Kyoto Protocol is now legally binding in 128 nations.
- Many provinces, dioceses and parishes within the Anglican Communion are actively pursuing actions towards environmental sustainability.
- Task forces within the Anglican Communion are addressing inter-related issues, such as trade and poverty, and women's issues.
- Parishes in some provinces have begun to use programs to help them reduce the environmental footprint of their activities (Eco-congregations / Footprint Files, etc).
In light of these hopeful signs, we encourage all Anglicans to:
- recognise that global climatic change is real and that we are contributing to the despoiling of creation.
- commend initiatives that address the moral transformation needed for environmentally sustainable economic practices such as the Contraction and Convergence process championed by the Archbishop of Canterbury.
- understand that, for the sake of future generations and the good of God's creation, those of us in the rich nations need to be ready to make sacrifices in the level of comfort and luxury we have come to enjoy.
- expect mission, vision and value statements to contain commitment to environmental responsibility at all levels of church activity.
- educate all church members about the Christian mandate to care for creation.
- work on these issues ecumenically and with all faith communities and people of good will everywhere.
- ensure that the voices of women, indigenous peoples and youth are heard.
- press government, industry and civil society on the moral imperative of taking practical steps towards building sustainable communities.
There are specific steps which we believe must be undertaken urgently:
- Include environmental education as an integral part of all theological training.
- Take targeted and specific actions to assess and reduce our environmental footprint particularly greenhouse gas emissions. Such actions could include energy and resource audits, land management, just trading and purchasing, socially and ethically responsible investment.
- Promote and commit ourselves to use renewable energy wherever possible.
- Revise our liturgies and our calendar and lectionaries in ways that more fully reflect the role and work of God as Creator.
- Press for urgent initiation of discussions leading to a just and effective development beyond the Kyoto Protocol, which includes all nations.
- Support the work of the World Council of Churches Climate Change Action Group.
- Bring before governments the imperative to use all means, including legislation and removal of subsidies, to reduce greenhouse gases.
We express our gratitude to his grace, the Archbishop of Canterbury, for his outstanding leadership and his championing of this vital aspect of our Christian commitment. And call on Anglicans everywhere to follow this example.
We commit to pray for one another, especially our sisters and brothers who courageously set standards in developing countries, knowing that in the short term these very standards may slow the progress of development.
We commit ourselves to maintain this global network, to share resources with each other, and to lift the Anglican Communion to new levels of both awareness and commitment to these aspects of our Gospel imperative. We call on all provinces to become involved in the work of the network.
 The fifth mark of mission, adopted by the 8th meeting of the Anglican Consultative Council in 1990.
 Rowan Williams in the Independent, Sunday, April 17, 2005. http://www.archbishopofcanterbury.org/sermons_speeches/050417.htm
"Copyright 1993 Peter Harris. First published 1993 in Great Britain by Hodder and Stoughton. Reprinted 2000 by Regent College Publishing". -- verso of t.-p.
Bibliography: pp. 175-176
This book "tells the story of a pioneering work in the beautiful but ravaged Portuguese Algarve. Keenly aware of their Christian responsibility for the environment and towards their neighbours, Peter [a Church of England priest] and Miranda Harris learn from scratch about cross-cultural evangelism, community living and conversation. The A Rocha Christian Field Centre and Bird Observatory [in Cruzinha, Portugal] has now welcomed hundreds of visitors from all over the world". -- back cover.
Contents: Acknowledgments -- Foreword dated July 1992 / John Stott -- [Text] -- Bibliography -- A Rocha: Christmas in Conservation: Postscript dated September 2000 / Barbara Mearns, A Rocha International Staff Member.
"First published by Darton, Longman and Todd Ltd, London, United Kingdom c1999". -- verso of t.-p.
Includes bibliographical references and indexes.
Bibliography; p. -291.
This book "strips mission of its old associations with colonialism and militarism. It looks anew at the underlying theology, reminding us that our task is God's mission, not a human construct. It explores key aspects of contemporary mission, from the familiar (such as the relation of mission to evangelism, and to people of other faiths) to the unusual and thought-provoking (such as mission and the environment, justice for the poor, and the overcoming of violence)." -- back cover.
Contents: Acknowledgements -- Introduction -- Part I: Laying Foundations -- What is Theology ? And Theology of Mission ? -- God's Mission and the Church's Response -- Mission in the Way of Jesus Christ -- Part II: Contemporary Issues in Mission -- Announcing Good News -- The Gospel in the Midst of Cultures -- Justice for the Poor -- Encounter with the Religions of the World -- Overcoming Violence and Building Peace -- Care of the Environment -- Sharing in Partnership -- Part III: Mission in Action -- The Church in Mission -- Postscript: Whither Mission ? -- Notes -- Bibliography -- Biblical References -- Index.
Author is a priest in the Church of England, Dean and Head of the School of Mission and World Christianity at Selly Oak Colleges, Birmingham.