Last week I had the privilege with Canon Helen Sammon of being part of a conversation (Zoom of course) with Bishop Sadock Makaya of our partner diocese in Western Tanganyika. During the conversation as we caught up on each other’s news, he started to tell us of the impact of climate change on his Diocese. It was this, that he was clear, that was threatening the very future of his people. In November when usually it would rain there was drought. The result of this in an area where the vast majority of people rely on subsistence farming was that the crops that had been planted were dying. The people were looking to plant again, hoping for the rain to come, but for some, it was too late, the crops were dying and they and their families, without food to eat, were dying too. It was a sobering conversation that brought into sharp relief the urgency of the need to address the climate crisis. You can see part of our conversation here.
This conversation, with its stark warning of the impact of climate change not at some future date but as a reality today, highlights the urgency of the need for us to be engaged. It tells of the importance of projects such as ‘Think, Pray, Do Together’ being promoted by our education team in our schools across the Diocese about which you will find details elsewhere in this Bulletin.
For those of us who seek to follow Jesus Christ, who are inspired to know and share life in all its fullness, the need to act on the climate is not an optional extra but fundamental. ‘What does the Lord require of you…’ asks Micah. Our thoughts are to be of how we ‘do justice’ as we research the needs of our planet and consider what we want to change, in our lives, in the actions of government and of business. We are to pray that our hearts may be enlarged by the love of God, a love which in robust kindness embraces the other. We are to ‘do together’ as we walk humbly with our God. Walking is of course action that takes us to new places. As we walk we share our stories, encouraging one another. This is what the Lord requires of us. It begins with God, and it is not optional but a requirement if we are to be faithful disciples.
‘Think, Pray, Do Together’ is rooted in our schools so it allows us to discern God’s speaking to us through some of the youngest, the children, to hear the insights they are so often given. It does not stop there, however. It is for us all, for we inhabit God’s earth together. The climate is not divided by national or geographical boundaries but is intrinsically connected. Be we child or parent, grandparent, single in a relationship, young, old, middle-aged, of whatever nationality, race or creed we cannot separate ourselves from this challenge.
Do stop and listen to Bishop Sadock’s words. They are heartfelt, powerful and require a response, one that God asks of us, that we may indeed ‘Think, Pray, Do Together’.