The Revd Adrian Dorrian, Chair of the Church and Society Commission of the Church of Ireland, has emphasised the need to act on behalf of people at risk of climate change:
‘The upcoming COP21 Conference in Paris (between 29th November and 11th December), is significant as a gathering of world leaders addressing the challenges of living responsibly in the 21st Century.
‘The Anglican Communion Environmental Network has called on churches to “support one another in conversation and in prayer, to continue to discern God’s leading” on ecological issues. This includes a commitment to prayer and fasting for the environment, the strengthening of ecumenical and inter-faith links, and the development of resources. Many of these ideals are also enshrined in the Church of Ireland’s own environmental charter, passed by the General Synod in 2015.
‘Environmental and stewardship issues impact the whole created order, which of course means that the conference is relevant to everyone. Changes in climate and environmental instability often have the most negative impact on the poorest people – making this an issue not just of stewardship but justice. Therefore, as we pray for the world so we join the voice of Jesus in speaking for the oppressed and downtrodden.’
Parishes may wish to use this specially written collect in their worship leading up to and during the conference:
you spoke creation into being
and in your Son Jesus Christ you walked the earth
and dwelt in the midst of that creation.
Grant us hearts of thanksgiving for the world you have given us,
give us the discernment of your Holy Spirit
as we seek to better use the resources of the earth;
and empower us to follow the example of your Son
as we seek to be agents of justice in all things;
Through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
The Church of Ireland’s environmental charter was presented by the Archbishop of Dublin and Canon Niall Sloane as part of a National Ecumenical Prayer Service at St Teresa’s Church, Clarendon Street, Dublin in the presence of President Michael D Higgins on Wednesday, 25th November.
A similar service will take place on the afternoon of Sunday, 29th November, in St Anne’s Cathedral, Belfast.
The charter is available at: http://ireland.anglican.org/information/238
Eco-Congregation Ireland has also produced resources for use in relation to climate change, which are available at: www.ecocongregationireland.com