Why should we mark World Environment Day 2016?

World Environment Day aims to raise awareness worldwide of environmental issues and encourage political attention and action. The day was established by the United Nations Environment Program and the World Meteorological Association in 1972 and is celebrated annually on 5 June. This year Churches have a special opportunity to mark this event in worship, as June 5 2016 falls on a Sunday.

UnitingJustice has a resource for congregations here. This resource contains theological reflections, worship resources, ideas for action and stories of inspiration and hope to encourage us to think of what changes we could undertake together for a world made whole. Alternatively you could use the topic for a small group discussion.

World Environment Day 2016 worship resource cover

It is becoming increasingly urgent for us all to pay attention to the impact of global warming. Recently  the World Bank reported that the world is badly prepared for the impact of climate change natural disasters, which threaten 1.3 billion people on this planet.

In the face of the already damaging effects of climate change, now, more than ever, we need to recognise the effort of any one person or group alone is not enough to make the changes we need to save the planet. The contribution of every person and every community and group of people is vitally important, but we must combine and diversify our efforts.

“The creation, the land, is something we should all honour and respect because creation, which includes all the birds and the animals, embraces all our lives – physically, socially and most of all spiritually, because creation shows us the existence, not only of the raw beauty but it also shows the nurture of the divine and greater spirit, the creator, who will nurture our lives similar to how creation is nurtured. That makes for every human being not only a purpose, but teaches the reality that we belong together and need to respect each other”.
Rev Sealin Garlett, Chairperson
Uniting and Aboriginal Islander Christian Congress (WA)