World Environment Day 5 June 2017
In its first public statement in 1977, the Uniting Church in Australia expressed what would be an abiding concern with the wellbeing of the planet for the rights of future generations.
In part, this statement read: ‘we are concerned with the basic human rights of future generations and will urge the wise use of energy, the protection of the environment and the replenishment of the earth’s resources for their use and enjoyment.’
The natural environment is, however, not merely a resource for the benefit of human beings but has intrinsic value as part of God’s good creation. In 1991 the Uniting Church declared that, ‘Nature has a right to the protection of its eco-systems, species, and populations in their inter-connectedness’.
The Uniting Church’s commitment to the environment arises out of the Christian belief that God, as the Creator of the universe, calls us into a special relationship with the creation – a relationship of mutuality and interdependence. We believe that God’s will for the earth is renewal and reconciliation, not destruction by human beings.
“Connecting People to Nature”, the theme for World Environment Day 2017, implores us to get outdoors and into nature, to appreciate its beauty and its importance, and to take forward the call to protect the Earth that we share. This year’s theme invites you to think about how we are part of nature and how intimately we depend on it. It challenges us to find fun and exciting ways to experience and cherish this vital relationship.
Looking for resources to mark this event in your congregation?
UnitingJustice 2016 resource is worth a look again. There are some great prayers which can be used in your worship service when you are focusing on the care for creation.
There are plenty of resources on the UnitingJustice environment page too.
Our Sustainable September worship resources have some great ideas, too. Find them here