Eco Church study day for clergy
02 October 2018 IN: Ministers
Dr Ruth Valerio, Global Advocacy and Influencing Director for Tearfund, will be addressing Manchester church leaders at a study day next week, encouraging us to focus on the practical things we can do to respond to God’s call to care for the world He has made.
Ruth has seen first-hand the devastating impact that climate change is having around the world. In Tanzania earlier this year she stood with a farmer as he looked at his dying land, uncertain if the rains would ever come to revive his crops.
Our own heatwave this summer should act as a wakeup call and alert us to the seriousness of the situation. “We have to act now and change the way we live and do things as a Church,” says Ruth. ”We live comfortable lives here and can sit and discuss climate change, but the reality is it’s impacting millions around the world right now.”
There are signs of hope. “It’s great that Manchester wants to be involved in issues that affect the environment and is working towards becoming an Eco Diocese. Eco Church is a helpful and easy way to take some practical steps and it’s the perfect one-stop shop for your church.”
Eco Church works through five key areas of church life: Worship and teaching, Buildings, Land, Community and global engagement, Lifestyle.
Ruth will unpack the five areas of Eco Church and invite churches to share what they are already doing so that we can learn from one another and be encouraged by what’s already happening.
“The problems are so massive that we need to work together”, says Ruth. “We could form a huge movement in the UK and around the world, but let’s start by learning and supporting one another.”
For Ruth, caring for the environment is an integral part of her faith, not an optional extra. “It’s central to my understanding of what it means to be a follower of Jesus. The world was a present from the Father to the Son. Colossians 1: 19-20 talks about Christ making peace with the whole earth through His death on the cross. I want to look after that world!”