The chair of the Anglican Communion Environmental Network (ACEN), the Bishop of Swaziland, Ellinah Wamukoya, is inviting people to take part in a “carbon fast” during Lent – to examine their daily actions and reflect on how they impact the environment: “We are of the earth, we are dust, if the earth birthed us so let us look after her, and reduce our carbon foot print to ensure continued life” he said. Carbon fast campaigns are designed so that, over Lent, people can take small steps to reduce carbon dioxide output with the hope of helping the environment and bringing the world one step closer to a sustainable existence. Green Anglicans have produced a guide with daily actions for use in Lent; from buying organically grown food to eating less meat to unplugging appliances, the daily actions are suggested to help slow the damage to God’s creation. Cycling to work, using a watering can rather than a sprinkler, and fixing leaks at home are also included on the Green Anglicans calendar
Bishop Wamukoya and other members of ACEN living in diverse contexts have also written Meditations for use on the Sundays in Lent – relating, this year, to issues of water justice; they are available in English, French, Spanish and Portuguese and have been produced in association with Trinity Church Wall Street. Full details can be seen here
Bishop Wamukoya’s call for a carbon fast is echoed by the Church of South India (CSI), Green Anglicans and other groups. The CSI moderator, the Most Rev. Thomas K. Oommen, has written a letter calling on people to make the 40 days of Lent a time of repentance, reflection and action to reduce damage to God’s creation.
“A carbon fast is a challenge to us to look at our daily actions, to reflect on how they impact on the environment. It challenges us to take some small steps – some of which will reduce our carbon dioxide output while others will help the environment – for a more sustainable world. In the process we may come to rediscover a different relationship with God, with His Creation and with one another” he said.
“In India, we are aware of climate change because of our warmer temperatures, swings between floods and droughts, and rising sea levels,” he wrote. “Warmer temperatures and rising sea levels are undesirable because they will have negative impacts on agriculture, fishing, community developments, plants and animals that are important to our ecosystems and the protection of our coastline.”
He urges people to form groups in their churches to discuss the following key themes over the weeks of Lent: “simplify our lives / food and forests / energy and transportation/ conserve water / reduce, re-use, recycle.”
Letter from the Moderator of Church of South India.