• Colin Lendon and Peter Thwaites

Called to be Christian ‘greenies’

On Creation Sunday – October 1, a group of twelve gathered in the Robertson Room for a discussion with Dr Beth Heyde, to consider Christian responses to the Earth's environmental needs, including climate change.

Beth has held responsible positions at the Australian Science and Technology Council and at the CSIRO, and has also served on various Diocesan boards.

As Chair of General Synod's Public Affairs Commission in 2014, she moved a motion calling on Churches to look at their investments in fossil fuel industries in the face of increasing concern about human induced climate change. The motion passed without dissent.

Beth started by appreciating Rector Paul’s sermon for Creation Sunday, where he pointed out that the Biblical metaphor of the vineyard where people had to learn to work according to God's laws, has become a symbol today of the whole earth.

It must be acknowledged that we are over-using our natural resources in our Western First World lifestyles, and not setting a sufficient example for the developing world. Both Paul and Beth touched on intractables such as the increasing over population of our world.

Beth was optimistic that the Church is moving in the right direction, not insisting but requesting people, including political leaders, to weigh up what they can do, both personally in their own homes and as a nation through more sustainable policies and practices.

Beth has joined rallies as a concerned citizen, and our discussion touched on the importance of letting people know what we are doing to meet this world-wide crisis.

Although it is a political matter, as Paul said, we can all be Christian “greenies” in our own ways, not necessarily in party-political ways. We have a duty to the present, as well as to future generations.

Our Earth should be our Garden of Eden, and we are reminded of the expulsion of the first humans for disobeying and exploiting God’s special Tree of the knowledge of Good and Evil.

Every one of us should ask, ‘How am I responding today?’

Colin Lendon and Peter Thwaites

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