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19 November 2012

Global Church groups commit to caring for creation

Global Church groups commit to caring for creation

Earlier this month a consultation took place to discuss the role of the Church in caring for creation.

The World Evangelical Alliance (WEA), among others, hosted the five-day Global Consultation on Creation Care and the Gospel in Jamaica.

Taking part in the discussion were theologians, scientists, specialists, church leaders, and representatives of international Christian development agencies, from 23 different countries.

Dr Chris Elisara, the executive director of the WEA's Creation Care Task Force, said: "Whenever God's people come together prayerfully, humbly, and focused on seeking first God's Kingdom, wonderful things can happen.

"That occurred at this global consultation where the outcomes, I believe, will have a huge and positive impact not only on global mission and evangelicalism, but ultimately, on the whole of creation."

A 'Call to Action' based on the consultation will soon be released, as well as a report in three months' time and eventually a book of papers and reflections.

The consultation was the result of collaboration between the WEA, the Lausanne Movement, World Vision International and Tearfund.

Among the many speakers at the event was Sir John Houghton, who used to be a co-chair of the Nobel Peace Prize-winning Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change's scientific assessment working group, as well as a professor emeritus of atmospheric physics at the University of Oxford.

Rev Edward R Brown, Lausanne's senior associate for Creation Care, says that this consultation in Jamaica has already led to plans for regional consultations.

Dr Elisara added that the WEA would be keen to keep offering Lausanne their support: "Co-hosting these consultations to strengthen the global Church's capacity to care for creation will be one of the main goals for WEA's Creation Care Task Force over the next few years."

Rev Brown hopes that the 'Call to Action' resource will help "the development of a global movement of care for creation through local churches, based on a biblical understanding of our role as caretakers of God's creation, as well as specific steps Christians can take in their community and goals to measure progress".