Eco-Congregation Ireland calls on churches to Care for Creation this Lent
Eco-Congregation Ireland (ECI) is urging churches to celebrate the beauty of Creation this Lent and to take practical steps to care for the environment.
The interdenominational environmental group, which is a project of the Irish Council of Churches and Irish Inter-Church Meeting, suggests that parishes, communities and individuals might like to plant fruit and nut trees in their localities.
“Planting edible landscapes is one of many practical ways we can prepare for a low-carbon future by increasing local resilience,” says ECI Communications Officer, Fiona Murdoch. “It is an especially appropriate action to take this year, given that 2011 is the UN International Year of Forests.”
All good garden centres stock a range of fruit trees, although Irish Seed Savers, Scariff, Co Clare is recommended for helping preserve native Irish species. Saplings can be ordered over the internet from anywhere in the country – www.irishseedsavers.ie.
Churches are also asked to consider hosting Just Forests’ Wood of Life exhibition – a colourful, interactive display about the social, economic and environmental importance of the world’s forests through development education and education for sustainable development. Just Forests will erect the display boards and staff the event and can provide worksheets for children. See www.justforests.org.
ECI is also encouraging churches and their members to choose Lenten resources with an environmental theme. There are plenty to choose from!
The Irish Catholic Bishops’ pastoral reflection, Cry of the Earth, provides an excellent starting point for a series of discussions. It invites individuals and parish communities to reflect on the challenge of climate change and the actions we can take to help construct a more sustainable environment. Also, to reflect on the covenant between human beings and the environment “which should mirror the creative love of God, from whom we come and towards whom we are journeying”. See www.catholicbishops.ie/features.
The newly-formed Biblical Association of the Church of Ireland has prepared a Biblical reflective programme for Lent on the theme of Creation, which can be downloaded for free from www.bibliahibernica.wordpress.com.
ECI supports churches and Christians as they take steps to care for the environment. Its website – www.ecocongregationireland.org – is packed full of ideas and resources and anyone interested is invited to sign up to receive ECI’s monthly e-letter by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.