ACSA is becoming an Eco-Province! The leadership of ACSA gathered at Provincial Synod and passed to resolutions showing that environmental issues must become part of the mainstream concern of the church agenda. Two resolutions were passed, one calling for ACSA to become an Eco-Province and another calling for sustainable development.
Eco congregations and becoming an Eco Province: “Synod calls on all ACSA parishes to include creation care as an essential component of Christian mission and encourages them to become part of the eco-congregation movement” All churches are called to become involved in care for creation through worship, local action and advocacy. This can start with a simple energy and water audit to establish the extent of a parish environmental “foot print”. The congregation commits to celebrating Season of Creation, or World Environment day and so on. They can get involved in local actions such as clean up days or starting an organic food garden. They also commit to getting involved in advocacy around issues affecting the environment. Becoming an eco Province involves a similar audit and should be taken up by Diocesan structures as well. We are called to use to our land and buildings in an ecologically sustainable way, to monitor and reduce the carbon footprint of our travel. Earth-affirming liturgies will be included in the new Prayer Book and our clergy and Bishops should be trained in Environmental Theology. Finally an additional responsibility is added to that of parish counsellors – environmental responsibility, this means that each church should be involved in some way in environmental ministry and report their activities to parish council.
Sustainable Energy: We callon the Southern African Governments to end all expenditure on nuclear energy development and shale gas exploration (fracking) and phase out coal generation
, and to encourage the development, manufacture and use on systems of generating electricity which are more eco-friendly than generators relying of fossil fuels. This resolution supports and encourages those who have a more activist and an advocacy role to play. It calls on the church to be more prophetic within the energy sector. Sustainable is a key word in the resolution as our current decisions and actions will affect the lives of future generations. The resolution is not only about solar energy and wind farms. It is also about intergenerational justice. The legacy that we leave for our children and the planet in general is dependent on our response to these issues.