St. Margaret’s Eco-create Festival
St. Margaret, Parow prides herself in being a parish that swims upstream. In this spirit of transformation and change we hosted an eco-festival on 24 September 2016 coordinated by our Environmental Action Group Ministry.
The Eco-create Festival was a celebration of and enlightenment to God’s creation, of our responsibility and our God-given gifts and talents in order to co-create a sustainable and purposeful life for all.
The day was about sharing and contributing ideas, knowledge, talents and creativity towards finding solutions and joint actions to address the environmental challenges facing our community, humanity and the health of our planet. All of the speakers reminded us of the huge environmental challenges we face.
The presentations focussed on some of key environmental challenges facing God’s creation. It also provided some practical solutions and hope, in responding to climate change, the scarcity of water, our consumption pattern and waste & food security or insecurity. The presentations related to the science and data that addressed the current global, regional and local status quo and the contributors & drivers responsible for this situation. It demystified the concept of climate change down to our possible response on a practical level.
Some of the key messages were the need to change our behaviour in viewing waste as a resource, and in the sustainable utilisation of water and how we plan our cities and towns to be more water sensitive. The talk on food security was extremely thought-provoking and challenged us in the ways we think of food security – and reminded us of the values of love and compassion toward those who are food insecure, the most vulnerable in our communities.
The festival involved both young and old, where the Sunday School displayed their creativity though exhibits crafted during the Season of Creation and in rendering poems. The youth discipleship showed their talents by putting on a mini-fashion show, dubbed from “Junk to Funk” and also rendered a poem. The festival show-cased the creativity of some very talented parishioners through the “Show and Tell/ Story of Things” crafts made from recyclables. The younger kids’ creativity was also stimulated through fun activities in decorating crafts made from recyclables. Further information-sharing and awareness raising took the form of demonstrations focussed on the separation of waste, managing household waste, and using alternative household cleaning products, and the mini-SASS (Stream Assessment Scoring System) river health demo that the youth and younger kids found fascinating.
The morning of learning and sharing culminated in a Creation Sunday Eucharist, led by the Sunday School and youth from the parish. The service portrayed the radicalism that St. Margaret commits to – a challenging and provocative sermon by one of our young women parishioners, Kelly Fortuin.
A “symbolic funeral “demonstrated the killing and destruction of mother earth. The communion in the garden connected us to God’s Creation in a real way! A coffin was transformed into a life- giving- flower- and- vegetable- growing source.
Kelly reminded us that “it is our greed, selfishness and egos that contribute to the destruction we see around us. “We made this mess and it is our responsibility to clean it up.” She concluded with the lyrics from a gospel song by artist Matthew West called “Do Something”.
This call for action we extend to everyone in this Diocese. Let’s start doing something to preserve, restore and heal our planet and humanity.
Gottlieb Arendse & team (St. Margaret Environmental Action Group)