Meet Mel: Environmental Lay Canon for the Diocese of Port Elizabeth
She could be the youngest Canon in the Anglican Church of Southern Africa and she is joining the environmental ministry in the Diocese of Port Elizabeth.
Canon Melissa Awu is the new environmental coordinator for the diocese of Port Elizabeth and we had to take some time and know her better. Describing herself as a servant of Christ, Mel is deeply rooted in her faith. Born in PE and a member of St Stephens Parish in New Brighten she started her journey at a very early age, at once being a diocesan president for the Servers Guild in the diocese, and is currently a member of the Anglican Youth Fellowship and Probationer of St Mary Magdelene Guild.
Raised in an environmentally aware home made it easier for Mel to take up this responsibility at such a young age, she said “I care about the Environment because it is a command from God. I love God, therefor I obey His commands. I want to leave this earth in a better place, for the next generation.”
Growing environmental ministry in our church’s and communities is not an easy task, having support from the former Coordinator, Betty Bala, Mel has a strong foundation. Taking it further she is planning to create awareness in the diocese and get a committed environmental task team, which will journey with her. “I plan to introduce others in this ministry that we may all one day, do our bit for the environment. I cannot do it alone, so in my areas of influence I speak ‘GREEN’. In everything I do, I trust God, He is my help.”
With just a few weeks in the office, Mel has big dreams for the diocese and its environmental future, taking care for creation to another level, Mel hopes she can get each parish to adopt the movement to be part of their lifestyle, “I want PE to be a completely GREEN DIOCESE, as Tatu Mandela say ‘It always seems impossible until its done’.”