Our world created by God is beautiful, who gave us dominion, protected us from all harm – but we humans have deteriorated it.
The Lambeth Call on the Environment and Sustainable Development has emerged as a hope for the church in Pakistan and worldwide that we still have hope and time to save our planet. It is a guiding principle, combining the word of God in relation to describe how the triple environmental crises of climate change, biodiversity loss and pollution have disfigured the beauty of earth.
The words that challenged me were that we have manipulated the word ‘dominion’. As humans, we are power seekers and when we are given dominion over something, we fail to control ourselves. God says in Jeremiah 5:22, “I made the sand a boundary for the sea, an everlasting barrier it cannot cross.” He created sand so the waters in the sea does not cross the boundary, but anthropogenic activities caused those boundaries to give way to tsunamis, hurricanes and floods; destroying lives of those living nearby; snatching away their livelihoods, homes and even lives.
I am an Anglican raised in Pakistan, a country where climate change has impacted largely and adversely. But people are unaware of this global threat; except for those who are privileged enough to receive education. This is a challenge. The Christian community itself lives on margins of society that strive each day to earn respectable bread and butter for their families. The inclusive nature of the Lambeth Call is a way forward for God’s Church to set an example in God’s world; where people from all religious and social backgrounds coexist. It is a standard document that needs implementation in full spirit. The churches have received a key to include creation care in their activities and sermons.
Lambeth’s agenda for Environment and Sustainable Development is a Call of stewardship and discipleship by God because we ought to save our Common Home with whatever possibilities and resources we can. The Lambeth Call invites us all to be a union, where our common act should be to realize our individual and communal responsibilities to minimize fossil fuel consumption and shift to renewables, plant trees, reforest, reduce carbon footprint and pollution.
Amal Sarah is The Regional Co-Chair of Middle East and South Asia at the Global Council of the Anglican Communion Youth Network
She is also Co-Chair of Advocacy Committee of the Anglican Communion Youth Network.
She is from the United Church of Pakistan.
Read the Lambeth Call on Environment and Sustainable Development in full here.
Find out how you can take the Lambeth Call forward in your setting here.