We Breathe the Same Air

2014. október 20., hétfő

The European Christian Environmental Network (ECEN) 10th Assembly held on 27th September to1st October at the Soli Deo Gloria Reformed Conference Centre in Balatonszárszó  themed ‘Energy and Climate Change – the Churches’ Role and Voice’. 

“We breathe the same air”

European Christian Environmental Network Holds 10th Assembly at Balatonszárszó

The European Christian Environmental Network (ECEN) held its 10th Assembly between 27th September and 1st October at the Soli Deo Gloria Reformed Conference Centre in Balatonszárszó. The organisation, which is closely linked to the Conference of European Churches, serves as a Europe-wide platform for cooperation of Churches in responding to challenges in taking care of creation. The conference, themed as ‘Energy and Climate Change – the Churches’ Role and Voice’, was organized by ECEN leaders and the environmental groups of the churches in Hungary. More than 100 guests from 24 European countries gathered together to discuss the present environmental situation as well as how Churches can act together in Christian spirit to respond to the spiritual and practical implications of environmental change.

 

The bilingual English-Hungarian opening worship service, which was delivered by head of the Eco-Congregation movement of the Reformed Church in Hungary Tamás Kodácsy, marked the beginning of Creation Time as well. This period is held at the end of September every year since 2009 during which participating Churches invite people to give thanks for creation and take steps for its protection.

At the assembly’s opening plenary lecture Liverpool’s former Anglican Bishop James Jones spoke about the Biblical basis of energy consumption and the tasks Christian ethics has in terms of taking care of creation. In his inspirational speech, the Bishop identified five practical steps (called as ‘five Ps’) through which Christians can reach a change in their relation to the created world: they shall start with Prayer and Personal changes in their lifestyle, followed by joint Parochial and Political actions, finally culminating in actions on a Planetary level.

During the next days, participants learned of the latest scientific status of climate change, held dialogues with government representatives, talked about the ethical dimensions of energy consumption and discussed possible ways of Church cooperation. In the afternoons the lecture topics were further elaborated in smaller working groups organized around themes such as theology and creation celebration, climate change, eco-management, lifestyle change and eco-awareness education.

The assembly was held in a truly ecumenical spirit: Lutheran, Catholic, Orthodox, Methodist and Reformed brothers and sisters met to address ecological threats ascending national and confessional boundaries. As the Assembly Statement reads: “Even if we come from different traditions and geographical areas we breathe the same air as all other people together with all God’s creatures on the planet Earth, and we partake of the precious gifts of air, soil and all natural resources.” With many important pieces of information shared, inspirational ideas presented and new connections made, the assembly concluded with a strengthened commitment to action: “We pray as a community of faith. We listen to each other and we share our fears but we also share our hopes; fears for the foreseeable impact of climate change and hopes for the possibility of change and a renewed world.”

You can read the Assembly Statement in full as well as the assembly’s letter to the European Union reflecting on the EU climate change policy for 2030 on the ECEN website: www.ecen.org.

 

Annamária Kótay-Nagy

Photos by: Vargosz 

Sources:

Feke György: Ezt a világot kell megőrizni. www.reformatus.hu/mutat/10079/

Koncz Hunor Attila: Mindent az Atya teremtéséért. www.reformatus.hu/mutat/10105/

Official website of the European Christian Environmental Network www.ecen.org

 

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We encourage you to read our  former GM intern Kearstin Bailey's blog about her time, spent in Hungary.