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Johannesburg - What does it mean for us?

The World Summit on Sustainable Development is now over. I think there were three key weaknesses in the Summit:

• Western nations made little attempt to moderate their voracious appetites for natural resources. Sustainable development means not only a fair deal for the poor, but self-restraint for the rich. By adopting an apparently altruistic focus on improving the lot of the poor, the rich were able to absolve themselves of already using more resources than the earth can regenerate.

• Future generations had no voice. In making a better life for those alive today, the Summit has risked making it worse for our children. Christians are used to asking the question ‘Who is my neighbour?’ But how many of us are yet aware that we owe love and solidarity to those who are not yet even conceived?

• Climate change threatens to undo the advances of development. As croplands turn to desert and livelihoods are washed away by floods, the economies of both rich and poor will suffer.

I believe that the failure of world governments to act on climate change moves the onus onto us, as individuals and congregations to do what is necessary to preserve the created order. We just can't leave it to the politicians any more - it's too important for that! There is a saying "where the people lead the leaders will follow". Let's start leading them by living lives that don't harm others, including those coming after us.

October Top Tip: Use your LOAF when you buy food for harvest - Locally produced, Organically grown, Animal friendly or Fair Trade. Market research will inform our leaders that you think it's important to look after the world.

by Ruth Jarman,


Earth Summit Prayer for Creation Care

C reating  God, you have given us a vision of a new heaven and a new earth…
R esources   conserved
E arth  tended
A tmosphere  cleansed
T rees  planted
I njustice  ended
O ceans  teeming
N ations  at peace

C reator,  Redeemer, Sustainer
A lert  nations, enthuse churches,
R eceive  our commitment and so entwine our lives with Your purpose.
E arth  and heaven will then sing of your glory. Amen.



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