For Love of the World

Rebecca Newland and Linda Chapman

Scripture confirms that humanity and the natural world are inextricably linked. Caring for the environment is part of God's call and purpose for human beings. Aside from the thousands of species that will become extinct over the coming decades because of climate change, it is the poor who suffer the most. It seems clear that we need to change our behaviour.

Yet nothing much seems to have changed. Compared with the size of the climate change crisis there has been a very limited amount of action and almost no consensus. Much talk, lots of hand wringing, but little change.

What is the Christian response? What must we do as followers of Christ the Lord?

The first step is repentance. Repentance is turning to God, rebuilding of a relationship. It's also about the rebuilding of our relationship with God's beautiful and wondrous earth. After true repentance comes changed behaviour.

These studies are neither about the science of climate change, nor a policy debate about how to tackle the problem, nor a list of suggestions about how we as individuals may reduce our carbon footprint. They are about our relationship to God and to the earth—the world—that God loves. In the end, what ever we do, whatever happens, we must be able to say that we faced this problem, that we were indeed the priesthood of all believers who followed Christ to the cross and beyond. We must be able to say that we loved the world just as God in Christ Jesus loved us—or we at least did our very best.

We hope you find these studies assist you in discerning your response, your next steps, in the great journey of following our Lord.

Each study is focused on the gospel set for that Sunday in Lent and considers a pattern, a practice and discipline. There are questions to consider individually and as a group. At the back of the study is a summary of the climate change issue taken from an Australian Academy of Science publication, August 2010.

The Reverend Rebecca Newland is Rector of St Philip's Anglican Parish in O'Connor, ACT.
The Reverend Linda Chapman is Rector of the Anglican Parish of Moruya, NSW

The Earth


Declaration The Ash Wednesday Declaration,
Climate change and the purposes of God
,
supported by church leaders including the Archbishop of Canterbury, Archbishop Desmond Tutu and Orthodox Metropolitan Kallistos.

Download the studies

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Complete document | Download pdf (large file: 441 kb) |

Cover page | Download pdf |

Introduction — Rebecca Newland | Download pdf |

Session 1: "Repent and Believe the Good News" (Mk 1:15) — Rebecca Newland | Download pdf |

Session 2: "Let them deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me" (Mk 8:34) — Rebecca Newland | Download pdf |

Session 3: "Stop Making my Father's House a Marketplace" (Jn 2:15) — Linda Chapman | Download pdf |

Session 4: "For God so Loved the World” (Jn 2:15) — Linda Chapman | Download pdf |

Session 5: "Whoever Serves me the Father will Honour" (Jn 12.26) — Rebecca Newland | Download pdf |

Summary of the Science of Climate Change | Download pdf |