Last week I was sent an email reminding me that not only is this the Time for Creation but it is also the International Year of Biodiversity. I am embarrassed to say that I did not know. But now that I have remedied my error I thought that it was important to provide all of us with resources to celebrate and participate in this. And there are some wonderful resources out there that we need to be aware of. Much of the emphasis is on praying for Africa so I wanted to start with this reminder of the wonderful biodiversity of Africa
As 2010 is the International Year of Biodiversity we especially encourage organizing prayers around this theme. At the same time, churches are encouraged to pray for and with people in Africa, where biodiversity and human welfare are threatened alike by climate change. Click here for suggested prayers.
African church leaders that met under the auspices of the All Africa Conference of Churches in Nairobi, Kenya, in June 2008 affirmed the need to take action in a public statement. “The current climate crisis is primarily spiritual and ethical with serious political, economic and justice implications,” the church leaders wrote. “As human beings we have failed to appreciate the intrinsic worth of ourselves, other humans, other species and future generations.”
The statement, along with comparable declarations by other ecumenical organizations and original articles on climate change and care for creation, is chronicled in the July 2010 issue of the Ecumenical Review. The issue is dedicated to the memory of the South African theologian Steve de Gruchy, who wrote an article on water and sanitation from a Christian perspective for the journal, shortly before his death in February 2010.
Africa has rich and varied biological resources forming the continent’s natural wealth on which its social and economic systems are based. These resources are also of global importance, for the world’s climate and for the development of agriculture, industrial activities, pharmaceutical production, construction and tourism, to name but a few of the most important areas.
Africa is home to some one quarter of the world’s 4,700 mammal species, including 79 species of antelope. (…) Eight of the world’s 34 biodiversity hotspots are in Africa.
UNEP: The state of biodiversity in Africa (Download the full report as pdf, 505 KB)
- Prayers from and for Africa (in English, French, German and Spanish)
- Outline of a prayer service prepared by members of the Ecumenical Centre worship committee (in English and German).
- Exegetical and liturgical resources collected by the Network of Earthkeeping Christian Communities in South Africa (in English and Afrikaans)
- Prayers, blessings and meditations collected by the European Christian Environmental Network (in a variety of languages). See also there dossier for 2010
- Collection of liturgies and prayers by the Green Church Project (in English and French)
- Creation Flourishing – a time for celebration and care: a collection of prayers, blessings, hymns, biodiversity FAQs and other study material by Churches Together in Britain and Ireland (in English with Irish and Welsh translations)
Readings, sermons, songs and other liturgical resources are also available on the Australian website Season of Creation.