How do we ‘walk the talk’ on climate justice? We have to change

A webinar series promoted by the World Council of Churches (WCC) focusing on good practices of ecological justice and economy of life was closed on 18 August with reflections and examples of how churches worldwide are promoting renewable energy and climate protection.

Speakers during the webinar stressed that ‘walking the talk’ on climate justice demands significant changes in the way our churches operate and use energy, in how we conduct our worships and gatherings, and more.

Jessica Morthorpe, founder and director of the Five Leaf Eco-awards, an ecumenical environmental awards programme for churches in Australia, shared that the program assists, inspires and rewards faith communities for taking environmental action and becoming more sustainable in response to God’s call to care for creation.

“With this non-competitive initiative we encourage churches to complete a range of holistic action in five different areas: buildings, worship, congregation, outreach, and community leadership,” said Morthorpe.

Joining the awards connects churches with a wider network of churches from a range of denominations around the country who are taking action for God’s creation.

They have taken all sorts of actions for the environment such as crosses made of solar panels, restoring and replanting watercourses next to their church, leading mud brick shed-building workshops or setting up community gardens.

Other speakers of the fourth webinar included: Chris Lambourne, from St Andrews Presbyterian Church, New Zealand; Frances Namoumou, from the Pacific Conference of Churches, Fiji; and Dr Mathew Koshy, head of the Ecological Department of the Church of South India Synod. The online event was moderated Rev. Henrik Grape, WCC senior advisor on care for creation, sustainability and climate justice, and Annalisse Eclipse, WCC intern for the Economic and Ecological Justice project.

Titled “Churches on the Road to an Economy of Life and Ecological Justice” the webinar series featured concrete examples of churches and faith communities engaged in efforts for transforming their local context.

The activities were inspired by the WCC’s “Roadmap for Congregations, Communities and Churches for an Economy of Life and Ecological Justice,” a resource rooted to the congregational level of churches’ engagement in ecological and economic justice.

The webinar series brought together diverse experts and practitioners in areas such as land, water, and food sovereignty; churches as alternative economic actors and spaces; and sustainable consumption.