Would Jesus use a keep cup? How Christians can care for creation
Some of our amazing TEAR supporters tell us how their faith motivates them to care about our planet – and how they live this out in everyday life!
Simeon Hanscamp, Melbourne
Simeon runs Spoke and Spade, an urban micro farm
When I create something I often have a strong sense of connection and love for it. A tentative guess... God’s the same! Nature is life and sustains a whole lot of life, and God’s a pretty big fan of life. So I do my best to care for it.
In practice of sustainability, I pursue five major individual actions:
- To critically engage with issues around creation care
- To have one less child than I’d like to
- To eat a plant-based diet
- To live (mostly) car free.
- To avoid air travel. When I do fly, I have also offset emissions through clean energy projects.
On the side for fun, I grow food in my market garden, support green electricity and buy new things from op-shops!
Karen Moseley, Adelaide
Karen lives with her family in the Adelaide Hills where they love to grow, eat and preserve their own produce. She is an active member of her local Baptist Church and Hills homeschool community.
We are surrounded by beauty wherever we look: God is indeed a creator God and has lovingly invited us to participate in caring for his creation. Both a gift and a responsibility, this care is integral to faith, as it is this magnificient world that sustains our very lives. Without respect and balance God’s creation suffers, and this includes humanity (for which He gave His very life).
Some of the ways I take action to care for creation:
- I’m part of a social justice home group, and as a group we have reflected about our lifestyles, studied God’s biblical call to justice and written to our local member.
- As a family we aim to eat local in-season produce, reduce our consumption of resources (re-use and recycle, shop at op shops, use solar power and solar hot water) and walk or carpool where possible.
- Renew Our World - This year I started collecting signatures for the Renew Our World Climate Action Petition. This tells our Government that Australians want to see change and that we care about the impact our choices are having on our poorer brothers and sisters across the globe.
Toby Brunckhorst, Toowoomba, QLD
Toby is a final year medical student who loves rock climbing and bush walking.
God has given us responsibility for his creation and I think we are commanded to enjoy seeing his glory reflected in it ("The heavens declare the glory of God, and the sky above proclaims his handiwork"). The degree to which we care for the world and live sustainable has a profound impact on other people's lives. So I think caring for creation is part of caring for the poor and marginalised as well.
How I take action:
- Through simple things - riding my bike to uni/work when I can, turning off lights and recycling.
- Advocacy - This year, I collected signatures for the Renew Our World Climate Action Petition. Signing the petition shows governments that we care about our future and the future of people all over the world. It shows that concern about climate change is not restricted to one group, one electorate or one political persuasion.
Geoff Bice, Perth
Geoff is a Social Justice Consultant for the Uniting Church in Western Australia and involved in the Lockridge Community Garden
I care for creation because I am part of it! We are all entwined in the whole complex system. Love for neighbour requires the care of our common home on which we all depend. It does not fit the gospel of radical inclusion to recklessly or negligently participate in the damage of what is an inherently beautiful reflection of the divine. In fact, more than participation, we are profiting in lifestyle, wealth and convenience at the expense of species, ecosystems, the poor and future generations. Jesus ain’t into that.
I live this out through:
- Personal acts like using my re-useable mug and catching public transport
- Making sure our politicians know that Christians want strong action on climate change. Whenever we hear from our partner churches in the Pacific they always remind us to do what we can to address climate change as they are already experiencing its negative impacts. It is these stories I try to tell to our politicians when I get the opportunity to meet them.
Carrie Philpott, Melbourne
Carrie is a social worker, spiritual director and founder of Our Kitchen Table, a mother’s group with a purpose.
Faith in Jesus compels me to care for God's creation, because it is simply the good and right thing to do. It is about striving to live in right relationship with God, with my neighbour and myself; seeking to cause no harm and to show love.
I’m responding to the issue through:
- Personal action - Buying ethically and secondhand, reducing waste, eating less meat, choosing ethical superannuation and electricity.
- Social action - Joining with others who are also to live more consciously with a heart for the planet and its people.
- Political action – I’ve met with MPs, walked in protest marches to support a tax on carbon, written letters and postcards and attended vigils.
Cornford family, Bendigo, Victoria
Jonathan and Kim Cornford are founders of Manna Gum, a ministry in good news economics.
God loves creation and he gave us the foundational vocation to care for it (Gen 2:15); Jesus came to reconcile all of creation back to God (2 Cor 5:19; Col 1:20) and instructed us to work and pray that his will be done on earth as in heaven. Why does our faith compel us to care for creation? Love.
For us the key practices are:
- Sustainable consumption (no take-away coffee cups!)
- Getting serious about waste: aiming for 1 shopping bag of landfill per week.
- Growing food
- Caring for a local patch of bushland.
TEAR is running the Live On One Planet lifestyle challenge again this year from October 30 - November 3.
Spend five days living on one tap, one powerpoint or one recipe and raise money for TEAR projects.
Sign up here for all the information when it launches!