Enviro Prayer Diary

The purpose of this Prayer Diary is to provide subjects for your reflection and prayer as the Spirit moves you.

 

October 2021 Environmental Prayer Diary

Season of Creation


Archbishop Thabo Makgoba has made a renewed and urgent call for prayer in the time of the renewed record highs of the Covid-19 Pandemic
Daily noon-time prayer

God bless the world,
Give it wisdom at this time,
Grant us relief and release,
Be with those who are ill,
And bless the carers fighting this pandemic,
For Jesus Christ’s sake,
Amen



 

Friday

 

1

IUCN World Conservation Congress

The IUCN World Conservation Congress closed on 10 September in Marseille, France, and online – setting the nature conservation agenda for the next decade and beyond. The IUCN Congress urged governments to implement a nature-based recovery from the pandemic, investing at least 10% of global recovery funds in nature, and adopted a series of resolutions and commitments to urgently address the interlinked climate and biodiversity crises.

“The IUCN Congress acts as a unique, inclusive global environmental parliament, where governments, NGOs and Indigenous Peoples all have a voice. The decisions taken here in Marseille will drive action to tackle the biodiversity and climate crises in the crucial decade to come. Collectively, IUCN’s Members are sending a powerful message to Glasgow and Kunming: the time for fundamental change is now,” said Dr Bruno Oberle, IUCN Director General.

Resolutions democratically adopted by IUCN Members include a call to protect 80% of the Amazon by 2025, to halt deep-sea mining across the oceans, and for the global community to adopt an ambitious One Health approach. The active participation of Indigenous Peoples’ Organisation Members in IUCN’s democratic process led to a focus on indigenous peoples’ rights and role in conservation in many resolutions.

In the closing session of the IUCN Congress, the Union’s state, non-governmental and Indigenous Peoples’ organisation Members adopted the Marseille Manifesto, including the commitment to implement the first self-determined IUCN Global Indigenous Agenda.

Robert Grace (co-founder of M&C Saatchi Abel, South Africa) who attended the IUCN Conservation Congress commented   “…. tackling the climate emergency and the health of our planet isn’t going to come from some new vaccine to make it all better. It is going to require global and aligned effort, which will predominantly need to be driven by governments and business. But every person on the planet has a role to play. And we’re running out time. The overarching message from the congress was clear: we need to act now.

If the global pandemic has shown us anything, it is our ability to act swiftly when needed. When we commit, but one can’t help but feel that in South Africa we don’t yet have the levels of commitment that are needed to play our part in tackling the environmental crises. And as the continent’s biggest polluter (mostly as a result of our reliance on coal) we need serious commitment.”

Read the full article

It is clear that urgent prayer is needed:

  • For South African leadership develop the necessary plans and take the urgent action required to combat the climate and environmental emergencies.
  • That we all rethink everything we do against a climate emergency lens. The decisions we make will not just be assessed against an environmental scorecard, but against a moral one too …. and to simply ask: is this doing good, or doing damage?

 

Saturday

 

2

4-10 October – “Weed-buster” Week

The international “war” on invasive species has been a long and ongoing battle.  Many documents and treaties have been signed (and largely ignored) over the years.

The United Nations are once again trying their best by declaring the coming decade as the “Decade on Ecosystem Restoration”.  The UN Biodiversity Conference will be held in Kunming, China, from 11-24 October.  Once again, alien invader species will be high on the agenda.

Alien species that become invasive are considered to be the main direct driver of biodiversity loss across the globe. In addition, alien species have been estimated to cost global economies hundreds of billions of dollars each year.

Invasive alien species primarily affect biodiversity by preying on native species or competing with them for resources. In addition to their environmental impacts, invasive alien species can pose a threat to food security, human health and economic development. Increasing travel, trade, and tourism have facilitated the movement of species beyond natural bio-geographical barriers by creating new pathways for their introduction. With increasing globalisation, the occurrence of invasive alien species is likely to increase unless additional measures are taken.

It is clear that this “all-out-war” needs to be fought on many fronts and one of those fronts is our back gardens, pavements and open areas in our communities …. and it is really up to us as individuals, to all get involved. 

  • Check your gardens and surrounds for alien invader plants and take the appropriate action to remove it.
  • For identification purposes, visit www.invasives.org
  • Be a “WEED-BUSTER” that takes no prisoners!

 

Sunday

 

3

How wonderful, O Lord, are the works of your hands!
The heavens declare your glory; the arch of sky displays your handiwork.
In your love you have given us the power to behold the beauty of your world robed in all its splendour.
The sun and the stars, the valleys and hills, the rivers and lakes all disclose your presence.
The roaring breakers of the seas tell of your awesome might; the beasts of the field and the birds of the air speak of your wondrous will.
In your goodness you have made us able to hear the music of the world.
You are in our midst.
A divine voice sings through all creation.

Traditional Jewish prayer


 

Monday

 

4

World Animal Day (St Francis Day)
St Francis Day: Hope for our Common Home

St Francis, the patron saint of animals and biodiversity is celebrated on 4 October. Jesus himself had a very strong relationship with animals, dwelling amongst them as a sign of humility and connectedness with God’s creation. Jesus’ lifestyle challenges us to recognise our interconnectedness with all of creation. Unless we live in rural areas, many of us only connect with pets or companion animals, and yet we are part of the great community of all creation.

What about St Francis? He grew up quite rich and was known for partying and drinking. As a soldier he was captured and imprisoned and then God came to him in visions. One day as he prayed in a dilapidated church in San Damiano, at the edge of Assisi, he heard Christ say three times from the crucifix: “Francis, go repair my house, which, as you can see, is falling completely to ruin”. He thought it was the church building but later came to realise that it is the earth which is our home.

He chose to stand with the poor, the marginalised, the suffering, and with the creatures of the earth. Many Christians think that we are stewards of creation, but St Francis went a step further, he said that we are kin of the animals – he called them his sisters and brothers.  As a friend to the poor who was loved by God’s creatures, St. Francis invited all creation – animals, plants, natural forces to give honour and praise to the Lord. The poor man of Assisi gives us striking witness that when we are at peace with God, we are better able to devote ourselves to building up that peace with all creation which is inseparable from peace among all peoples.”

COVID19 has taught us that we are all inter-related – as we destroy the habitat of wild animals, we risk more ‘zoonotic’ diseases – diseases which jump from animals to humans. COVID, SARS, MERS, Mad cow disease, avian flu, swine flu – we are experiencing more and more diseases that mutate from animals to humans. It is not only the destruction of animal’s habitat that may put us at risk

We are reminded of Jeremiah’s words “I brought you into a plentiful land to eat its fruits and its good things. But when you entered you defiled my land and made my heritage an abomination.”

Come, let us restore our common home, which has fallen into ruin

So let’s

  • Be an active participant in the restoration of our Common Home
  • Celebrate and give thanks for animal life in all its form and acknowledge the diverse role that animals play in our lives – from being our companions, supporting and helping us, to bringing a sense of wonder to our lives.

World Animal Day is celebrated on the same day as St Francis day and its aim is to be a day of action to increase awareness and improve welfare standards of animals around the globe.


 

Tuesday

 

5

4 October – World Habitat Day

The theme for this year’s World Habitat Day is “Accelerating urban action for a carbon-free world.” The theme recognises that cities are responsible for some 70 percent of global carbon dioxide emissions with transport, buildings, energy, and waste management accounting for the bulk of urban greenhouse gas emissions.  

World Habitat Day encourages national, regional and local governments and organisations, communities, academic institutions, the private sector and all relevant stakeholders to explore how everyone can work together to create sustainable, carbon-neutral, inclusive cities and towns.

World Habitat Day will amplify the global Race to Zero Campaign and encourage local governments to develop actionable zero-carbon plans in the run up to the international climate change summit COP26 in November 2021.

Prayer:

God of all, help us to respond to your never-ending love by giving to us the strength to bear moral witness to the assault on your creation, the audacity to make global warming a major priority in the public square, and the courage to remain steadfast in this effort.


 

Wednesday

 

6

“Know that you can make a transformative difference to the future of all life on earth. You are not powerless. Your every action is suffused with meaning and you are part of the greatest chapter of human achievement in history.”

Christiana Figueres

Quoted by Archbishop Thabo speaking at the Presidents Climate Change Commission


 

Thursday

7

9 October – African Penguin Awareness Day

This special day is dedicated to raising awareness of the plight of the endangered African penguin.  The African penguin breeds at 27 colonies in South Africa and Namibia on islands and on the mainland.

The African penguin has seen a population reduction of 99% since the beginning of the 20th century, from over a million breeding pairs to less than 15 000 breeding pairs – a 99% DECLINE.  African penguins are sentinels of ecosystem health.  A decline in the population means decreases in the availability of food and ecosystem changes.

Food scarcity is the primary driver of the decline.  Seafood demand by humans is constantly increasing and the seafood industry competes with the African penguin for food, especially sardines and anchovies.  By reducing the consumption of meat, we reduce the amount of seafood caught for fishmeal, keeping anchovies in the sea for penguins to eat.

  • We can play our part in the survival of these enigmatic birds by choosing sustainably harvested seafood. Consult the SASSI list and look out for the blue MSC label on seafood products to make wise choices.
  • Reducing your carbon footprint helps to reduce the climate change impacts on African penguins.
  • Avoid single-use plastic and recycle the single-use plastic you use.Make a Penguin Promise which encourages people to promise to take action by making one change in their daily lives to become more environmentally responsible to help the environment.

 

Friday

 

8

Today Is New Creation Day

A wind flame from the ancient void
Swept wild across the groaning deep,
A voice like lightning struck the sea
To rouse her from her ancient sleep,
And stars exploded with the dawn
As green and glist’ning Earth was born:
Today, today is new creation day!

Deep birthquakes through the universe
Portend a world where children play,
As Earth in labour pain awaits
The cosmic liberation day,
For Christ erupted from the Earth
To make this day a day of birth:
Today, today is new creation day!

Like young birds trapped in caverns cold
We yearn to soar with endless flight;
In Christ we find our newborn selves
And freedom from the daily fight,
Affirming life as birth to be
At one with those in agony:
Today, today is new creation day!

With Christ we plunged beneath the grave
And rose like dawn created new,
Our exodus through tidal waves
Purged us for celebrating true,
All human dignity and worth
Through Christ our partner on this Earth:
Today, today is new creation day!

Words: © Norman Habel 1970


 

Saturday

 

9

World Migratory Bird Day

World Migratory Bird Day (WMBD) – celebrated in May and October annually – is an awareness-raising campaign highlighting the need for the conservation of migratory birds and their habitats. It aims to draw attention to the threats faced by migratory birds, their ecological importance, and the need for international cooperation to conserve them.

This year the theme of World Migratory Bird Day “Sing, Fly, Soar – Like a bird!” is inviting people from all over the world to appreciate migratory birds and reflect on the relationship with nature by listening to and watching birds. 

Despite the Covid-19 pandemic, birds have continued to fly and soar between their breeding and non-breeding sites and for many people around the world, bird song has been a source of comfort and joy during the pandemic, with a new level of awareness and appreciation of birds developing, particularly amongst the millions of people working from home during the pandemic.

The day is also an important moment to reflect on the global relationship between humans and nature, and to highlight a collective desire to do more to protect the environment, including birds, as the world emerges from the Covid-19 pandemic.

Long-distance migrating birds are faced with huge challenges and many species from the northern hemisphere are arriving later than normal, which can have disastrous impacts on bird populations as they miss important food peaks. Global climate change is likely to affect our local migrants as well.

Climate change will bring with it more extreme weather patterns such as heatwaves, cold snaps, severe droughts and storms which will affect the survival of young chicks and adults alike.  Migratory birds will be affected as such extremes will make the journey across continents much harder, resulting in fewer reaching their destinations.

Each of us need to consider how our lifestyles are affecting Climate Change which in turn is having a disastrous effect on our birdlife.

Pray:

  • Thank God both for the beauty and practical value of birds. Reflect on the birds that you see around you.
  • Pray that decisions to tackle climate change will take into account the needs of all of creation.

 

Sunday

 

10

God, Creator of our common home, your boundless love includes everyone. Open our hearts and minds to your generous will that we may proclaim Christ’s love and justice through words and actions. May we serve the needs of our neighbours within the Community of all Creation and may justice flow down like rivers.
Amen


 

Monday

 

11

UN Biodiversity Conference – COP15

Due to the Covid Pandemic, the UN Biodiversity Conference, initially scheduled to take place in 2020, has been postponed three times and is now scheduled to take place in two segments. The first part of the meetings will take place virtually from 11 to 15 October 2021, with the second part reconvening in face-to-face meetings in Kunming, China from 25 April to 8 May 2022.

The executive briefing to be held in October, will provide the latest information on the preparations for the Conference, the status of negotiations and discussions on the Post-2020 Biodiversity framework. The Secretariat remains committed to ensuring the successful outcomes of COP-15.

Hundreds of biodiversity experts and government ministers are expected to negotiate new targets on biodiversity at a UN meeting in the Chinese city of Kunming. The aim of the accord, “a Paris agreement for nature”, is to stop and reverse rampant biodiversity loss around the world. The Conference will provide the global community with further opportunities to galvanise efforts at all levels to build a better future in harmony with nature.

Biological Diversity Conference of the Parties – COP15 – includes meetings of parties to three international agreements: the CBD (Convention on Biological Diversity) and two subsidiary protocols, namely the Cartagena Protocol on biosafety (with 172 parties) and the Nagoya Protocol on Access to Genetic Resources and the Fair and Equitable Benefit-Sharing (123 parties).

The recently published Fifth Global Biodiversity Outlook warned of a bleak future for biodiversity and discussions at this Conference will be crucial.  Ongoing discussions about the post-2020 global biodiversity framework, to be agreed in Kunming, are already taking place between CBD Parties and a range of stakeholders.

It will be essential that integrated approach be taken to guarantee that action is taken to employ the essential tools needed to reverse biodiversity loss and its impact on ecosystems, species and people.  Key actions to support this approach include protecting critical habitats, improving water quality, controlling invasive species and safeguarding connectivity will be discussed and action plans initiated if we are to realise the vision agreed by world governments for 2050, ‘Living in Harmony with Nature’.

Humanity at a crossroads and needs to draw on the lessons learned during the first two decades of this century to clarify the transitions needed if we are to realise the vision agreed by world governments for 2050, ‘Living in Harmony with Nature’

Pray:

  • That the Holy Spirit be mightily present at this Conference
  • That continuing discussions between all parties will be fruitful and transparent
  • That agreements will be reached regarding urgent action to be taken to reverse biodiversity loss and protect critical habitats
  • That all participants and stakeholders would be sincere in their deliberations

 

Tuesday

 

12

2nd Week in October National Marine Week

We have all colours of “economies” – the one most often spoken about is the “Green Economy” which tends to focus on the environment, sectors of energy, transport, agriculture and forestry.  One colour economy that is seldom spoken about is that of the “Blue Economy”.  The blue economy focuses on marine and coastal resources. Both Green and Blue economies incorporate strategies to address climate mitigation and adaptation.

The idea of the “blue economy” was conceived at the Rio+20 United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development, held in Rio de Janeiro in June 2012.

According to the World Bank, the ‘Blue Economy’ is defined as the “sustainable use of ocean resources for economic growth, improved livelihoods, and jobs while preserving the health of ocean ecosystem.” European Commission defines it as “All economic activities related to oceans, seas and coasts.”

This emerging concept encourages better stewardship of our ocean or ‘blue’ resources. … Similar to the ‘Green Economy’, the blue economy model aims for improvement of human wellbeing and social equity, while significantly reducing environmental risks and ecological scarcities.  It aims to prioritise the sustainable use of ocean resources for economic growth, livelihoods and jobs, and ocean ecosystem health through stakeholder participation.  It also provides SIDS (Small Island Developing States) and coastal LDCs (Least Developed Countries) with a basis to pursue a low-carbon and resource-efficient path to economic growth and development designed to enhance livelihoods for the poor, create employment opportunities, and reduce poverty.

In addition to its crucial role for regulating the climate and weather, the ocean is vital to the world’s economy, with more than 90% of trade using sea routes and as a source of jobs for millions of people.

Our oceans are bearing the brunt of climate change as well as human induced pollution and degradation, and it was with this in mine that the United Nations has declared this decade as the Decade of Ocean Science for Sustainable Development (2021-2030).  The marine realm is the largest component of Earth’s systems that stabilises climate and support life on Earth and human well-being.  However, much of the ocean is now seriously degraded, with changes and losses in the structure, function and benefits from marine systems.  In addition, the impact of multiple stressors on the ocean is projected to increase as the human population grows towards and expected 9billion by 2050.

Whilst we are not all scientists, we are all citizens of Planet Earth, and each and every one can contribute to the health of our valuable oceans by living a sustainable lifestyle.  Our challenge is to do just that! …. not only during National Marine Week, but every day of our lives.

Prayerfully commit to a lifestyle change


 

Wednesday

 

13

“Whenever we narrow religious life to our own concerns, then we overlook the prophetic calling of the Church to implore God and invoke the divine Spirit for the renewal of the whole polluted cosmos. For, the entire world is the space within which this transformation is enacted. When we are transformed by divine grace, then we discern the injustice in which we are participants; but then we will also labour to share the resources of our planet; then, we realise that eco-justice is paramount — not simply for a better life, but for our very survival.”

His All-Holiness Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew


 

Thursday

 

14


 

Friday

 

15

17 October – National Garden Day

Most of the year we plant, water, weed and mulch – work!  This Sunday is National Garden Day, so that you can take the time to reap the rewards of your labour. No matter how big or small your garden is – whether you have rolling lawns or simple window box displays – Garden Day is all about downing tools and celebrating the fruits of your labour.  It’s all about taking a moment to celebrate the greenery that brings you joy.

  • So, this Sunday, plan to ……
  • Enjoy a cuppa and cookies in the garden …
  • Host a plant swap.
  • Have a garden scavenger hunt. (involve the kids!)
  • Enjoy dinner outside in the garden with each dish featuring a home-grown ingredient.
  • Meditate and enjoy a reflection time.
  • Make seed bombs with the kids.

So, let’s celebrate God’s Creation in our gardens and enjoy!


 

Saturday

 

16

World Food Day

Theme for 2021 – “The future of food is in our hands – Better production, better nutrition, a better environment and a better life

An agri-food system is a complex term that may seem far from your reality, but do you know our lives depend on them? Every time you eat, you participate in the system. The food we choose and the way we produce, prepare, cook and store it make us an integral and active part of the way in which an agri-food system works. 

A sustainable agri-food system is one in which a variety of sufficient, nutritious and safe foods is available at an affordable price to everyone, and nobody is hungry or suffers from any form of malnutrition. The shelves are stocked at the local market or food store, but less food is wasted and the food supply chain is more resilient to shocks such as extreme weather, price spikes or pandemics, all while limiting, rather than worsening, environmental degradation or climate change. In fact, sustainable agri-food systems deliver food security and nutrition for all, without compromising the economic, social and environmental bases, for generations to come. They lead to better production, better nutrition, a better environment and a better life for all. 

Learn from Nature

Nature works tirelessly on our behalf providing us with our essential needs – water, food, clean air, medicine, and materials for shelter. But the way we produce, consume and waste food is putting unnecessary pressure on natural resources, the environment and climate. It’s time for us to learn from nature and work with it, not against it.

Agri-food systems are like ecosystems in that everything is connected but we need to make choices and actions that help them develop a better synergy. People from all walks of life, their livelihoods, our health and that of our planet need nurturing to thrive.

Trees clean our air and cool our cities, but they also work as a community. They communicate with their roots and share resources, like nutrients for food. As a global community, we each have a role to play in the transformation of agri-food systems – from governments to private companies, farmers, civil society, academia, and all individuals, including youth! Together we can empower each and every element of our agri-food systems to collaborate more fairly, sustainably and inclusively from farm to table, and beyond.

We can all learn from nature by acting with nature.

Action:

  • Organise food parcels for distribution to those in need.
  • Take a critical look at your own food consumption – is it sustainable and is there wastage?

 

Sunday

 

17

Sustaining God
In November, at great cost and with great urgency the leaders of our species and those with concern for their common home will gather in Glasgow for COP26,
we ask for your welcoming, affirming presence in the many layers of gathering which are part of that event.
Give to those who make decisions a freedom from the burdens of a past  which have pushed us to this cliff-edge.
Give a dawning vision of your offer of healing greater than the blocked horizon of what it might cost
Argue and wrestle with the powers and principalities of expediency and despair
Open every human ear to the voices of the Earth, and of sisters, brothers, siblings who already suffer sharply
Save us from the despair of complacency and the toxic temptation when the visitors have departed to embrace ‘business as usual’ for that ‘normal’ has gone
And our only future will be in wakefulness: trust, hope, yes, joy
as we live out your love for the Earth we are part of through your Word made Flesh Jesus, our Friend.
Hallelujah Anyway!
AMEN


 

Monday

 

18

17 October – International Day for the Eradication of Poverty 

Through Resolution 47/196 adopted on 22 December 1992, the United Nations General Assembly declared 17 October as the International Day for the Eradication of Poverty and invites all countries to devote the Day to presenting and promoting, as appropriate in the national context, concrete activities with regard to the eradication of poverty and destitution.

This was taken a step further when the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development were adopted by world leaders in September 2015 at an historic UN Summit and officially came into force in January 2016.  – Goal 1: “End poverty in all its forms everywhere”

Extreme poverty rates have been cut by more than half since 1990. While this is a remarkable achievement, one in five people in developing regions still live on less than $1.25 a day, and there are millions more who make little more than this daily amount, plus many people risk slipping back into poverty.

Poverty is more than the lack of income and resources to ensure a sustainable livelihood. Its manifestations include hunger and malnutrition, limited access to education and other basic services, social discrimination and exclusion as well as the lack of participation in decision-making. Economic growth must be inclusive to provide sustainable jobs and promote equality.

Prayerfully consider your own actions regarding this issue


 

Tuesday

 

19

May the waters flow peacefully;
May the herbs and plants grow peacefully;
May all the divine powers bring unto us peace.
May the rain come down in the proper time,
May the earth yield plenty of corn,
May the country be free from war.
The supreme Lord is peace.

Hindu Prayer


 

Wednesday

 

20


 

Thursday

 

21

“The universe is composed of subjects to be communed with, not objects to be exploited. Everything has its own voice. Thunder and lightning and stars and planets, flowers, birds, animals, trees, – all these have voices, and they constitute a community of existence that is profoundly related.”

Thomas Berry


 

Friday

 

22

Psalm 1 (The Message)

How well God must like you –
    you don’t walk in the ruts of those blind-as-bats,
    you don’t stand with the good-for-nothings,
    you don’t take your seat among the know-it-alls.

2-3 Instead you thrill to God’s Word,
    you chew on Scripture day and night.
You’re a tree replanted in Eden,
    bearing fresh fruit every month,
Never dropping a leaf,
    always in blossom.

4-5 You’re not at all like the wicked,
    who are mere windblown dust—
Without defence in court,
    unfit company for innocent people.

God charts the road you take.
The road they take leads to nowhere.


 

Saturday

 

23

God’s Dream for Creation

In times of Disorder and deconstruction, we long for Reorder on a personal level – to be made new and whole again. But the Scriptures tell us that restoration will also happen on a communal, planetary, and even universal level! Jim Antal, a climate justice leader with the United Church of Christ, reminds us of our ability and responsibility to participate with God in the renewal and reordering of the earth.

“How can you know all these facts [about climate change] and still have hope?” For me, faith and hope are rooted in the conviction that, regardless of how bad things may be, a new story is waiting to take hold – something we have not yet seen or felt or experienced. . . . God is calling us – as individuals and congregations – to work with God and others to champion that new story.

For the vast majority in our society, that new story remains unseen. Wresting our future from the grip of fossil fuel seems impossible – our addiction is too strong, affordable options are too few, and the powers that defend the status quo are mighty, indeed. . . . We cannot be freed by chipping away at this millstone. We must begin to live into a new story by changing the human prospect [of destruction] and restoring creation’s viability.

That’s what the Water Protectors of Standing Rock have done. Their courageous, unflinching discipline inspired thousands to join them and millions to imagine with them the new world that is waiting to be born. They prepared themselves through prayer and ritual to face down sheriffs, paramilitary contractors, attack dogs, rubber bullets, pepper spray, and high-pressure water cannons in subzero temperatures. They were fuelled by hope, hope for a revolution rooted in love – love for God’s great gift of creation. . . .

We can’t accept God’s invitation to help create a new story unless we are willing to take action. We become partners with God when we act in unfamiliar, untested ways. Those new actions will be guided by a preferred future that embraces:

  • resilience in place of growth
  • collaboration in place of consumption
  • wisdom in place of progress
  • balance in place of addiction
  • moderation in place of excess
  • vision in place of convenience
  • accountability in place of disregard
  • self-giving love in place of self-centred fear . . .

As broken-hearted as God must be over what we have done to the gift of creation, God still has a dream. . . . God dreams that humans seek spiritual rather than material progress. God’s dream envisions a just world at peace because gratitude has dissolved anxiety and generosity has eclipsed greed. God dreams of a time when love and mutual respect will bind humanity together, and the profound beauty of creation will be treasured. Let us embrace God’s dream as our own. Suddenly, the horizon of our hope comes nearer. As we live into God’s dream, we will rediscover who we truly are and all of creation will be singing.

From Richard Rohr’s daily meditations
www.cac.org  


 

Sunday

 

24

Dear God, Source of who we are, and everything we are to do.
In these moments, focus anew for us that in these very difficult times in our world, you call us more than ever to be an influence for all that is right and good.
To that end, create in us the image of the poet: “Drop a stone into the water; In a moment it is gone, But there are a thousand ripples circling on and on and on.”
God, we need regular help choosing the stones we drop to make the ripples.
Right now, help each of us identify just one stone Jesus would want each of us to drop today.
Be it love, forgiveness, peace, justice, joy, unselfishness, patience, or understanding. 
Lord, give each of us the courage and humility to drop that stone into the waters of today’s realities so that those ripples might go on and on and on to colleagues, to family, to other friends, to enemies, to strangers, to those suffering the results of coronavirus, racial injustice, and economic hardship, to your Creation, to the whole world … Our Common Home 

Dear God, hear the prayer of each of us who is willing to say, “Let it begin with me.”
Amen.


 

Monday

 

25


 

Tuesday

 

26

“I’ve mostly given up being either optimistic or pessimistic. Our odds of success are not incredibly good, but I wake up every day asking what can I do to change the odds a little? And it’s not impossible, the task that we have ahead. We’re not going to stop global warming but slowing it to the point that we can cope with it remains within the realms of possibility

“Fun” is not quite the right word, but there is something deeply satisfying about trying. It’s the biggest challenge that humans have ever got to take part in. It’s exciting to be part of that. To be doing something that crucial is a great honour.”

Bill McKibben


 

Wednesday

 

27

Encyclical Letter Fratelli Tutti of Pope Francis on the Fraternity and Social Friendship

Pandemics and Other Calamities in History

36.              Unless we recover the shared passion to create a community of belonging and solidarity worthy of our time, our energy and our resources, the global illusion that misled us will collapse and leave many in the grip of anguish and emptiness. Nor should we naively refuse to recognise that “obsession with a consumerist lifestyle, above all when few people are capable of maintaining it, can only lead to violence and mutual destruction”.[35] The notion of “every man for himself” will rapidly degenerate into a free-for-all that would prove worse than any pandemic.

Prayerfully consider how this is affecting our own Country


 

Thursday

 

28


 

Friday

 

29

The be-attitudes

Blessed are those who use low energy light bulbs
for theirs is the light of God’s wisdom.

Blessed are those who travel by train
for their lives are on God’s track.

Blessed are those who chose a car with low fuel
consumption
for they are in God’s fast lane.

Blessed are those who insulate their homes
for theirs is the warmth of God’s love.

Blessed are you when you put yourselves out
to use energy from renewable sources,
for you have kindled the flame of the future.

John Polhill


 

Saturday

 

30

COP26 – Glasgow, Scotland – Climate Change Conference

After being postponed from November 2020 due to the coronavirus pandemic, the 26th UN Climate Change Conference of the Parties (COP26) is scheduled to take place in Glasgow, Scotland, from 31 October–12 November 2021.  The COP26 summit will bring parties together to accelerate action towards the goals of the Paris Agreement and the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change.

We are already experiencing the effects of the climate crisis – but people living in poverty are being hit first and worst. Already, more people are going hungry, extreme weather events are becoming more frequent and severe, and communities are being displaced.  Climate change is not only an environmental issue. Climate change is a poverty issue; a hunger issue; issue of inequality and injustice.  It’s a human issue.

The latest science from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) indicates that more urgent and rapid reductions in emissions are required by all countries. The UNFCCC (United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change) has found that the current global effort is not sufficient to avoid dangerous climate change, and all countries agree that more needs to be done, faster

South Africa’s Nationally Determined Contribution (NDC) is “premised on the adoption of a comprehensive, ambitious, fair, effective and binding multilateral rules-based agreement under the UNFCCC at the 21st conference of the Parties (COP21)”.  It also highlights that equity, economic and social development and poverty eradication are South Africa’s top priorities.  However, CAT (Climate Action Tracker – an independent scientific analysis produced by two research organisations tracking climate action) rates South Africa’s 2030 NDC target as “Highly insufficient” when compared with its fair-share* contribution to climate action. The “Highly insufficient” rating indicates that fair share target in 2030 leads to rising, rather than falling, emissions and is not at all consistent with the Paris Agreement’s 1.5°C temperature limit. If all countries were to follow South Africa’s approach, warming could reach over 3°C and up to 4°.

South Africa remains committed to addressing climate change based on science, equity and sustainable development. Similarly, the present draft updated NDC seeks to balance the three structural components of mitigation, adaptation and means of implementation/support requirements – however, it is clear that not enough is being done fast enough to make a meaningful difference.

(*Climate fair share is a method that enables us to find out what climate action should be taken, based on: 1. The remaining carbon budget. 2. The total amount of greenhouse gases that may yet be emitted, globally, before we are most at risk of irreversible and accelerated change.)

Pray:

  • That this crucial COP26 will go ahead as planned – whether in-person or virtual
  • For safety for the South African Delegation attending during this uncertain Pandemic
  • Pray that the South African Delegation will be inspired and return from the Conference with renewed determination to improve the Country’s Nationally Determined Contribution and engage with all stakeholders to ensure adherence to the Paris Agreement.
  • For the gap between rhetoric and action – we pray for wisdom for world leaders
  • For co-operation between Countries
  • For rich countries to agree to support developing countries financially to mitigate carbon emission and also their adaptation strategies.
  • That delicate issues be handled with diplomacy, justice, transparency and understanding
  • That significant Agreements be achieved
  • That all countries would adhere to their undertakings and commitments.

Prayer for COP26

Father, we pray for you to raise up a generation of leaders with the courage to take responsibility for our changing climate, and the part we have played in it. We intercede for our politicians and leaders as they will gather at COP26 in Scotland. Move them to act in the best interests of all nations today, and all peoples in the future, in order to avoid catastrophic changes

We ask You to fill the hearts of all who lead rich nations. Give them your mercy and compassion on poor countries already suffering the effects of a changing climate. Just as they have been moved to cancel debt in the past, encourage them also to release funds so that poor communities can adapt to the effects of climate change, and develop cleanly. And inspire us, Mighty God, to amend our lives for the sake of your Earth, your climate, your people. All: Lord, in your mercy, lead our leaders and us to truth and transformation

Lord, in your mercy, lead our leaders and us to truth and transformation.

(Adapted from The Sanctuary Centre – climate change prayer – Season of Creation 2021)


 

Sunday

 

31

World Cities Day 

World Cities Day was established in 2013 by the United Nations General Assembly in its resolution A/RES/68/239. The first World Cities Day was held in October 2014.

World Cities Day aims to promote the international community’s interest in global urbanisation, push forward cooperation among countries in meeting opportunities and addressing challenges of urbanisation, and contributing to sustainable urban development around the world. The observance day ties in with Sustainable Development Goal 11, to make cities “inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable”.

The general theme of World Cities Day is Better City, Better Life, while each year a different sub-theme and a location for its global observance is selected, to either promote successes of urbanisation, or address specific challenges resulting from urbanisation.

The 2021 theme is Adapting Cities for Climate Resilience. Cities worldwide are increasingly suffering the effects of climate-related disasters, such as floods, droughts, sea level rise, heatwaves, landslides and storms.  At least 130 port cities with over one million inhabitants are expected to be affected by coastal flooding and the one billion people in urban informal settlements are particularly at risk.

Creating more sustainable, climate-resilient societies involves addressing a range of issues including poverty reduction, ensuring basic services livelihoods, the provision of accessible, affordable and adequate housing, investing in infrastructure, upgrading informal settlements and managing ecosystems. Successful, well-governed cities greatly reduce climate-related risks for their populations.

Prayerfully consider your response to this issue.


2021 Enviro Prayer Diaries in PDF

2020 Enviro Prayer Diaries in PDF

2019 Enviro Prayer Diaries in PDF

2018 Enviro Prayer Diaries in PDF

2017 Enviro Prayer Diaries in PDF

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