Press Release No:13/22
21 June 2022
Bringing together over a hundred participants from Europe and beyond, the virtual Assembly of the European Christian Environmental Network (ECEN) highlighted diverse Christian perspectives in addressing contemporary challenges posed by environmental degradation.
The Assembly, held from 13 to 15 June 2022 under the title “Challenges we are living in”, focused on challenges faced by communities on the way to a sustainable future, including issues related to energy security, the European Green Deal, and climate vulnerability from the church perspective.
“Our way of looking at nature and creation must change,” said Archbishop K. G. Hammar of the Church of Sweden, a keynote speaker. “We must let God transform our eyes so that we see what God sees when He looks upon His creation, and not with the eyes of greed or dominion.”
“Ecology has taught us that humans are not above everything else. We are part of everything and heavily dependent on the web of life, where we dwell. Theology must be metamorphosis theology. All theology must be kenosis theology and eco-theology,” added Archbishop Hammar.
Dr Ruth Valerio, Global Advocacy and Influencing Director at Tearfund, emphasised that hope is an integral part of all actions needed to save our common future. She underlined the links between worship, work, and witness, which formulate a holistic response to environmental challenges.
Members of European Parliament Sirpa Pietikainen from Finland and Martin Hojsík from Slovakia stressed that “there is no more time for mere discussion.” “We know what is the challenge, we have resources, we have still some time – let’s do what is needed.” They stressed that as “societies and communities we must admit that we have reached the limits of what the planet can bear. We have lost our humility. However, we still have solutions in our hands.”
The panel also explored topics such as ecological challenges, learning from the pandemic, energy security and growing vulnerability to climate change, the European Green Deal and the role of churches, advocacy and dialogue of churches with politics, networking and cooperation, as well as the environment, climate justice, and peace.
Finally the Assembly explored the role of care for creation and ecological justice in the upcoming Assembly of the World Council of Churches, it announced the winners of the ECEN Roman Juriga Award, and discussed concerns related to climate justice and a sustainable future from the perspective of the ecumenical youth.
For more information or an interview, please contact:
Conference of European Churches
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Tel. +32 486 75 82 36
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