Butterfly Tree outside the church entrance, photo taken by Jerry Filipski
Shirley Hardy's Reflections for this week:
Selinde’s advice for writing an article for the Wednesday weekly newsletter was to pray about it. A few days ago, I mentioned the project in one of my prayers. The answer was “climate” and I responded “Lord I will need your help big time!” I was determined to get to the bottom of my paper work basket and came across the January 2020 Diocesan Post. As I flipped through it, I thought how unimportant the various topics now seemed after COVID-19. The Bishop and all the writers had no idea of what was waiting for the whole world. Before tossing paper in recycle bin I casually flipped through it a second time – suddenly groups of words started catching my attention.
Safeguarding Environmental Health article by Bishop Logan from a conference in Parksville in 1991. Quote from article: “When we all arrive at the throne of heaven, God will not ask us what and how creation was formed, because God knows that. God will ask us, at that time, what we have done with creation and how we have cared for the earth”.
My thoughts travelled to people who are very talented with their hands – the quilting ladies; the carpenters; the landscapers; sewers; chefs, etc. Imagine the beautiful items they create. Now imagine a group of humans comes along and destroys their work.
In Genesis 1, five times the verse says, “And God saw that it was good”, and verse 31 says, “And God saw everything that he had made, and behold it was very good”. Now imagine how the Lord must feel when he looks down on earth and sees how we humans are looking after his creation.
With the outbreak of the COVID virus early 2020 few of us could imagine where we would be in spring/summer 2020 and the severity of the impact it would have on the whole world. At this moment in time the current focus is coping with COVID’s immediate effects. But the lessons we will learn from this crisis are equally, if not more important, in dealing with the next global crisis. Is the climate crisis the next global crisis? If so, it is already under way, building up its destructive potential around the globe.
What are some of the things we have learned from the COVID pandemic? - It is a wakeup call that our wellbeing is closely tied to the health of the planet. Despite scientists’ warnings about the high risk of animal-borne infectious diseases and that countries should be better prepared for a pandemic; many countries ignored the warnings. COVID is a strong reminder that ignoring science carries steep costs. Scientists’ overwhelming warnings about human impact on the global climate have equally been ignored.
- Humans continue to pollute the environment that we depend on for survival and wellbeing. We need to put a premium on clean and healthy growth instead of subsidizing the destruction of the environment. We can respond to the current COVID crisis, while at the same time building a healthier, greener and safer future. Going back to business as usual would be short-sighted - we would respond to one crisis by fueling the next one. We must prevent the climate crisis which could well turn out to have an even greater destructive impact than COVID-19.
- A virus can’t be stopped at borders and climate change does not respect national sovereignty. Over time nature will force our hands, whether we are prepared or not. No country can stop the impact of climate change alone. The COVID pandemic has put a spotlight on human vulnerability and the fact that human safety and the health of the natural environment go hand-in-hand. This may well reinforce consumer trends towards healthier and more sustainable lifestyles.
Are we capable of learning? While coping with the current crisis, we have an opportunity to rediscover basic values of humanity and the bonds that connect us. We have it in our hands to lay the foundation for a safer, healthier and cleaner life on planet earth. We have the technology and the means to come out stronger. What will be the outcome? Will we really change our ways? Will we learn the lessons or go back to the way we were before? The answers are yet to be seen. However, as individuals we can make our own choices, and it is our individual choice that will make all the difference. Referring back to January 2020 Bishop Logan’s article - quote from the article: “It is part of our baptismal covenant: “Will you strive to safeguard the integrity of God’s creation, and respect, sustain and renew the life of the Earth?” We respond: “I will, with God’s help”.
KAT found this in her 'travels on Facebook':