Advent Calendar Day 10: Anglican Communion Environmental Network

Anglican Communion Environmental Network (ACEN)

Episcopalians are members of the Worldwide Anglican Communion. We are Anglicans. We are present in every part of the world. We are most definitely in the world (for better or worse).

Quote . . .Anglicans have long been concerned with environmental issues. [In 1984 the Anglican Consultative Council] stated that the fifth mark of mission was,

To strive to safeguard the integrity of creation and sustain and renew the earth.

In many parts of the world local Anglican Churches have given leadership:

  • by being advocates for responsible environmental stewardship
  • by providing support and leadership to local initiatives to protect the environment
  • by seeking to educate Anglicans as individuals and as communities to become better stewards of creation.

In 1998 the bishops gathered at Lambeth expressed their concern that efforts to address such issues be given greater visibility and be better coordinated across the Anglican Communion. The Network is an attempt to do just that. (from the ACEN website)

Mission Statement of the Anglican Communion Environmental Network

Our Aims:

  • To encourage Anglicans to support sustainable environmental practices as individuals and in the life of their communities.
  • To provide information about policies embraced by synods, councils and commissions, and especially by the instruments of Unity (Statements by the Archbishop of Canterbury, Resolutions and Reports of the Lambeth Conference and the Anglican Consultative Council)
  • To support local initiatives by providing information about ideas and best practices developed around the communion.
  • To share information about resources and initiatives that may be of value to Anglicans everywhere.
  • To provide an opportunity for interested Anglicans to meet both as a formal network, and informally via electronic media.

For the rest of the story: Anglican Communion Environmental Network.

Read more about the The Five Marks of Mission

How long will the land mourn? A Forum post giving voice to the Pastoral Teaching of the bishops of The Episcopal Church. Hear what the Spirit is saying.

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For further reflection

“Creation is in crisis.” A Report from the ACEN meeting in Lima, Peru (Aug. 2011)

Creation is in crisis. This is the conclusion of the Anglican Communion Environmental Network meeting in Lima, Peru, August 2011. Each participant from around the Communion reported accelerating impacts from human-induced climate change and environmental degradation in their regions. Many participants also reported extensive ignorance and, in some cases, unwillingness to take action.

We were appropriately reminded by our host, the Bishop of Peru, the Rt Revd Bill Godfrey of the need to teach our people in terms they understand. We begin with the discovery in Jesus Christ of the Good News of the Kingdom which draws us together – moving us from a world that divides to a Gospel that gathers.

Together we discerned an urgent calling to seek environmental justice and to encourage Anglicans everywhere to challenge and transform individuals and systems that spoil the earth, affect local communities adversely, and refuse to imagine a different kind of global community.

Among those systems most in need of transformation is an economic system that knows no alternative to continual growth. Rather than having an economy that serves the well-being of communities, our communities (human and other-than-human) serve the well-being of the economy.

In order to motivate Anglicans, both at the individual and at the structural level of the church, we have committed ourselves and commend to all Provinces of the Communion, the following Issues with associated actions: Read the Lima Report on Crisis and Commitment

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Image: ACEN Logo from its website


A House of Hospitality

When the new St. Margaret’s sanctuary was available for use in June 1989 The Rev. Brad Hall, Fourth Rector of St. Margaret’s,  preached a sermon, “Solomon’s Prayer: Our First Day in the New Church Building” (June 4, 1989), that we continue to live up to and into as a community.

Though speaking about the building itself and the entire St. Margaret’s community, Brad’s words give us a vision when spoken into our little community–The Sunday Morning Forum–within the larger community. We need to make our room and our presence match what the congregation does in the sanctuary in Sunday worship. Here is an excerpt of Brad’s sermon; hear that the Spirit is saying the same thing to us 22 years later:

God’s House is a House of Hospitality

This is truly a beautiful building, and people will come and visit it. Whether they are drawn here by its architectural majesty, its open, light-filled sanctuary, or to worship and pray, we must always be prepared to welcome and accept all sojourners and visitors who wish to enter our doors.

This is an Episcopal Church, a member of the worldwide Anglican Communion of over seventy million peoples. We are also a community church, a part of this Coachella Valley, and our church is a gift to all who live in their beautiful desert. And so the doors of our building and our hearts must be open to welcome, in God’s Love, all who come to us seeking peace, seeking an answer to their prayers, seeking God, Himself.

My final prayer for us is that your love and Christ’s Love will so shine through these doors and windows that all sojourners who come here seeking will find that their prayers will be answered and that God’s Peace and Joy will fill their hearts.

Note: the entire sermon will soon be posted in the Supplemental Resource category 6/7/11

The Rev. Lane Hensley, current Rector of St. Margaret’s, continues this fine tradition among us. In November 2010 Lane set out some principles for our ministry. Here is an excerpt to help guide our work in the Sunday Morning Forum, a community within a community:

Our collective task is to take our place as members of the Body of Christ, and to come collectively “to maturity, to the measure of the full stature of Christ.” Here, then, are some principles that I think need to guide that process.

We are a public Church, and a ministry leader in outreach, formation, music, and worship. Our efforts should be directed to the community we serve in mission, and their highest hopes, deepest fears, and most important deliberations should find home at St. Margaret’s.

We expect God’s blessing on our work, and to grow and be transformed into the Body of Christ.

Lane’s principles can be viewed or downloaded here: From the Rector’s Desk, November 2010

Let us be open and inviting to others in the spirit of Christ’s love as we build community. We have a fine vision and strong principles and God’s amazing grace guiding us along the Way.

Your thoughts and observations and questions are important. Please use the Comment section to continue the conversation.