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CAECG Cycle of Prayer
The purpose of this prayer cycle is to help us pray together for one another and our common mission in Germany. It is a monthly cycle to accommodate those congregations that do not worship every week. We recommend including the designated church or churches at the first Sunday worship service of the month. Please pray for the ministers, lay leaders, and the people.
Episcopal Mission Congregations:
St. Boniface, Augsburg - Revd Dr Lutz Ackermann
St. James the Less, Nürnberg – Revd Scott Moore
St. Columban, Karlsruhe – Revd Dr Hanns Engelhardt
St. George’s Church, Berlin – Revd Canon Christopher Jage-Bowler
St. Boniface, Bonn with All Saints, Cologne – Revd Canon Michael Bullock and Revd Richard Gardiner
Church of England Mission Projects:
Dresden – Revd Ricky Yates
Northwest Germany - Revd Richard Downes
Other Anglican Churches:
Christ Church, Düsseldorf - Revd Stephen Walton
Leipzig English Church - Revd Canon Martin Reakes-Williams
Church of Christ the King, Frankfurt - Revd Edda Wolff
Freiburg Anglican Church - Revd Canon Christopher Parsons
Church of St. Thomas Becket, Hamburg - Revd Canon Dr. Leslie Nathaniel
The English Church, Heidelberg - Dr Rosemary Selle (Licensed Lay Minister)
Church of the Ascension, Munich - Revd Allan Sandlin (interim), Revd Clair Ullmann, Revd Frauke Ackermann
St. Catherine’s Church, Stuttgart with Kempten and Ulm - Revd Kara Werner, Revd Julie Lipp-Nathaniel, Revd Wolfgang Siebenpfeiffer, Revd Brigitte Gutbrod and Revd Solomon P. Benjamin
Church of St. Augustine of Canterbury, Wiesbaden - Revd Christopher Easthill and Revd Douglas Robinson
CAECG Lent Project – Plastic fasting
Giver of Life, in the midst of poisoned water, I weep with creation. In the midst of polluted air, I weep with creation. In the midst of mountains of waste, I weep with creation.
Seven bible verses talking about stewardship of the earth (source: patheos newsletter)
God commands us to keep and care for the earth but God’s edict to have dominion over the earth doesn’t mean to have complete domination and exploitation of it.
Genesis 2:15 “The Lord God took the man and put him in the Garden of Eden to work it and keep it.”
God gave mankind a command and told him that he must tend or keep the garden. The Hebrew word for “tend” or some translations say “keep” it is “shamar” and it means more than just keep it neat and tidy. The Hebrew word means “to guard” or “to watch and protect.” The other Hebrew word in this verse that’s very important is the word “work” or as some translations more accurately say “to cultivate” and is from the Hebrew word “`abad” meaning “to serve” so Genesis 2:15 would better read as: “The Lord God took the man and put him in the garden of Eden to serve it and to guard and protect it.” That means that we are stewards of the earth and the Master will require of us an account on how we’ve been stewards of what He has given us. So far, it’s not been good stewardship to say the least.
Proverbs 12:10 “Whoever is righteous has regard for the life of his beast, but the mercy of the wicked is cruel.”
Laws such as “Do not muzzle an ox while it is treading out the grain” (Duet 25:4) and as Jesus asked “Which one of you who has a sheep, if it falls into a pit on the Sabbath, will not take hold of it and lift it out” (Matt 12:11)? God’s compassion and love for His creatures is evident throughout the Bible like in Exodus 23:4 where even “If you meet your enemy’s ox or his donkey going astray, you shall bring it back to him” and “If you see your fellow Israelite’s ox or sheep straying, do not ignore it but be sure to take it back to its owner” (Duet 22:1) yet we find mother cats abandoned in the middle of winter, pregnant dogs dumped in the middle of scorching Kansas summers of 100 degrees left alone. What cruelty there is among the animal kingdom and the blood is on the hands of many.
Revelation 11:18 “The nations raged, but your wrath came, and the time for the dead to be judged, and for rewarding your servants, the prophets and saints, and those who fear your name, both small and great, and for destroying the destroyers of the earth.”
God will not leave those unpunished who destroy the earth because those who do so are only interested in using and abusing the earth to make a profit but at what cost? We all are responsible for how we live our lives and if we throw trash out of the car, how we leave trash in campsites or pour out toxic wastes in the ground. Years ago our neighbor used to pour his used motor oil on the fence line so that he wouldn’t have to weed eat where the mower wouldn’t reach but his trees started to die and he ended up having to cut down two huge one hundred year old tress in his back yard. How sad.
Genesis 1:26 “Then God said, “Let us make man in our image, after our likeness. And let them have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over the livestock and over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.”
God gave mankind dominion over the earth but not in order to use or misuse it at any cost for any reason. We have destroyed many areas of the planet to suit our own needs and this earth must groan under the weight of the ravaging and pillaging of the planet.
Proverbs 27:18 “Whoever tends a fig tree will eat its fruit, and he who guards his master will be honored.”
This is a double proverb in the sense that the one who tends or takes care of the fig tree will probably tend after other things and by doing so, he is guarding his master’s possessions. We might not be able to tend the world but we can tend our own little corner of it and do what we can where we live. In our home, we recycle about 85% of our trash and that includes aluminum, steel, newspaper, junk mail, glass, plastic (4 different kinds), chipboard (like with toilet paper and paper towel rolls) and many other things to where we’ve cut out trash down to one small bag per week as opposed to it being 2 large bags every week. Food items are tossed into the compost pile.
Numbers 35:33 “You shall not pollute the land in which you live, for blood pollutes the land, and no atonement can be made for the land for the blood that is shed in it, except by the blood of the one who shed it.”
God clearly commanded Israel to not pollute the land even though He was speaking about establishing cities of refuge where those who had accidentally killed someone could take refuge from any family member that wanted to avenge them, thereby shedding blood on the land but even if it’s not the exact application for taking care of the earth, the principle of good stewardship cannot be lost in this verse.
Psalm 24:1 “A Psalm of David. The earth is the Lord’s and the fullness thereof, the world and those who dwell therein.”
This is not our earth because the title holder is God and He will hold us responsible for how we care for it. As we read in Revelation 11:18, those who abuse and destroy the earth will not go unpunished and knowing that the earth is not really ours, we should treat the earth with the respect of knowing it is God’s own possession and not ours but He was still willing to share with us to use for our own good.
Find out whether there is a plastic free store in your neighborhood
Buy from your local farmer’s market
Take light weight cotton bags instead of plastic bags to shop
The 5 R’s: Refuse, Reduce, Reuse, Repurpose, Recycle
Gabriel Lamug-Nañawa, SJ writes
For many years now, during the season of Lent, the Apostolic Prefecture of Battambang in Cambodia has incorporated environmental themes into the prayers and practices of the faithful. This year, as the Church invites us once again to prepare our hearts through acts of penance, prayer, and corporal works of mercy, perhaps it would also be a good idea to be more mindful of the garbage we generate through our everyday actions and actually reduce our trash output by fasting from plastic.
Thus, for the coming 40 days of Lent, let us try to abstain from purchasing or using items that come packaged in disposable plastic, as our way of reducing our own harmful impact on creation.
Fasting from food and abstaining from meat, from other things that give us pleasure, or from our bad habits, bring many spiritual benefits if we offer our sacrifices to God. We enter into our own desert experience with Jesus.
If we try to abstain from disposable plastic during this Lent, we can also reach our own deserts. We will have to think about the things we buy and why we buy them, to examine our consumer values and clarify what is important to us. Usually, we throw away disposable plastics without much concern or thought. But as it leaves our sight, it does not really go away; it just becomes someone else’s problem.
Thus, our abstinence from disposable plastics helps other people and the rest of creation. As we reduce the amount of garbage in our homes and communities, we reduce its harmful effects on nature and act in solidarity with creation.
What is wrong with disposable plastics?
The main concern about plastic is that it is not biodegradable. Plastics are normally made of materials extracted from crude oil, the same type of oil that is used to make fuel for cars and motorcycles. The most common type of plastic bag is made of polyethylene, a new substance made by humans that microorganisms do not recognize as food. Since no existing bacteria can break down plastic, it cannot biodegrade like other organic materials.
What happens to plastics is that it photodegrades. When plastics are exposed to the sun’s ultraviolet radiation for a long time, the polyethylene material becomes brittle and begins to crack, breaking into many tiny pieces. This process is estimated to take between 500 and 1000 years, but even when the plastics break into smaller fragments it remains non-biodegradable and toxic for the animals and humans that eat them.
Plastics clog waterways and can cause floods in cities. Eventually, they make their way to the sea. In fact, plastics are the most pervasive form of ocean litter. There they pose a serious danger to birds and marine animals that often mistake them for food. Thousands of animals die every year from swallowing or choking on plastic items.
So why do we continue to use disposable plastic bags to carry our things for only a few minutes, but which will then become a problem for creatures and the Earth for hundreds of years? It does not make sense.
What can we do for this Lenten season?
- As you buy things from a store, try not to accept the plastic bag that they will usually use to put the items that you bought. Instead, put the purchased item in your own bag.
- Refrain from purchasing or drinking water from disposable plastic bottles. Recycling consumes energy and just because they can be recycled does not mean that they are actually recycled. Use your own re-useable water bottle.
- Abstain from the use of plastic straws, polystyrene lunch boxes, and other food items that come in disposable wrappers, such as noodles and candies. These items cannot be recycled and are either thrown away or burned, both of which are not good to do.
- If you do have to buy plastic, make sure that it is recyclable, and that you dispose of it in a way that will assure that it will be recycled.
- Of course, exceptions are made for medicines and other important items that offer no alternatives.
- Take good care of the things you already have so that they last longer and are not easily destroyed and thrown away.
Meeting in Lübbecke 2016
The Council of Anglican/Episcopal Churches in Germany held its recent semi-annual meeting on 16-17 September in Lübbecke.
The guest speaker for the session was the Rev. Dr. Yazid Said, lecturer in Islamic Studies and author of Ghazali's Politics in Context.
Having grown up as a Christian minority in Jerusalem, Dr. Said's talks examined religious persecution.
In group and plenary discussions, we considered the role of the media in discerning truth, the pressure to conform, and the building of walls in Muslim/Christian relations.
In studying two films, one set in Nigeria and the other in Jerusalem, participants were exposed to a reconciliation of differences between a priest and an imam (Nigeria) and continued hardships suffered by those living in the Holy Land.