By Rev. Protopresbyter Nicolas Kazarian
The Department of Inter-Orthodox, Ecumenical, and Interfaith Relations of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America welcomes the opportunity to share its Greening the Parish Resource Page with the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America. Designed for both the parish and home, this page provides resource material for navigating and fulfilling our vocation as stewards of creation and working towards greening our churches together on a personal level.
Especially featured are the ecological initiatives and activities of His All-Holiness Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew of Constantinople, renowned as “The Green Patriarch” for his proclamation of “the primacy of spiritual values in determining environmental ethics and action.” Included are the September 1st Encyclicals for the Feast of the Indiction (beginning of the ecclesiastical new year) and Day of Prayer for the Protection of the Natural Environment, along with His All-Holiness’s works in global environment advocacy and action such as the Halki Summits.
Exploring a variety of practical and theological perspectives regarding environmentalism, the Creation Care Toolkit consists of Creation Care resources along with the Greening the Parish webinar series and manuals. Additionally, a variety of Orthodox perspectives are featured on the webpage including youth initiatives, books, and films along with a diverse resource section featuring the works of various Christian traditions, organizations, environmentalists, and academics.
“Defining environmentalism as a spiritual responsibility,” Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew has explained “Our sin toward the world, or the spiritual root of all our pollution, lies in our refusal to view life and the world as a sacrament of thanksgiving, and as a gift of constant communion with God on a global scale.”
As we continue to cultivate this green ministry, the Department will begin publishing its “How-To” video series featuring lessons and practical guides on creation care and sustainability on Earth Day (April 22). We welcome this opportunity to partake in the protection of the natural environment as a chance to bear witness to our ecumenical desire to be one.
The webpage and additional information may be found here.