The environment and the Lambeth Conference

Phyllis Strupp, Chair, Nature and Spirituality Program, Episcopal Diocese of Arizona, and Leader, Episcopal Ecological Network writes about the impact of the Lambeth Conference on the environment and what environmental outcomes could emerge from the meeting.

The Nature of Lambeth

Q. What do the Neanderthals, Celts, Romans, Angles, Saxons, Normans, English, and the Anglican Communion have in common?

A. A predilection for Canterbury, England!

Site of the upcoming Lambeth Conference, Canterbury is located in the county of Kent in southeastern England. It is a place of chalk and sand, clay and coal, yew and heath, orchid and bluebell, turtle dove and mallard, dormouse and hedgehog. A land flowing with milk and honey. It is a place of harm, homelessness, starvation and genus-cide for non-human species. A land like any other in the “civilized” world.

Strupp writes: “Thousands will descend there in July for the Lambeth Conference, a time of chats and parties, sharing and discussion, and a tea party with the Queen.” She asks: “What Communion is there without the rest of Creation?”

Lambeth comes at a great cost in terms of time, money, spiritual energy, and greenhouse gas emissions. The cost is an easier one to bear for Anglican attendees than it is for the rest of Creation. Yet it is a justifiable cost if something good comes out of Lambeth for the Earth and all the creatures God has breathed into this biosphere.

What could happen at Lambeth to help the Earth?

Reconnect with the beauty and generativity of Creation at Canterbury:

here and here.

Some ideas for consideration at the Lambeth Conference:

Model the change the world needs to see on consumption.

Consume less meat, water, gas, electricity, and human spirit.

Bring a Creation-honoring perspective to the discussions.

Does gender preference matter in the midst of flood and famine?

Begin a Creation Reconciliation Commission to acknowledge the harm done to Creation.

Confess the things done and the things left undone.

Take steps to ensure that the next Lambeth Conference will be greener than this one.

Are we doing all we can to lend a helping hand to the Creation?

What happens at Canterbury does not stay at Canterbury.

May the outcome be something worth celebrating in Heaven and Earth!

The creation waits with eager longing for the children of God to be revealed.

Romans 8:19

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