Creation Care – Bringing in God’s Shalom

Shalom is a wonderful Hebrew word which encapsulates the vision of God for God’s creation. The values championed by the prophets of social justice (care for those on the margins, social structures which protect the weakest) are implicit in the term shalom. Shalom also includes a sense of integrity with creation: humanity knowing how to live in harmony with creation, and the restoration of the broken relationship between humans and the rest of the created order.

Living within limits is part and parcel of our Hebrew heritage. This is the vision which Jesus fulfilled, and which we can live joyfully. The problem is that most people can’t see the restriction of their lifestyle for the sake of the planet and its people as something positive, and so the changes that we must make to prevent disastrous climate change and its consequent devastation for the poorest on the planet and for species loss are simply ignored.

The good news is that churches are well placed to help and support people in making those changes, and the Eco-congregation programme provides a structure within which churches can begin to address these issues.

How do we get involved?

  • Work out how you are doing already by completing the church check-up (Module 1) (To obtain this download it from our website: or order by post.)
  • Using this as a baseline, work out an action plan including something for each of these areas of church life:
  • Spiritual: link environmental issues and Christian faith (think about worship, theology, Bible study, work with children and young people)
  • Practical: take environmental action in church (think about church buildings, finance and purchasing, grounds and gardens)
  • Community: work with the community for a greener world (think about personal lifestyles, community projects and global links)
  • Get the church to agree to the plan of action (this helps the whole church take the issues on board, rather than leaving it to the enthusiastic few)
  • Register the church with Eco-congregation
  • Order or download the relevant modules and resources from our website
  • Work through the modules
  • Apply for the Eco-congregation Award!

It is a tall order! But the framework does offer a way in to getting the issues taken on board by the whole church. Those who have engaged with the process have realised a number of things:

  • That this might be a way to save money, as well as address our environmental footprint
  • Working together on a specific project brings people together to have fun!
  • Many people find it much easier to reach out to their local community if it involves something practical
  • Many outside the churches are concerned, and this is an important point of contact with such ‘people of peace’.

If we are serious about bringing ‘shalom’ into being, that wonderful Hebrew concept which incorporates justice, the integrity of creation, positive peace-making, wholeness, community, restoration and reconciliation, and which Jesus called the ‘Kingdom of God’, then we must accept our God-given responsibility for the whole of creation, and see ourselves as bringers-in of that glorious vision of hope.

Jo Rathbone (National Co-ordinator for Eco-Congregation)

For more information, contact:

Eco-congregation (England and Wales):

Jo Rathbone, The Arthur Rank Centre, Stoneleigh Park, Warwickshire CV8 2LZ

024 7669 2491, gro.ahcoranull@noitagergnococe,

Eco-congregation (Scotland):

Margaret Warnock, KSB Scotland, Islay House, Livilands Lane, Stirling FK8 2BG

01877 330182, ku.gro.noitagergnococenull@teragram,

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