This year Time for creation (1 st September – 4 th October) has been marked by the presence and devastating effects of hurricane Irma, the strongest hurricane in the Atlantic since meteorological measurements have existed.
Even if cyclones and storms are not directly caused by climate change, most scientists agree that their intensity and devastating effects are related to the warming of the atmosphere. The logic is straightforward and easy to understand for non-scientists as well. Climate change and the globaln raise of temperatures mean, among others, the increase of the temperature of the oceans and seas. If one of the sources causing tropical cyclones is sufficiently warm water in the oceans and seas and if the raising temperature of water means elevating energy which provides the fuel for the cyclone, it is not difficult to see the relationship between causes and their effects.
In Europe, although geographically far away from the affected regions, we mourn for the victims and pray with those who lost their loved ones, for those who lost their homes and other infrastructure needed for life. We trust that help which is being organised by governments and those responsible will be quick and effective.
Devastations caused by Irma invite us to be even more active in our work on the care for creation and our response to climate change. We are aware that even minute steps, our modest individual contributions and efforts of small communities, especially faith communities, are in this regards important.
In Time for creation, which has been marked already since its' first day on 1 st September by intensive prayers of Christians all over the continent in many countries and churches in Europe, we invite our colleagues and friends in ECEN, as well as all Christians to continue their prayers for the gift of creation. We invite you to intensify our joint efforts for discerning of the relationship between causes and effects of phenomena we are confronting with and for our joined action to protect creation.
Let us pray together:
Oh God, the giver of gifts,
Open our senses to the sounds of sights
Of our reflection in creation, your refracted glory in natural things,
Your image in ourselves,
Your likeness in others,
Your icon in bread and wine,
Your presence in the shadows of the cross.
Show us the way to give, as well as receive,
To live well in your bounty and beauty,
Doing nothing to mar your image within us and around us.
Help us to hear the cry of the earth, the water and the air,
Help us to notice small things, as part of your bigger picture,
Help us to heal, not harm; to give, not take; to act, not acquiesce,
That gifts may be given, received and valued,
That Your Spirit may inspire and sustain our flourishing.
[Prayer by Robin Morrison, the Church of Wales]