My younger son, Cody Chambré, and I will be participating in an upcoming eco-spirituality trip to Costa Rica. This trip has been organized by the Rev. Jason Pollick, minister at the Anglican Parish of Glengarry. (We will have lots of our own photos when we return.)
Here is what Jason has to say about the trip.
One of the most exciting and vital areas of Christian stewardship deals with the concepts of eco-spirituality and eco-justice. Ostensibly, as Christians we believe that God created our planet and placed upon us a responsibility to be stewards of all creation. Despite this deeply-held belief, many pressing issues pertaining to the care of Creation such as global warming, deforestation, alternative energy sources and sustainable living do not make it into our council meetings or onto our church budgets or mission statements.
A small group of ecumenical clergy and multi-generational parishioners in and around the Anglican Parish of Glengarry want to change that. Working with representatives from Creation Matters and Greening Sacred Spaces, this group wants churches to take seriously the urgent need to address issues of how we attend to God’s creation, and how we make available the fruits of creation to all God’s people in a just and equitable fashion.
What is eco-spirituality and eco-justice? Although no textbook definition really exists, eco-spirituality can be defined as the belief that all of Creation is God’s gift to us, and that we are responsible for maintaining, preserving and protecting it. Eco-justice is a somewhat broader concept that addresses the imbalance of access to the resources of Creation.
To frame this effort, this group is planning an educational trip to Costa Rica in February of 2016. Considered a “developing country”, Costa Rica is nonetheless well ahead of most “developed” countries in terms of its efforts to preserve and protect its natural resources, wildlife and ecosystems. It is also well ahead of most countries in terms of developing alternative energy sources, curbing its global carbon impact and promoting sustainable agriculture.
This trip will consist of two parts. The first couple of days will be spent alongside a partner church in the Diocese of San Jose, the capital city of Costa Rica. The remainder and bulk of the trip will be spent at Laguna Vista, an eco-lodge on the Osa Peninsula. Using this lodge as a base of operations, travellers will take day trips to a number of sites that will inform them on the challenges facing the complex and fragile ecosystems of the country. Travelers will engage with a curriculum of Scriptural and non-Scriptural Christian reflections aimed at increasing our awareness of our impact as a species on Creation, and our role in protecting it.
The goal of this project is to enhance our awareness of the critical role we as Christians must play in preserving the only home God has given us. Our hope is to bring our findings and awareness back to our congregations/parishes and to the wider community. This will including making presentations and making available, to other churches, the curriculum of reflections developed for our trip, so that they may reflect on issues pertaining to the stewardship of Creation in their communities and globally.