The Jamaica Call to Action, based on two convictions and presenting 10 clear and actionable things that the church can do, nonetheless recognizes that even though we know what needs to be done, and we know how to do most of it, this is not enough. A problem that has eluded the best brains and that all of the powers of all of the governments on earth are unable to solve will not be solved with a to-do list, no matter how well thought out.
So the call to action ends with an urgent call to prayer:
Our call to prayer
Each of our calls to action rest on an even more urgent call to prayer, intentional and fervent, soberly aware that this is a spiritual struggle. Many of us must begin our praying with lamentation and repentance for our failure to care for creation, and for our failure to lead in transformation at a personal and corporate level. And then, having tasted of the grace and mercies of God in Christ Jesus and through the Holy Spirit, and with hope in the fullness of our redemption, we pray with confidence that the Triune God can and will heal our land and all who dwell in it, for the glory of his matchless name.
The paragraph speaks for itself, and does so eloquently. What is important is that we recognize that no matter what particular field we are working in, and no matter how expert we might be, we are all – individually and collectively – engaged in this ‘spiritual struggle.’ It is a struggle with and against our own sinful natures, but it is also a struggle being waged in the heavenly realms:
For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. (Ephesians 6:12)
It is only when we recognize that the environmental crisis is an important, and perhaps a central part of this spiritual battle, and deploy our spiritual weapons, including prayer, that the tide of the battle will begin to turn.
So let us join together in prayer, and then let us return to our labs, our studies, our places of business and work together, with the confidence that God will indeed “heal our land . . . for the glory of his matchless name.”
Beyond the Call to Action
The Lausanne Creation Care network is working to bring the message of the Consultation and the Call to Action to countries around the world. A series of regional conferences is planned, beginning with South East Asia in Manila in March 2014, followed by East and Central Africa later that year, and North America in late 2014 or early 2015. Sign the Call to Action (see below) to be advised of upcoming events, or send a note to Ed Brown at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Jamaica Call to Action is available online in six languages, with more being added regularly. You can sign your name as an individual here; your organization’s name can be added as a signatory by having an authorized individual send an email to email@example.com.
Ed Brown, Senior Associate for Creation Care, is available on a limited basis to speak at conferences on creation care in general or the Lausanne Creation care network in particular. He is also author of two books: Our Father’s World: Mobilizing the Church to Care for Creation (IVP, 2008) and When Heaven and Nature Sing: Exploring God’s Goals for His People and His World (Doorlight, 2012), both available on Amazon (here and here) or on the Care of Creation website.
About the author:
Rev. Edward R. Brown (Ed) is the Director and CEO of Care of Creation, and has recently been named the Lausanne Senior Associate for Creation Care for the Lausanne Movement. He directs the work of Care of Creation in the US, Kenya and Tanzania, and as Lausanne Senior Associate is responsible for all of the Lausanne Movement’s creation care activities. He speaks throughout the US and internationally on the topic of Creation Care, and has been a seminar presenter at four previous Urbanas.
Ed is the author of two books: Our Father's World: Mobilizing the Church to Care for Creation, published by InterVarsity Press in 2008, and When Heaven and Nature Sing: Exploring God’s Goals for His People and His World, just released by Doorlight Publications in December, 2012. Our Father’s World was praised by biologist and environmentalist E. O. Wilson as “beautiful and inspiring, ” and author Howard Snyder says When Heaven and Nature Sing “is packed full of wisdom—wisdom that is both biblically based and ecologically sound.”
Ed received the Bachelor of Arts degree from Gordon College and the Master of Divinity from Gordon Conwell Seminary (Pastoral Studies). He served as Chief Operating Officer for Au Sable Institute of Environmental Studies, and has worked with InterVarsity Christian Fellowship and as a pastor both in the US and overseas. He and Susanna, his wife, both grew up as children of missionaries in the country of Pakistan, and carry a love for that country and for overseas ministry with them. They live in Madison WI and have four grown children: Melanie, Tim, Katrina and Amy.
Organizational background: Care of Creation Inc. is an environmental missions organization. It was founded in 2005, “to pursue a God-centered response to environmental challenges that brings glory to the Creator, advances the cause of Christ, and leads to a transformation of the people and the land that sustains them.”
Care of Creation seeks to “mobilize the church” in various countries to focus on creation-care as an important part of ministry. Overseas projects include education, tree-planting and agricultural programs. The organization currently has projects on the ground in Kenya and Tanzania and plans to expand to other countries in East Africa in the near future.