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It’s not easy being green

Costa Rica ParadiseThis summer my wife and I vacationed in Costa Rica. In the time we were there, I was blessed to see numerous species of birds, reptiles, plants, and animals, many seeming so foreign to our life in Newfoundland and Labrador.  Never have I witnessed so many shades of green, or overnight temperatures in the low thirties Celsius.  Our time of rest and relaxation was blessed by the sweet kiss of the Pacific, so far from our north Atlantic home.

In Costa Rica, it seems that the attention to globe, environment, and human footprint is miles ahead of our experience. 95% of Costa Rica’s energy is from hydroelectric dams and wind power; in our town, Conception Bay South NL, we are just starting municipal recycling collection. Costa Rica has strict laws surrounding development of the natural environment, including a process for the recovery of lost habitats. In Newfoundland and Labrador, (as well as many parts of Canada) it seems that development and the harvesting of resources from habitats tops the agenda to a far greater extent than issues of the caring for our surroundings.

This is the same world that we live in, even though the shades of green in Costa Rica are vastly different from life on this isle. Yet, I rejoice that in the church we are starting to recognize the role of creation in our responsibility as partners with Christ. While I was Mobile - Multi-faith Multi-Generational Churchbasking in the beauty of Central America, the church in its wisdom was addressing the life and work of the baptized, and urging us to explore how our baptismal promises must reflect a care for creation that God has blessed us with.

How can we live our lives, being faithful to Christ without examining how we continue to ignore our own surroundings?  We need to become less anthropocentric, and more biocentric. We need to give back to the earth which sustains us physically, before there is little to harvest.

How this is realized between the brief statements of the revised Baptismal Covenant and faithful living in Christian community is no easy task.  This has to be something that is before us in all facets of society. Our prayer, our diet, our exercise, and our reliance on technology has to come into question. This is but the beginning.  The faith community has to continue dialogue with environmentalists and governments to strive to address the balance to which God calls us. The easy part seems to be the identifying. As with all life, it is in the living where we struggle with our shades of green.

David Burrows

About David Burrows

David Burrows is a priest of the church, currently serving in parish ministry within the Diocese of Eastern Newfoundland and Labrador, a place he has called home for the past fifteen years. He consistently engages dialogue and action with the wider community through creative outreach projects. Cycling, kayaking, writing, and driving fast cars are distractions in his life.
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