The Moravian Church British Province

in things essential, unity... in non-essentials, liberty... in all things, charity

Social Responsibility Committee

at the crossroads

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Moravian Messenger

 

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Our Stewardship of Creation – 2008 Resolution of British Synod

 

1. We believe that God
created and continues to create the whole universe;
sustains and nurtures creation;
through Christ, wills to redeem the whole of creation from its bondage to decay;
entrusts creation to our care, calling us to be stewards of it;
calls us to be partners in God’s ongoing creative, renewing and redeeming activity;
commands us to act justly and in righteousness not only towards our fellow human beings, but to all creation;
requires us to care for creation so that future generations, whom God also loves, can enjoy it and benefit from it.

2. We affirm that Christian mission includes caring for God’s earth and of all creation.

3. We know that human activity has contributed to the degradation of the earth in its land, seas and atmosphere, and that this is contrary to the will of God. We believe that this degradation limits the attainment of the fullness of life that God wills for all creation, and is a sin for which we should seek forgiveness. We recognise that urgent response is now required in the face of the catastrophic consequences of climate change caused by this environmental damage and the disproportionate suffering this brings to the poorest in the world, including brothers and sisters within our Moravian Unity.

4. We challenge and encourage our congregations and members to care for the earth by following sustainable practice in their lifestyles. This will include conservation and careful consideration of how we use resources in church life and at home; active involvement in community initiatives aimed at sustaining and renewing the environment; and taking action on global environmental issues.

5. We commit ourselves, as members of the British Province to
• promoting awareness among our congregations of these principles and objectives and of the biblical values underpinning them
• ensuring energy is used efficiently and whenever possible reducing its use; and encouraging the increased use of renewable energy
• reducing our waste and encouraging the re-use, repair and re-cycling of materials
• buying, wherever possible, products which are made in a sustainable way
• using locally-made or produced goods and food as far as this is possible and practicable
• taking appropriate opportunities to conserve and enhance the natural and built environment
• making every effort, personally and within our Church, to reduce air pollution and energy consumption resulting from the use of cars and planes, through avoidance of unnecessary travel and use of energy-efficient vehicles, car sharing and public transport
• joining with other denominations, public bodies and groups that campaign on these issues

We request the Provincial Board to pass Parts 1-4 of this resolution on to Unity Board and to the 2009 Unity Synod. We encourage all Provinces of The Moravian Church to work together as good stewards of God’s creation.

Fair Trade - 2006 Resolution of the British Provincial Synod

This Synod

a) believes in and endorses the principles of Fair Trade whereby growers and producers get a fair return for their labour, raw materials and produce and sees this as a practical application of Christ’s teaching, ‘Love your neighbour’, and

b) resolves to earn Fair Trade denomination status from the Fair Trade Foundation for the British Province by

i) as a Province, supporting and promoting Fairtrade, encouraging the use and sale of Fairtrade products at church meetings and serving only Fairtrade coffee and tea at meetings it is responsible for;

ii) at local level, encouraging congregations and districts to adopt the same policy and to apply for Fair Trade status;

iii) if possible, aiming for Fairtrade tea, coffee and other products to be used in and/or sold by more that one half of the congregations in the British Province;

iv)attracting media coverage for this commitment and continuing to raise awareness of the FAIRTRADE Mark in our publications and website;

v) asking the Social Responsibility Committee to take on the role of the Fairtrade Steering Group to take responsibility for monitoring the continued meeting of goals and development over time.

Racism - 2004 Resolution of the British Provincial Synod

 

That this Synod endorses the resolution passed by the Mission Council f the United Reformed Church [24th January 2004] which states:

'Mission Council notes with concern the rise in many European countries of extreme right-wing and racist political parties. While we accept that such parties are entitled to operate within the democratic process we be-lieve it is vital that they do not become accepted as part of normal political life. Within Britain we affirm that membership or any form of support for organisations such as the British National Party is incompatible with Chris-tian discipleship.'

As a Church we celebrate our multi-ethnic congregations. We call upon all local churches to continue to practise and promote racial justice and inclu-sion.

We call upon local churches to encourage voting during any elections in the light of these principles.’