On the last day of its General Meeting in Arnoldshain (Taunus) and coinciding with the end of the UN Climate Change Conference in Egypt, the Evangelical Mission in Solidarity (EMS) launched its three-year focal theme "Integrity of Creation". The campaign is centred around the international project "Reading the Bible through the eyes of another", which focuses on our responsibility towards Creation.
Climate change, the extinction of species, the waste of resources and environmental pollution are currently the major ecological problems that have a global impact. Meanwhile, everyone is aware of the urgency of the matter and religious communities are also called upon to take action. This is why the EMS and its 30 member churches and mission societies in Africa, Asia, Europe and the Middle East have chosen the theme of the "Integrity of Creation" as their focus for the period 2022 to 2024. The campaign is based on three pillars: the intercultural Bible reading project, initially the central theme, the Green Ambassador multiplier programme and the EMASplus environmental certification of the Secretariat in Stuttgart. The end of the EMS General Meeting marked the official launch of the Bible reading project.
The EMS Fellowship of Christians on three continents has first-hand experience of environmental crises. Rev. Alexander Rondonuwu, Church President of the Protestant Indonesian Church in Donggala (GPID) gave a poignant account during the General Meeting of how foreign mining companies are pursuing deforestation in Central Sulawesi. The consequences of this are landslides and fires: "Our land is being destroyed, our livelihoods are vanishing and many rare species of animals are becoming extinct. We can do small things on our own, but here we have a major problem that needs collective advocacy."
Rev. Anne Heitmann, the new deputy chair of the EMS General Meeting and responsible for worldwide ecumenism at the Protestant Church in Baden, sees a special responsibility in this respect but also special opportunities for the churches and the EMS: "The biblical passages show that we need to overcome our narrow, human-centred understanding of Creation and move towards 'good stewardship'." This was also underlined by guest speaker Dr Henriette Hubarat-Lebang, President for Asia at the World Council of Churches, who joined the conference online: “We need to become people who care and are willing to heal the wounds of all Creation which has been terribly exploited.”
The EMS Bible Reading Project is intended to offer practical approaches in this respect. An international project team has selected seven passages from the Bible and produced materials for the Bible reading groups. They include well-known passages such as the story of Noah's Ark and a reflection set up by children from South Africa, India and Indonesia. The intention of the project is to broaden the global perspective through the international exchange between Bible reading tandem groups, thus shedding new light on our responsibility towards Creation. This should result in ideas for taking action which could include campaigns for recycling and energy-saving or waste collection on beaches and rivers, and many more. If you are interested, please register now at ems-online.org/bibleproject.
Press contact: Ulrike Pfab, pfab@, Tel. +49 711 63678-11 ems-online.org