Shared by Rev Canon Blessing Shambare
The Anglican Church worldwide has adopted the five marks of mission in their holistic mission drive. The fifth mark spells out that safeguarding, renewal, transforming and sustaining the integrity of creation is a crucial component of the mission of God. To fulfill this the Province of Central Africa has two Bishops in charge of the Environmental Mission.
Bishop Chad Gandiya of the Anglican Diocese of Harare, who suits the title “green Bishop”, is one of them. He has set the Environmental Chaplaincy Desk which is headed by Rev Samuel Sifelani, assisted by Rev Canon Blessing Shambare.
They have been mandated to oversee the issues which are affecting the Zimbabwean community concerning environmental issues which includes waste management, deforestation and the general effects of climate change.
With this in mind, an Environmental workshop was organised for October 23-26, which was meant to bring all the Dioceses in the Province of Central Africa together. Whilst not everyone invited could attend, due to financial constraints, three Dioceses in Zimbabwe sent representatives.
It was a worthy program with participants from Mutare, Gweru and Harare engaged in Intentional Environmental Discipleship as they looked at various thought-provoking environmental concerns. The facilitators brought in the much needed knowledge of an environmental mission. The church has been recognized as a key player in environmental mitigation and transformation.
One of the facilitators was Ncumisa from Diocese of Cape Town Environment Office. She acknowledged that the Green Church Movement is transformative as it involves the junior church and the youth.
The workshop took field trips to learn from practical experience. The team went to Pretrocozim Recycling plant where they were taken through the process of crushing plastic bottles into producing flux which is used to produce fibre. This plant opened the eyes of the participants as they realise that churches can work as the collection points of plastic bottles; a project which can bring revenue to the churches.
Then the team also visited the Nyaradzo Funeral Insurance Tree Seed Garden, where they were taken through the process of a tree plantation garden and how it is important for everyone in the country to plant a tree.
They also celebrated Eucharist from the Season of Creation liturgy with an outside service using the four campus of creation.