Sociedade Bíblica de Portugal

eklogia – English

Module A

eKlogia

Blue planet, Living word, Green church

An initiative of the Bible Society and A Rocha

Ecology > blue planet > our common home > essential to our existence

Logos > the living Word > holy scriptures > world heritage

Ekklesia > green church > Christians as citizens and partners

WELCOME TO eKlogia

The Earth is the third planet from the Sun, the most dense and the fifth largest of the eight planets in the Solar system. It is sometimes designated as the Blue Planet. Home to millions of species of living beings, including humans, Earth is the only celestial body where the existence of life is known.

You are HERE.

In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. Now the earth was formless and empty, darkness was over the surface of the deep, and the Spirit of God was hovering over the waters. And God said, “Let there be light,” and there was light

[…]

God saw all that he had made, and it was very good. Gen. 1:1-3, 31ª

Black screen, voice-over:

 «In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. Now the earth was formless and empty, darkness was over the surface of the deep, and the Spirit of God was hovering over the waters. And God said, “Let there be light,” and there was light! “» Gen.1:1-3


You are HERE

When I consider your heavens, the work of your fingers,  the moon and the stars,  which you have set in place,  what is mankind that you are mindful of them, human beings that you care for them?Psalm 8:4-5

 the universe was formed at God’s command… Hebrews 11:3

 God saw all that he had made, and it was very good. Gen. 1:31a

«For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature—have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, » Rom. 1:20a

What would YOU do with this huge, beautiful and unique legacy?

Module B

Enjoy… Contemplate, Experience

Now the Lord God had planted a garden in the east, in Eden; and there he put the man he had formed. The Lord God made all kinds of trees grow out of the ground—trees that were pleasing to the eye and good for food.(Gen 2:8-9a)

Know…  Connect, Approach

So the man gave names to all the livestock, the birds in the sky and all the wild animals. (Gen 2:20a)

Care…  Preserve, Manage

The Lord God took the man and put him in the Garden of Eden to work it and take care of it. (Gen 2:15)

TO KNOW is necessary.

We want to learn in order to go beyond, into the meaning, into the value, and into the care.

I want to know how God created this world. I am not interested in this or that phenomenon, in the spectrum of this or that element. I want to know His thoughts; the rest are details. Albert Einstein

I was merely thinking God’s thoughts after him. Since we astronomers are priests of the highest God in regard to the book of nature… Johannes Kepler. 

Both the Scripture as nature are works of God. They are books written in different languages, with different purposes. The first is about how to go to heaven; the second is on how to go to the sky. Galileo Galilei 

Astronomy is not only pleasant but also very useful to be known; it cannot be denied that this art unfolds the admirable wisdom of God. John Calvin

Human knowledge is insufficient and the conclusions of science cannot indicate by themselves the path towards integral human development. Benedict XVI

“he earth is essentially a shared inheritance, whose fruits are meant to benefit everyone. (93) We have come to see ourselves as her lords and masters, entitled to plunder her at will. (…) We have forgotten that we ourselves are dust of the earth (cf. Gen 2:7)” (2) 

 “The biblical texts are to be read in their context, with an appropriate hermeneutic, recognizing that they tell us to “till and keep” the garden of the world (cf. Gen 2:15). “Tilling” refers to cultivating, ploughing or working, while “keeping” means caring, protecting, overseeing and preserving.” (67) Francis (Laudato Si)

You, me, we and the Earth:

 An immense world to discover, enjoy and cherish.

And this is our world, given to us to manage well and to pass it on the next generations.

Because ...

The earth is the Lord’s, and everything in it, the world, and all who live in it;

(Psalm 24.1)

Module C

Knowing nature is fun, it's challenging, it's inspiring.

Come meet our natural heritage!

It is estimated that about 43% of mammals, 23% of birds, 48% of reptiles and 63% of amphibians are in “concern status” or endangered species. There are many species at risk, and many have already been lost that we never got to know. It's hard to appreciate what is lost if we didn’t even know it existed. Therefore, A Rocha has been part of the effort to identify new species in places like Papua New Guinea where in a single expedition in 2009, 200 new species  were discovered. (this work was done in partnership with Conservation International and other organizations)

Every time we allow creatures to become extinct by greed or carelessness, we remove something unique of God’s self-revelation in creation. Dave Bookless (Director of theology, churches and sustainable communities)

What is happening to the climate on our planet?

The seasons may change. The average temperature can increase. Places usually frozen can unfreeze. Wetlands can dry up and dry zones can be flooded. Climate Stewards, The Rock International

1/3 of the world's population does not have access to safe drinking water

90 million people suffer the consequences of natural disasters. In 2030 it is estimated that there will be 350 million.

150 million environmental refugees by 2050.

In Portugal

2x - areas at risk of desertification increased to nearly double since 2000
23.6 million tons of non-municipal waste produced in 2009
74% - between 1995 and 2007 Consumption of Raw Materials increased by about 74% (about 106 million tons)

4th- In 2008 Portugal ranked 4 in experiencing the greatest increase in Greenhouse Gases emissions since 1990

511kg of waste produced by each of us (average) in 2009 (equivalent to 1.4 kg / person / day)

(update)

60% of the total surface of the Portuguese mainland is at risk of desertification (2021)

11,6% - between 2013 and 2021 Consumption of Raw Materials (163,9 million tons, 2021)
14th - In 2020 Portugal ranked 14 in experiencing the greatest increase in Greenhouse Gases emissions


Energy and transportation are the main sectors of the economy responsible for air pollutants emissions in Portugal.

In a nutshell, this is what is happening in our generation:

1000000 - 1 million species are on the brink of extinction

150 unique types of organisms are extinct. Daily.

60% of species in Europe are in “poor” and “bad” status, and a third of them are in decline (2020)

81% of European habitats are now in critical status (2020)

20% of the world's population consumes 80% of the planet's resources.

Result? Loss of BIODIVERSITY

What do we lose when species become extinct, habitats are destroyed, when ecosystems are abused?

The inhabitants of the Earth have exhausted in September 27, 2011 (july 28, 2022) more natural resources than the planet provides for them annually. From the ecological point of view, we have spent a whole year’s salary with a quarter of the year still to go. Global Footprint Network

Many of us continue to live, if not in the unconsciousness of tomorrow, at least with the conviction that what is destroyed can always be fixed. Jean-Louis Schlegel (sociologist of religions)

Most of the seven billion people that now live on Earth dream legitimately with our comfortable and consumerist model of Western life; However, it is impossible to extend this model to all: it would take three planets! Luísa Schmidt (sociologist)

Separated from the creating Word, life is increasingly lost.

How many Planets Earth do we need?

The measurement of our ecological behavior, our lifestyle, our consumerist habits and the way we use resources is called "ecological footprint". The news are constantly reminding us that humans are leaving a gigantic footprint on the planet.

Do you know the ecological footprint of your country?

Portugal: 4,5 ha

Do you know what is the comparative value of your PE with a person in the

USA and Timor Leste?

EUA: 8,0 ha
Timor Leste:0,4 ha

2007 Statistics - Living Planet 2010

1 ha = 1 football field

Update (2021)

Portugal 4,6 ha

Qatar: 14,27 ha

Yemen 0,51 ha

Module D (tunnel)

Thank God, There are also good news,

there is hope!

VOICES OF HOPE

We do not know what the future holds. Paradoxically, what we do not know is one of the few remaining sources of hope.Viriato Soromenho-Marques (professor at the Faculdade de Letras da Universidade de Lisboa)

Studies have shown that one of the most striking personality traits among environmentalists is anxiety. The Christian approach is very different: it is celebration, gratitude and hope. Peter Harris (theologian, founder of A Rocha)

It is possible to have a new kind of world, a world where there will be more compassion, more gentleness, more caring, more laughter, more joy for all of God's creation, because that is God’s dream. Desmond Tutu (Archbishop, Nobel Peace Prize)

What is the source of hope of Christians? (according to the Bible)

IN GOOD HANDS

In his hand is the life of every creature and the breath of all mankind.  (Job 12, 10)

RECONCILE EVERY-THING

 Jesus came and inaugurated a new stage in history, making it possible our reconciliation with the Creator and the rest of creation.

Because God saw fit to be fully present in his son, and also through him to reconcile to himself all that exists on Earth and in heaven, making peace by his bloodshed on the cross. (Colossians 1.19-20)

THE TOTAL CONSUMMATION OF THE UNIVERSE

 The people of God (the Church) have an active role as peacemaker promoting and demonstrating the reconciliation, living as a community that cultivates and points to the change in mindset, attitude and behaviors.

(according to the Bible)

What we can expect

 Creation has been subjected to the slavery of destructive corruption

The Earth has been cursed because of human rebellion

The Earth groans and suffers under this weight.  (read Romans. 8:22)

BUT…

…BUT

the creation itself will be liberated from its bondage to decay and brought into the freedom and glory of the children of God. (Romans 8.21)

THEN

it will be inaugurated a “new heaven” and a “new Earth”, where justice inhabits

 and all traces of sin and its consequences will disappear.

Everything in this new creation will rest in the power of redemption and not, as in the first creation, in the goodness of the creature

He[God] made known to us the mystery of his will according to his good pleasure, which he purposed in Christ, to be put into effect when the times reach their fulfilment —to bring unity to all things in heaven and on earth under Christ. (Ephesians 1, 9-10)

Module E

Knowing nature, enjoying nature, taking care of nature, is part of our Christian nature, this is part of our DNA

because it is written in the Holy Scriptures, which teach us and guide us. Therefore, Christian faith communities are

NATURALLY PARTNERS

of societies and of all people of good will, fighting for the preservation and management of the immense and irreplaceable natural heritage that is the planet Earth, our common home. 

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We all have to become partners in a bold effort to change the very foundations of our civilization. However, I am deeply convinced that real change is only possible when it begins inside the one who proposes it. Al Gore

Faiths guide and direct the way we think, behave and live our lives. […] WWF works with religious leaders and faith communities who best articulate ethical and spiritual ideals around the sacred value of Earth and its diversity.WWF Sacred Earth Programme

The World Bank is proud to support the innovative process of engaging the major faith groups in environmental conservation—an approach that has shown great promise to date."Faiths and the environment", World Bank Support 2000-05

We hope and believe that both faith groups and conservation organizations can benefit from working in partnership to recognise and to protect the natural world, which provides such inspiration to so many. Nik Lopoukhine: President of the World Commission on Protected Areas

Faith communities, local governments, schools, environmental organizations, enterprises .... NATURALLY partners in the fight for our natural heritage, in our city, in our planet.

Are you in?

Module F

Here you can calculate your ecological footprint

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