How does your faith help you in times of struggle, change, and new beginnings?
Today, we experience faith as a creative force of new hopes and unity, mobilizing us with other people who have the same values to continue working and fighting for a society that restrains economic models, and discourages lifestyles that destroy creation and increase poverty.
How does your faith describe the relationship between all living things, the Earth, and the Divine?
My faith has traditionally described the relationship with the Earth and other beings of creation as domination because, according to a classical biblical interpretation, God has given us his creation for our benefit and dominion. Thank God in recent years this biblical interpretation has been is changing.
What does your faith tradition teach about material consumption and simplicity?
In my reformed tradition today, it is urgent to recover the theological concepts and the practices of austerity, saving, and pastoral care from an ecological perspective. That allows our churches to develop a pastoral care for the whole creation – where nothing is considered “left over” or waste.
How does your community approach examining and changing our lifestyles?
During the last few years, the churches belonging to the World Council of Churches have dedicated Lent, seven weeks before Holy Week, to reflection and action on how to take care of water. In 2018, these seven weeks had an emphasis on the realities in Latin America.
In what ways does your community provide you with a guide to life?
My reformed tradition approved the Accra Confession in 2004 as a response to the cry of the people who are most affected by an economical model that destroys creation and produces increasing poverty. This confession is today a guide for all people of the reformed faith that helps us to a new interpretation of the bible and challenges us to a new lifestyle.
Which sacred text most inspires you to act for change?
Reading Genesis 1 from an ecological perspective helps us understand that human beings were created last as part of all of God's creation. As human beings, we are not the most important creature; what we have is the greatest responsibility to take care of this beautiful common home, created so that we can live together as creation of God. Since we have not been responsible, creation groans waiting for salvation (Romans 8:19-23).
What have you done to improve the sustainability of your diet, transportation, and/or energy use?
In recent years, I have developed an Eco-Theology Course in the Theology Program of the Reformed University in Barranquilla, Colombia, where we have started practices of healthy eating, recycling, planting trees, and producing liturgical resources so that churches embrace a greater commitment towards the care of creation.
How would you describe the experience of making these lifestyle changes?
Working to achieve changes in concepts and lifestyles that take care of creation implies that we need to have a lot of patience. For several centuries, we have lived with a wrong understanding of nature. But little by little, we are seeing changes and that the new generations have greater awareness for the care of all creation.What are others doing?