Throughout the world evangelical Christians are becoming increasingly aware of the biblical mandate to properly care for the gift of creation God entrusted to humankind. Not only is human well-being dependent on healthy ecosystems, but so also is all biological life. Every living thing is dependent on other living things for life, and as He made the world so are we to care for it in all its grandeur, biodiversity, and ecological complexity. Christian creation care, therefore, is focused on how as individuals and communities we not only use and enjoy creation, but how we do so responsibly within the bounds of maintaining healthy ecosystems, and when necessary, restoring ecosystems we have damaged or destroyed.
Evangelicals are also increasingly aware that creation care is a matter of biblical justice. Since those who are poor are more likely to derive their livelihoods firsthand from creation as farmers, fishers, herders, etc., they also suffer more readily and significantly from the impacts wrought by ecological degradation. Nobody, however, can escape the effects of a degraded and unhealthy environment. Thus, biblical creation care is incumbent on all Christians for the benefit of all, but especially the poor who are disproportionally affected by compromised ecosystems.
With a global backdrop of serious ecological challenges, growing awareness of the Christian call to care for creation, and an increasing need to provide leadership in this arena at a global level, the WEA has decided to create the Creation Care Taskforce.
The purpose of the taskforce is to implement WEA’s mission of “equipping, connecting, and being a global voice for the evangelical community” in the area of creation care. Specifically this means the taskforce will work to equip evangelicals, and especially evangelical leaders, to care for creation; help connect and leverage the capacities of evangelical creation care organizations for greater impact at national and global levels; continue raising awareness of creation care within the global evangelical community; and through partner relationships become a body that is ready and able to engage governments and other relevant entities in targeted prescient environmental work.
Leading the taskforce is Dr. Chris Elisara, who brings 20 years experience working in the creation care movement to his role. After growing up in New Zealand Dr. Elisara moved to the United States to undertake graduate studies at Eastern University (MBA) and Biola University (Ph.D), where in 1995 he and his wife Tricia founded the first Christian undergraduate environmental study abroad program with campuses in Belize and New Zealand (link). More recently he founded the Center for Environmental Leadership (link).
The first project the taskforce is undertaking is co-sponsoring the joint Lausanne-WEA Global Creation Care Consultation in Jamaica from Oct. 29 – Nov. 3, 2012. This consultation emanates from the 2010 Cape Town Commitment produced at the Third Lausanne Congress on World Evangelization (which can be reviewed at this link). The taskforce will also be working on a statement for the forthcoming Rio Earth Summit.
For more information please contact Dr. Chris Elisara at: firstname.lastname@example.org