To: Clergy and People
From: The Bishop
8th December, 2016
We believe that human beings are a part of God’s creation, made in the image of God, we believe that the universe is good, that it is the work of a single loving God who creates, sustains and directs it. We believe that the world belongs to its creator; and that we are called to enjoy it and to take care for it in accordance with God’s purposes. (Catechism BCP CPWI) Therefore mission involves working to preserve creation. The phenomenon of global warming and climate change reveals that as human beings we have not been doing as well as we should in this regard.
Reports on global warming and climate change state that “average temperatures have climbed 1.4 degrees. Fahrenheit (0.8 degree Celsius) around the world since 1880,much of this. in recent decades, according to NASA’s Goddard Institute for Space Studies.
- The rate of warming is increasing. The 20th century’s last two decades were the hottest in 400 years and possibly the warmest for several millennia, according to a number of climate studies. And the United Nations’ Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC} reports that 11 of the past 12 years are among the dozen warmest since 1850.
- The Arctic is feeling the effects the most. Average temperatures in Alaska, western Canada, and eastern Russia have risen at twice the global average, according to the multinational Arctic Climate Impact Assessment report compiled between 2000 and 2004.
- Arctic ice is rapidly disappearing, and the region may have its first completely ice-free summer by 2040 or earlier. Polar bears and indigenous cultures are already suffering from the sea-ice loss.
- Coral reefs, which are highly sensitive to small changes in water temperature,suffered the worst bleaching-or die-off in response to stress-ever recorded in 1998,with some areas seeing bleach rates of 70 percent. Experts expect these sorts of events to increase in frequency and intensity in the next 50 years as sea temperatures rise.
- An upsurge in the amount of extreme weather events, such as wildfires, heat waves, and strong tropical storms,is also attributed in part to climate change by some experts.”
(The bullet points above were taken from-National Geographic Website).
In this region we have had our own experiences with storms, troughs and hurricanes, changing patterns of rainfall, rising temperatures, floods and rising sea temperatures, and sea levels and destruction of coral reefs.
The recent weather system in November, 2016 and those in recent years have revealed to us the destructive nature and impact of global warming.
Let us explore ways in which the church can respond to this threat. For global warming is not simply an existential threat, but a moral and spiritual matter: the rich world has disproportionately contributed to this and the poor world is bearing the brunt of its devastating consequences. Countries like St. Vincent and the Grenadines, Grenada and St.lucia are least equipped to deal with the impacts. As the Bishop of Salisbury, Nicholas Holtan has said in a report to the Synod of the Church of England in July, 2016:
“Ciimate change disproportionately affects the poorest. They are most vulnerable to increased storms,rising sea levels,changing patterns of rainfall, floods and drought. We live interconnected lives. What is bad for our neighbor is bad for us.”
I have appointed the Rev’d Canon Ashton Francis as Rector of the Parish of St. Paul, Calliaqua with St. John, Belair, St. Vincent and the Grenadines with effect from lst January, 2017.
End of Fulltime Ministry
The Rev’d Canon Clement Francis has informed me that he will be closing his pastoral relationship with the Parish of Christ the King, with St. Francis, Carriacou, Grenada and bringing an end to fulltime Ministry with effect from 31st January, 2017.
Canon Francis served as Rector of the parish of St. George, with St Alban, St. Peter, St. Luke and St. Vincent,and as Archdeacon of Grenada from 1988-1997, Priest in Charge of Christ the King, Carriacou for the past six years and also served for a short period in the Parish of Grace Church, Riviere Doree, with St. Paul and Christ The King, St. Lucia.
There will be the celebration of the Holy Eucharist in thanksgiving to God for Canon Clement Francis’ Ministry, 4:30pm on Tuesday 31st January, 2017, at Christ the King Parish Church, Carriacou, Grenada. Your prayers and presence will be greatly appreciated.
On behalf of the Diocese I give thanks to God for his ministry,and extend best wishes to Canon Clement and Mrs. Francis and pray God’s continued blessings on them as they move into this new phase of life.
Out of Diocese
I hope to be out of the Diocese from 12th to 22nd January, 2017 this is to join my wife, Lois on a Cruise, postponed from January this year. During my absence the Venerable Christian Glasgow will have oversight of the Diocese.
Servers Festival, 2017
The Annual Servers Festival in the Archdeaconry of St. Vincent and the Grenadines is scheduled for 9:30am on Saturday 4th February, 2017 at St. Patrick, Parish Church, Barrouallie. Please inform Fr. Brooker of the number of servers from your parish who will be attending. Each Parish is asked to make a contribution of $175.00XCD payable to the St. Patrick Anglican Church.
Annual Pre- Lenten Clergy Retreat
The Annual Pre-Lenten Clergy Retreat will be held at the Anglican Pastoral Centre, Montrose, Kingstown, St. Vincent and the Grenadines from Tuesday 21st to Thursday 23rd February, 2017 with travel days being Monday 20th and Friday 24th February, 2017.
Blessing of Oils and Renewal of Ordination Vows
The service of the Blessing of Oils and Renewal of Ordination Vows will be held at 5:00pm on Wednesday in Holy Week 12th April, 2017. This is to accommodate Clergy from Grenada and St. Lucia, those who have been licensed and /or commissioned and members of the various congregations to attend.
Please let me know soonest when you’ll like me to visit your parish, for confirmation, other service or occasion in 2017.
With every good wish and God’s blessings!
The R . Rev’d C. Leopold Friday
Bishop of the Windward Islands