Gathering in Cuba on Climate Justice and Water affirms commitment to a change of paradigm of life and of being the church

Participants in the Caribbean Climate Justice and Water gathering in Matanzas, CubaALC


Some 40 representatives of member churches and organisms of the Latin American Council of Churches (CLAI) and the Alliance of Presbyterian and Reformed Churches of Latin America (AIPRAL), took part in the Gathering on Climate Change and Water held at the Evangelical Theological Seminary (SET) of Matanzas, Cuba, from October 2-5.

The gathering affirmed the commitment to strengthening a process of formation and sharing of experiences that contributes to a paradigm change in the way of living and of being the church that will provide for the care of the whole creation of God of which we are part as human beings.

On the first day of the gathering, presentations on the threats, challenges, and human, environmental and socio-economic impacts of climate change, were given by Gladys Hernández of the Center for Studies of the World Economy of Cuba, and María Caridad Cruz of the Local Sustainable Development Program, and Carlos León of the Diaconal Ecological Center, shared contributions toward the construction of a new model of community environmental administration based on principles of social justice, human rights, and sustainability, from a spiritual perspective and involving citizen participation.

On the second day, the experience of the Council of Churches of Cuba (CIC) in agro-ecology, food security and sovereignty, and the challenges to be taken up in the search to find alternatives to the present global crisis were shared. Then, Vitalino Similox of the Ecumenical Council of Guatemala shared on the indigenous cosmos-vision of climate change, and Natanael Disla and Geovanny Santana gave a presentation of the reality of the Dominican Republic with regard to the extractive economy and mining, as well as a biblical analysis of the way that God asks us to take care of his creation.

The participants were also challenged by the bible studies led by Cuban theologians Reinerio Arce and Ofelia Ortega, who highlighted the urgency for the churches to work toward bringing about ecological justice and new relationships with nature. The gathering also included time for dialogue and work in small groups, where the need for the churches to enter into dialogue with the ancestral cosmos-visions and the paradigm of Good Living of the indigenous peoples in Latin America was emphasized.

A work plan was prepared to strengthen the biblical formation of the members of the churches and pastoral ministries, from the standpoint of new paradigms that protect life in all of its manifestations, and the exchanging of experiences where the churches and their diaconal ministries are contributing toward lessening climate change.

Photo: Participants in the Caribbean Climate Justice and Water gathering in Matanzas, Cuba

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