We are delighted to share this story from the Episcopal Anglican Church of Brazil. The original can be found here.
On Sunday 4 June 23, the Feast of the Holy Trinity, Christ the Redeemer Parish (Southern Diocese of the IEAB-Episcopal Anglican Church of Brazil) of Araranguá, Santa Catarina, Brazil, celebrated World Environment Day with the inauguration and blessing of the Ecological Sanctuary – Communion Forest, in the place where the Church was born, and which is now an environmental reserve.
On this day, the celebration of the Holy Eucharist was presided by the diocesan bishop Humberto Maiztegui, and the meditation was led by the Reverend Pilato Pereira, invited to address the theme of Integral Ecology. The service was attended by the Diocesan Board of UMEAB (Women´s Union of the Episcopal Anglican Church of Brazil), which presented the Walking with the Bible project.
After the service, the community had a community launch of the book Integral Ecology: Justice and Peace with Creation, written by Pilato Pereira himself. The activities of the festive and educational Sunday of the Holy Trinity were concluded in the area that the Church preserves as the Forest of Communion. The coolest thing is that those present were able to consume fruits picked directly from the fruit trees that are grown on the site.
For Paulo Ueti, Anglican Alliance´s regional director for Latin America “this initiative shows the commitment and the potential to involve other parishes, faith groups and dioceses into the work of environmental justice and eco-theological consciousness. I am very glad the Communion Forest is taking form and developing new initiatives”.
The Communion Forest
The Communion Forest is a worldwide project of the Anglican Communion, which aims to safeguard the integrity of Creation and/or sustain and renew the life of the earth by promoting reforestation and the preservation of biodiversity, protecting ecosystems and other actions that help remove some CO2 from the atmosphere.
Bishops made this commitment in 2022, as one of the legacies of the 15th Lambeth Conference, to be something lasting and that makes tangible our common commitment to the Fifth Anglican Mark of Mission: Strives to safeguard the integrity of creation and sustain and renew the life of the earth.
The Communion Forest, therefore, is a global initiative that encompasses local activities, such as the example of the preserved space in Christ the Redeemer Parish, in Araranguá, and the preserved forest with ecological trails in Ascension Parish, Diocesan Headquarters of the Southern Diocese and SETEK, in Porto Alegre, capital of Rio Grande do Sul.
Text: IEAB Communications Office, with information from Reverend Pilato.
Photos: Personal collection/Reverend Pilato