Philippines: Lutheran church holds Youth Climate Action Summit
World Environment Day: A greener environment for the next generations
(LWI) – Ecosystem Restoration is the theme for this year’s World Environment Day on 5 June. Young members of the Lutheran Church in the Philippines (LCP) and the Philippine Lutheran Youth League (PLYL) have taken it to heart. They committed to being caretakers of creation “by ensuring a greener and sustainable environment for the next generations to enjoy” during the church’s recent Climate Action Summit.
“Equipped with God’s Word and guided by the Holy Spirit, we are ready to take climate action now,” said Dr. Stephanie Abnasan-Diong-An, who coordinated the project. She was a member of the Lutheran World Federation’s (LWF) delegation to COP25 in Madrid, Spain, and is actively engaged in her church’s advocacy for climate justice and the care for creation.
The project is one of a series of youth-led climate projects the LWF supports in member churches.
An acacia tree was dedicated to remind many generations of their God-given role as stewards of creation during the LCPs Climate Action Summit.
The Climate Action Summit was the first simultaneous onsite and online activity the LCP has organized. Participants learned about their role as stewards of the environment, the climate situation in the Philippines, the impacts of climate change on health and other aspects, and climate action initiatives.
“The project aimed to prepare young people in my church to face the impact of a changing climate by increasing environmental awareness,” Abnasan explained. “It also encouraged them to take climate action as stewards of God’s creation and to adapt to sustainable ways of living.”
At the future site of an LCP church in Tiaong, Quezon Province, participants worked and tilled the land for vegetable gardening and planted fruit-bearing trees at the site as part of the activities at the Climate Action Summit.
“To conclude the summit, we dedicated an acacia tree to serve as a reminder of our God-given role as stewards of creation on 31 May,” Abnasan said. The LCP president, Rev. Antonio Reyes, led the ceremony together with Rev. Nicodemus Tuban, missionary pastor in the South Luzon District, PLYL president Vincent Bilagot, and project coordinator Abnasan.
“The LWF is very proud of the engagement of young people in climate justice action, advocacy and the care for creation," says Elena Cedillo, LWF’s Program Executive for Climate Justice. “Young people are taking an active role to tackle climate impacts all over the world. Projects like this one can be an inspiration to others, setting examples of creativity and leadership by young people in LWF’s member churches.”
By LWF/A. Weyermüller