Sustainable September is a Western Australian initiative designed to focus the community across a spectrum of social, environmental and economic actions. It coincides nicely with the the Season of Creation on the church calendar, marked particularly by the Uniting Church in Australia, and which began in 2000 and coincided unknowingly with a parallel season called the Time of Creation being developed by the European Christian Environmental Network.
Why all this fuss about the environment? Along with other concerned world citizens, many Christians have been waking to their mandate as stewards or carers of the planet. Regardless of faith stance, aware people know that the human species is well equipped to modify and manage natural environments. Greed and the lust for control have revealed what happens when the task is poorly managed or even dismissed. For Christians, contemplative action leads to a healing of the wounds of creation.
So today is Forests Sunday, followed (in Australia) by Land, Wilderness/Outback, and River Sundays. Other countries will vary the names of the Sundays according to the environmental concerns of their regions.
Today’s reflective focus on forests invites us to dwell on the sheer gift of being able to walk among trees, observe the life that is sustained, and cherish the artifacts that find their source in our forests sufficiently to ensure the sustainability of old growth forest through a concentration of the use of well managed plantation timber. While mindful of the great legislative challenges of deforestation in other countries, there is sufficient challenge in our own to ensure a striving for proper balance.