News letter – January 2022 ………………
Dear Brothers & Sisters in Christ,
It is once again the time to start anew and fresh in all aspects of life. It is the time to reevaluate our earthly journey and renew our relationship with God and each other. Isaiah 40: 31 says, do not be afraid to face life, but see where is God in your life, remember the promises that God has given us and trust God, then everything will fall in line. We step into this new year with a lot of uncertainty. But as Christians, we have to bring light and hope to our society. Therefore, remember to remain in God every moment of your life. Then we are on the right path that is led by God. As such, we must remember to be better persons in our future endeavours. Albert Schweitzer says, “the purpose of human life is to serve, and to show compassion and the will to help others.” Jesus says, “and the king will answer them, ‘truly I tell you, just as you did it to one of the least of these who are members of my family, you did it to me.’ (St. Matthew 25:40) Therefore, let us serve humanity, then we are serving our heavenly father.
In the month of January, we celebrate the Epiphany. Epiphany is celebrated 12 days
after Christmas on 6th January. Some churches celebrate Epiphany to commemorate
and remember both the visit of the wisemen and Jesus's baptism! Epiphany means
'revelation' and both the visit of the wisemen and the baptism of Jesus are times
when Jesus was 'revealed' to be very important. God is light, says the Gospel of John,
and that light has come into the world. Christians are now children of light; so, let us
be the light and try to learn what is pleasing to the Lord and avoid the darkness. It is
our responsibility to live in the light and reveal Jesus Christ to the world.
We consider the first month of the year an important month for the family of St.
Paul’s Church Kandy. We commemorate the conversion of St. Paul at our Patronal
Festival. On the nearest Sunday, the Bishop’s pastoral visit and confirmation service
will be held as usual. So, we as a family have to prepare for another eventful month.
Therefore, now let us welcome the new year, with new hope and joy.
“Above all, clothe yourselves with love, which binds everything together in perfect harmony. And let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in the one body. And be thankful. Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly; teach and admonish one another in all wisdom; and with gratitude in your hearts sing psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs to God. And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him”. (Colossian 3:14 -17)
May God bless and guide all of us to fulfil this task as we step into this new year.
Rev. Sanath Medagamgoda
Message for the Environment Day
Bishops of the Church of Ceylon
(05th June, 2021 | 06.00 )
This year’s theme for World Environment Day is Reimagine, Recreate and Restore and given the crisis that the world faces with respect to climate change, 2021 also marks the launch of the United Nations Decade on ecosystem restoration (2021-2030). The Church of Ceylon calls upon all Sri Lankans to join with the peoples of the world to focus the attention of governments, leaders of all faith communities, business communities and civil society, on the urgent need to heal and restore the earth’s ecosystems.
Sacrificing the care of the environment in the pursuit of human development is depleting and stretching the earth’s natural resources to the maximum. As a result, dramatic changes in climate, pollution, poverty, deprivation and sickness are on the rise; nature cannot endure the abuse and over-exploitation. As Christians, we believe that God gave us shared dominion of the earth with the task of not only using it for sustenance but also to nurture it and manage it responsibly for the benefit of all, including future generations. It is important to note that the creation story in the Bible teaches us that even God rested after six days of work; the principles of the sabbath and the jubilee remind us that the earth and the soil need rest, restoration and rejuvenation. Many religious traditions and the wisdom of first peoples contain similar insights.
We salute youth leaders in various parts of the world who are leading the campaign through education, advocacy and even litigation in courts, to ensure that the world recognizes its responsibility of stewardship and management of the planet.
Major environmental problems in the world, deforestation, the lack of clean water and air, the loss of biodiversity, droughts and floods, increased sicknesses are the result of human beings abusing nature. In most of these situations, it is the poor and the vulnerable that suffer the most. This is unjust and unacceptable to us as Christians as Jesus Christ always was particularly concerned about the poor, the marginalized and the excluded.
In our own country, we have witnessed in recent years a failure in these responsibilities of stewardship. The pollution of the soil, waterways, and the sea, unsustainable soil and mineral mining and denudation of the natural tropical forest cover are a few examples. Policies for development must take cognizance of their impact on the environment. We need to review our economic and development policies and models, our modes of living and consumption and personal lifestyles so as to ensure that we shift to 'greener' methods of economic activity and living. Let us live in harmony with Mother Nature rather than destroying her; let us think not only about ourselves but also those yet to be born. We can start by cutting down on consumption and ‘wants’ and reducing, reusing and recycling waste and conserving water and energy. We can start with ourselves, our homes, churches, and work places.
The Rt Revd Keerthisiri Fernando, Bishop of Kurunagala & The Presiding Bishop of the Church of Ceylon
The Rt Revd Dushantha Rodrigo, Bishop of Colombo