News letter – September 2022 ………………
We have passed a few troublesome months and are entering into a time of uncertainty, where numerous changes have taken place in our country and among the people because of the current situation. Let us not forget that God our heavenly father is guiding us even through the worst of times if we continue with him faithfully. Remember the words that Jesus taught us "be still, I am your God, do not fear for I am your God. I have won the victory against evil and I will continue to be with you all"t
At this time of chaos, uncertainty and hopelessness, God encourages us to maintain our faith and hope because he is the source of life. Friends, the Holy Spirit guides us to show compassion towards people who have no food, shelter, medicine or basic necessities as well as those in pain, anxiety and feeling insecure. Here God is inviting us to be followers of Christ.
We all understand the seriousness of the economic crisis and the fall of the social fabric of our country. After the “Aragalaya” the law enforcement is tracking down all those who raised their voices against injustice. It is very sad that the present government also does not want a system change, but is maintaining the same path as the previous leaders. We are informed daily in the media about the unending killings, bribery and corruption and various scandals as the reputation of our country plunges into a deep abyss.
Leaving behind all negative aspects and pictures of our society, we need to prayerfully reflect on how we should charter our journey with the Lord. Apostle Paul reminds us that we need to work continuously towards Gods kingdom until we see the results. Therefore, our involvements with the society, evangelistic work or any other activities as Christians should not stop. It is our faith that makes changes. Therefore, let us take the path of Jesus who always walked with the poor destitute, rejected and orphans. St. Mathew the author keeps reminding us that when things start going from bad to worse in our society and in the world, these are the signs towards new changes which may be hard to believe. So let us run with patience and a correct attitude so that we may understand the changes that may be hard to believe.
I Friends, we just heard of the completion of the Lambeth Conference 2022. It was
themed as “God' church for God’s world” with more than 700 Bishops from across
I However, our own mission here in Kandy by the congregation of St. Paul’s has
regained its enthusiasm. The Youth, Mothers’ Union, Men’s’ Fellowship, Choir
and Altar Servers continue their wonderful work for God’s kingdom and I am very
blessed to see things are moving with the help of God. The R & R program is
continuing with the help of many donors who like to see these spiritual ministries
moving ahead. I would like to thank all the members of the committees and office
bearers who are truly committed to uphold the church’s ministry. The Sunday
School Evelyn Nurseries and Eventide Home are also undergoing some changes to
enhance their ministry I am also impressed by the excellent work done by the
Bible study and prayer groups to strengthen spirituality among the congregation.
Please join the prayer or bible study groups which bring very many blessings to us. The Youth are distributing the food packs for the needy and the Mother’s Union provides rice and other items. The Church began its listening ministry to assist those who need cooperation. Let us uphold Mr. Chrishan Fernando and the Team as they proceed very silently.
I am happy to inform you that repairs to our Vicarage Annex are almost completed and we are trying to implement a suitable ministry there. The parochial council will be meeting and it will design the tear work of the possibility. I would like to encourage all those who are willing to help our mission which is very important. We are also seeking donations to finalize renovations of the two washrooms and other ministries.
When looking at so many aspects of our mission it is evident that our God needs human help to continue his work. In the month of September we celebrate our Harvest Festival so please continue to help us cheerfully with good hearts. . As we are passing this season of Trinity and move to the season of Advent in a few months, let us strongly believe in Jesus and the Holy Spirit who always provides courage and strength during this difficult time in our country.
Fr. George Melder
Vicar- St. Paul’s Church, Kandy
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