Monday, October 15, 2007

Environmentalist African Pentecostals

Going along with Blog Action Day, I wanted to put up a quick post about an interesting eco-theology phenomenon I just learned about. In my reading for my Theology of the Holy Spirit class, I came across a denomination called the Association of African Earthkeeping Churches. They're a Pentecostal group in South Africa and Zimbabwe that sees the work of Holy Spirit as extending healing to all of Creation. They have a complete eco-theology and even have a liturgy for tree planting ceremonies which is similar to the eucharistic liturgy. Their bishop was quoted as saying, "Deliverance, Mwari [God] says, lies in the trees. Jesus said: 'I leave you, my followers, to complete my work.' And that task is the one of healing! We the followers of Jesus have to continue with this healing ministry. So let us all fight, clothing, healing the earth with trees!" [quoted in Amos Yong; The Spirit Poured Out on All Flesh [Baker 2005] p. 62.)

How cool is that?! It may sound strange to some folks, but it at least highlights the importance of caring for Creation. It's encouraging to see evangelical books like this coming out now as well. Perhaps we should take a lesson from our African Pentecostal brothers are serve God by planting a few trees?

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