The missional vocation of “rising to life and breaking out from Babylon” entails the commitment to become subversive disciples to dismantle the empires of death and destruction that thwart the flourishing of life. The distress of God’s creation is the consequence of systems, ideologies, legacies, and practices that put profit over people and over the planet. The fact that those who are least responsible for the crisis are forced to bear its gravest consequences exposes how interlocking systems of oppression such as racism, patriarchy, economic injustice, casteism, and ableism are intrinsically connected with the ecological crisis. Life-flourishing Creation calls for courage and creativity to heal and restore the people and the planet through planetary solidarity.
Life-flourishing Creation is therefore the courage and creativity to heal and restore the people and the planet through planetary solidarity.
Rising to life is a subversive witness that defies the market forces which commodifies and annihilates life for profit. Such forces are unleashed by transnational corporations through the colonization of the land, water, forest, and atmosphere, and accumulation by dispossession. At its core is neo-liberal capitalism is an idolatrous system that desecrates and destroys life. Breaking out from Babylon in such a market-driven world requires the audacity to engage in insurrectionist witness to abolish neo-liberal capitalism and heal the world with an alternative economy of life. Life-flourishing economy is an economy that embodies defiance against moneytheism and the celebration of abundant life.
1. Life-flourishing Eco-Discipleship Formation
Life-flourishing eco-discipleship formation is an intentional process that nurtures and guides the spiritual growth and development of member churches, with a specific focus on caring for and stewarding the environment. This involves creating an environment where individuals and member churches can grow in their relationship with God, develop their character, and learn to apply biblical principles to caring for the earth and all its inhabitants.
2. Life-flourishing Alternatives
Life-flourishing creation and economy involves creative initiatives to develop alternative systems and communities that are just, egalitarian, sustainable, and democratic, drawing inspiration from alternatives such as degrowth, planetary ubuntu, buen vivir, eco swaraj, and agroecology.
3. School of Intersectional Ecotheology and Ecojustice Witness
The school will offer courses and programmes on topics such as ecofeminism, environmental racism, eco-spirituality, ecological ethics, and sustainable practices. It will also provide opportunities for students to engage in activism and advocacy for environmental justice and stewardship.
4. Ecological and Climate Debt and Reparations
The legacies of colonialism and its diverse avatars in history contributed to genocide and ecocide. Stolen land, dam(n)ed rivers, cash crops, pesticides, GM food are living legacies of colonialism. Life-flourishing creation and economy includes the campaign for ecological and climate reparations.
5. Pastoral Care in the Context of Ecological and Economic Trauma
Pastoral care involves providing support, guidance, and spiritual care to individuals and communities affected by environmental and economic crises. The goal of pastoral care is to help people cope with the trauma and suffering caused by these crises and to provide hope and encouragement for the future.
6. Theological Education for Economy of Life (TEEL)
TEEL is a programme that aims to integrate theological and economic education to address the challenges facing communities and societies today. It is a modular, self-directed, and fully online course for the Master of Theology (MTh) degree currently being implemented at Union Theological Seminary in the Philippines.
7. New International Finance and Economic Architecture (NIFEA)
NIFEA is a process that emerged from the Global Ecumenical Conference on a New International Financial and Economic Architecture, held in Guarulhos, State of Sao Paulo, Brazil in 2012. The NIFEA project is currently being run by five ecumenical institutions: the Council for World Mission, the World Council of Churches, the World Communion of Reformed Churches, the Lutheran World Federation, and the World Methodist Council.