Article from SAFCEI Southern Africa Faith Communities Environmental Initiative   by Kate Davies, SAFCEI Eco-congregation Coordinator (click link for all pictures)


How do you light a spark and inspire 300 young Christians to become earthkeepers? Read how the Anglican Youth Fellowship (AYF) met the challenge!Eco-drama-False-Bay-group

At a vibrant, action packed evening with much fun and laughter, members of the AYF from the southern African Anglican Dioceses introduced their friends and colleagues to some critical environmental issues through a series of thought-provoking eco-dramas. In a process of learning from and teaching each other, teams from the participating Dioceses competed for a SAFCEI Earthkeeper award at their recent conference in George.

Using background information, groups were tasked with developing a story around a contextual environmental issue in their own Diocese. In ten minute presentations, each team of actors had to do a performance that was not only factually correct but one which offered a sense of hope with positive and practical suggestions for action and change.

The judges, from SAFCEI and the Southern Cape branch of WESSA, the Wild Life and Environment Society, were delighted and impressed with the students’ inspiration, ingenuity and sense of humour.

The overall winner was Port Elizabeth Diocese with their enthusiastic production on the theme of illegal dumping. They acknowledged many pressing social issues which make it doubly difficult to respond to long term environmental challenges. They highlighted the ethical responsibility of the church in playing a leadership role.

There were two ‘runner up’ performances. False Bay Diocese contrasted rural and urban perspectives on the value of water and Saldanha Bay did a clever ‘one man show’ about climate change.

Drama, in all its many forms, allows for experimentation, social critique and self-expression. There is no better way of learning about issues affecting our communities than through sharing our lived experiences and no more appropriate place for this to happen than amongst youth groups in our churches and faith communities. SAFCEI hopes that the AYF conference participants will return to their Dioceses with a broader vision of Christian stewardship which incorporates the totality of God’s creation. After all, God proclaimed it all to be “Very good” (Genesis 1:31).


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