Remembering Our Baptism
In this second week of our “Season of Creation” observance here at St. Dunstan’s, our focus turns to that most basic element necessary for life – water. We know that roughly 60% of the average adult body is comprised of water, and neither we nor our planet can survive without adequate hydration. (We need only look at our own lawns over these past few weeks to be reminded of this sobering reality.) And yet even today, in 2019, it is estimated that 663 million people around the globe do not have access to clean drinking water. This is a justice issue, as developing countries are disproportionately impacted by the water crisis to an extent that so-called “first world” nations are not. In 2010, the UN General Assembly recognized “the right to safe and clean drinking water and sanitation as a human right that is essential for the full enjoyment of life and all human rights.”
As Christians, we promise in our Baptismal Covenant to “strive for justice and peace among all
people, and respect the dignity of every human being” (Book of Common Prayer, p. 305). Our faith compels us to consider, prayerfully, our responsibility to protect and preserve all of God’s Creation, but particularly the gift of water. While none of us in isolation can effect the magnitude of change required to resolve this global crisis, neither can we turn away from our brothers and sisters in such desperate need. What, then, are we to do?
I do not have the answer to this question, but I urge us as a parish to think and talk and pray about it – and then to act. At the very least we can begin by reexamining our own habits of consumption, and we also can consider supporting organizations actively engaged in a ministry of relief throughout the world. I commend the Gifts for Life campaign of Episcopal Relief and Development, through which one can provide clean water for an individual or family for a relatively nominal cost. There are, of course, many worthy agencies doing this critical work, and I encourage you to find the way to contribute that makes sense for you. Most importantly, please join me in praying for a sustainable solution to this devastating problem.
This Sunday, we will renew our own baptismal vows and ask God for the strength and guidance to fulfill them. I look forward to wading in those waters with you as together we seek to do God’s will in our world.
Your Sister in Christ,