Chaplain’s Corner – Junior School

Over the past few weeks in CARE classes we have been discussing the issues of social justice. One fact that has really struck a chord with us is the realisation that right now the plastic pollution crisis is hitting people living in poverty the hardest. Two billion people in the developing world live and work among piles of rubbish and waste. Their drinking water is polluted, they are breathing toxic air and dying due to preventable illnesses. And to make matters worse, most of this rubbish is caused by multinational companies dumping single-use plastic products in places where they are not collected or disposed of correctly. People who are already struggling without access to the basic needs of food, water, shelter and education are being forced to live among this rubbish.

These facts have really challenged us, especially when we consider our responsibility to God to care for the earth He created. We have reflected on how we would feel if someone misused a precious item we had made and asked them to look after for us. This has prompted many discussions around ways we can make a difference, especially by reducing, reusing and recycling. I have been very impressed by the passion exhibited by students who are advocates for change and revolution. It would be worth having a dinnertime conversation with your family this week to consider adopting a new household practice to make much needed change to this crisis. The students themselves are coming up with creative and feasible ideas including reducing the use of single-use plastic bags, eliminating takeaway coffee cups, making do without plastic straws, planting herb gardens and educating family members about recycling routines.

What is most encouraging is that these young people are not overwhelmed by a sense of doom and gloom, but a sense of hope and optimism.

A prayer from Common Grace:

Creator God,

you are abundant in generosity and we rejoice to be creatures sharing in your beautiful world. Our hearts are heavy at the brokenness and the way our nation continues to exploit and misuse Earth’s resources. We repent and turn to you.

Give to all in this land now called Australia a desire for righteousness and peace, the will to work together in trust, hearts to seek the common good and a desire to share with justice the resources of Earth. 

Soften the hearts of our leaders, may they lead us in making reparations and championing a clean energy world for the sake of the last, the least and the lost.

Amen.

Janine de Paiva
Junior School Chaplain