Pathanmthitta: The Church of South India (CSI) has embarked on an eco-friendly mission under which church complexes and buildings will be developed by strictly adhering to a green protocol.
Minimal use of natural resources, use of LED lighting and solar energy, and encouraging people to adopt energy conservation methods are part of the Green Protocol for Green Discipleship (GPGD) policy formulated by the Church’s Department of Ecological Concerns. The other focal points are harvesting rainwater, making churches free of plastic, planting of saplings on the church premises during functions, promotion of organic farming, and encouraging people to use public transport to reduce atmospheric pollution.
CSI Moderator Bishop Thomas K. Oommen told The Hindu that the CSI was the only Church in India that had mentioned ecology as a mission in its constitution. The Department of Ecological Concerns led by Mathew Koshy Punnackad, former principal of Bishop Moore College in Mavelikara, had already started circulating the 12-point GPGD guideline document among its 16,000 parishes, attached to 24 dioceses, with a total of 43 lakh members.
Bishop Oommen said the document envisaged development of green congregations. All parishes were supposed to abide by the green protocol, he said.
“God has designed the universe as inter-dependent and as a living organism. Therefore, redemption of the earth is possible only by preserving and retrieving, in some cases, her dynamic and harmonious balance,” he said.
He said Dr. Koshy was already organising training programmes for the clergy across south India. The CSI Synod executive to be held in April would discuss the GPGD document and it would be executed after an executive meeting in August-September . All the 96 arts and science colleges, 2,000 schools, hospitals, and various other institutions of the church would follow the GPGD guidelines, he said.