En barnhand håller en glaskula som föreställer en jordglob.
Foto: Magnus Aronson /Ikon

A Bishop´s Letter About the Climate

“Today, the spiritual and existential nature of the climate crisis is crystal clear. This is why the bishops’ letter combines scientific knowledge with pastoral care, theology and specific appeals,” says Archbishop Antje Jackelén.

In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth.

Genesis 1:1

The bishops’ letter talks of the climate crisis in a way that has hardly been seen before. It begins with a summary of current knowledge, followed by an existential and theological reflection on threats, anxiety, hope and our role as people. It concludes by describing ways forward and making appeals to decision-makers in Sweden and internationally, to business and organisations, to individuals – and, of course, to the Church of Sweden and churches throughout the world.

“The bishops’ letter tackles the worry, the guilt and the questions that climate issues raise. Have we run off and left the bill to our children? How can we achieve climate justice? What can we dare to hope for? The conditions are in place for unleashing the power required for action – among individuals and collectively. Love for our beloved Creation liberates us from both paralysis and denial,” says the Archbishop.

The bishops’ letter points out that there are ways forward even through crisis – but that time is scarce. And that is exactly why engagement and a holistic view are required based on the best available knowledge, not least in the area of spirituality.
“Through contacts with sister churches throughout the world and cooperation across religious boundaries, we know that strength from the depths of our Christian faith is required for this work,” says Archbishop Antje Jackelén.

A first bishops’ letter on climate was published in 2014. Five years of development has made it necessary and important to update and revise it.

Prayer for the climate

Fjäril på lavendel.

Prayer for the climate
Eternal God, the whole world is full of your glory.
We bear forth the anguish of creation in the time of the
climate crisis to you.
In your grace, grant us the opportunity to do good,
as your created co-creators.

Jesus Christ, you have walked the earth
and live in our midst.
Make us sensitive to the suffering of humankind
and the entire creation.
Strengthen us in our endeavours to create a life of dignity,
in justice and solidarity with those who live and will live.

Holy Spirit, power of courage and self-control,
you speak to our consciences.
Comfort us when we suffer and are plagued by anxiety.
Make us worry when we are numb in the
calmness of complacency.
Re-create us to become what we are:
one humanity under the same sky.