Recognizing the need to strengthen global creation care efforts by churches, evangelical ministries, and individual evangelicals, the World Evangelical Alliance (WEA) has established the World Evangelical Alliance Sustainability Center (WEASC) in the strategically important “UN City” of Bonn. Closely working together with the WEA’s Creation Care Task Force (CCTF), WEASC addresses sustainability issues from a Christian perspective, contributes evangelical positions and recommendations to global debates and policy processes, and empowers followers of Christ to exercise leadership in sustainability efforts from the local to the global level.
“We strongly believe that caring for God’s creation is part of an authentic and biblically orthodox Christian faith,” says Bishop Efraim Tendero, the Secretary General and CEO of the World Evangelical Alliance (WEA). “By providing guidance, practical support, and actionable ideas the WEA Sustainability Center will inspire and empower both individual believers and congregations in every part of the world to faithfully care for God’s creation, make a positive contribution to the common good, and provide constructive evangelical input to international politics concerning the environment.”
The WEA is a network of national evangelical church alliances in 129 countries and over a 100 international evangelical organizations and provides a worldwide identity, voice, and platform for more than 600 million evangelical Christians. It has been working with various UN bodies for many years in its efforts to achieve progress in solving global sustainability issues. The WEA has offices in Deerfield, Manila, and Bonn. The Bonn office is under the oversight of WEA’s Associate Secretary General Thomas Schirrmacher and comprises the Department of Theological Concerns with the Theological Commission, the Office for Interfaith and Interfaith Relations, the International Institute for Islamic Studies, and the International Institute for Religious Freedom, as well as parts of the Department for Public Issues such as the WEA UN Bonn Office and the WEA Sustainability Center.
The WEASC is co-led by Matthias K. Boehning (Director, Bonn) and Dr. Chris Elisara (Associate Director, San Diego). Dr. Elisara leads the WEA’s CCTF and lends his extensive expertise as well as the CCTF’s global network to the WEASC. Matthias Boehning is concurrently working as the WEA’s Permanent Representative to the UN in Bonn leading operations out of the newly established WEA Bonn Representative Office just across the road from Bonn’s UN Campus.
The overarching objective of the WEASC is to equip churches and congregations around the world to implement creation care on a daily basis, thereby becoming a strong, legitimate, and unified voice in global sustainability. “Our ‘Why’ is to serve the global evangelical community to become faithful and effective stewards of creation,” emphasizes Matthias Boehning, “while our efforts and daily activities are guided by a very simple vision – abbreviated by ‘4C’: Churches Championing Creation Care.”
Since 2012, the WEA has been working intensively on environmental issues through CCTF, which in 2016 partnered with the Lausanne Movement to form the Lausanne/Creation Care Network (LWCCN). Dr. Elisara welcomes the WEASC as “a monumental step forward for the WEA’s creation care work as together we will be operationalizing the knowledge, theological insights, and initiatives developed by CCTF, LWCCN, and our other partners.” WEASC’s priority issues include participation in global policymaking processes, climate change mitigation and adaptation, and sustainable cities.
The official date for an opening celebration for the WEA Sustainability Center featuring high-level speakers from UN sustainability-focused agencies, WEA global senior leadership, the German Evangelical Alliance, and German political leaders will soon be released on the Sustainability Center’s website. The celebration date will also be announced in the forthcoming “Creation Stewardship Newsletter” that will inform readers about news, events, and helpful resources produced by the WEASC, CCTF, and LWCCN. To keep up to date with the WEA’s leadership caring for God’s creation sign up for the newsletter.