Archbishop of Canterbury urges greater church involvement in environment and social media

June 23, 2011

The church must be clear about the need to care for the environment, Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams said in Nairobi June 23 while addressing a symposium discussing the mission of the church in the 21st century. "Caring for the environment is caring for our children, our grandchildren, and caring for the generosity God has given us," he said.

Williams outlined several challenges churches will encounter this century and urged them to use new means of communication and social media to spread the gospel more effectively.

"There is virtually nowhere you can go in the world where you won't see a mobile telephone. The church needs to learn how use these new means of communications more effectively for the sake of the gospel. If we have social media, they can also be media for communion," he said.

Williams visited Kenya from June 18-23. He joined a 50th anniversary celebration of the Nakuru Diocese on June 19 and laid a foundation stone for Kenya's first Anglican University the following day. He heard about the difference a church project is making in people's lives in the Diocese of Machakos when he visited on June 21. The project is empowering communities to overcome poverty, food insufficiency, and adapt to climate change.

"Now the small grains you have sown have moved that mountain of doubt, now you know that God has given you that grace and freedom to serve him in this way, to make good use of the fruits of the earth," he said. "We give thanks for the overflow of God's gifts."

Kenya President Mwai Kibaki hailed the church for complementing government development efforts, especially in the education sector, while meeting with the leader. Williams expressed the church's commitment to improving the socio-economic welfare of the society, saying he looked forward to the government's collaboration.

During the visit, Williams praised churches in Nigeria, Zimbabwe, Pakistan, Egypt, and Sudan, which he said continue to show fearlessness in the face of terrible danger.

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