Date: November 9, 2009
A pleasant morning to everyone. Let me start my message by citing the UCCP Guide to Celebration of the Stewardship Month. “November is Stewardship month. It reminds us of the innate responsibility that God has given us. It is the privilege of “holding life and all else possessed as a trust from God.” It is a commitment and an accountability that makes us unique from all creation.
Being members of the Church, the body of Christ, we are commissioned to “deepen and broaden our experiences and understanding of the Christian faith and heritage that we may collectively and individually become living witnesses and responsible stewards of God’s creation.”
Every now and then… in the television, over the radio and even in our own school community, we always hear and discuss about garbage, waste, unclean surroundings, the filthy and dirty market places, terminals, compounds, villages and even in our own campus. Not forgetting the very foul-smelling, odorous comfort rooms… that oftentimes become uncomforting rooms to us anymore. Rivers, drainage and canals have also become dumping areas of wastes and these had become dwelling places to some. When heavy rains, storms and other natural calamities occur, landslides are being experienced and some places easily get flooded. Eventually, people suffer and struggle for life and human dignity.
Like what happened in Luzon and other parts of the country, storms Ondoy, Peping, Ramil and Santi left a lot of ruins not only to human beings but also to things, and other creations like animals and plants. Have we ever reflected on these issues and concerns that for quite a long time we still have these problems and the sad thing is that it is even becoming even more serious and severe. Have we not been good stewards of God’s creation?
I would like to believe to what Arfel said that “Kung ang kinaiyahan na gani ang maningil sa tawo, mas daku og grabe ang balos, maglisod kita sa pagsagang madatu ka man o pobre.’ True enough, when the nature is already pissed off by what human beings are doing to its natural resources, people become defenseless and vulnerable to floods and other devastations.
Let me mention a simple event. I don’t know if you also have reflected on why we are now buying mineral or purified water for drink. Before, when we were yet in the elementary grade and high school, we used to just drink in faucets inside the campus. But now, we are afraid to be caught by stomach problem. We, the parents are contributing money for the gallons of mineral water for our children in our elementary school. Perhaps our school could no longer provide water because the water is not safe for drinking anymore.
Just like bringing our bottled dinking water anywhere we go, we may come to a point when we need to bring or carry small oxygen containing purified and clean air to breath because of air pollution. This is the least that we all could imagine and for sure, we do not want this situation to happen to neither our lives nor the lives of the next generation.
Issue on climate change or global warming is indeed alarming. According to Microsoft Encarta, 2008, “Scientists project global warming to continue at a rate that is unprecedented in hundreds of thousands or even millions of years of Earth’s history. They predict considerably more warming in the 21st century, depending on the level of future greenhouse gas emissions. For a scenario (possible situation) assuming higher emissions—in which emissions continue to increase significantly during the century—scientists project further warming of 2.4 to 6.4 Celsius degrees (4.3 to 11.5 Fahrenheit degrees) by the year 2100. For a scenario assuming lower emissions—in which emissions grow slowly, peak around the year 2050, and then fall—scientists project further warming of 1.1 to 2.9 Celsius degrees (1.9 to 5.2 Fahrenheit degrees) by the year 2100.”
It further stated that “melting polar ice and glaciers, as well as warming of the oceans, expands ocean volume and raises sea level, which will eventually flood some coastal regions and even entire islands. Patterns of rainfall are expected to change, with higher latitudes (closer to the poles) projected to receive more rainfall, and subtropical areas (such as the Mediterranean and southern Africa) projected to receive considerably less. Changes in temperature and precipitation patterns may damage food crops, disrupting food production in some parts of the world. Plant and animal species will shift their ranges toward the poles or to higher elevations seeking cooler temperatures and species that cannot do so may become extinct. Increasing levels of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere also leads to increased ocean acidity, damaging ocean ecosystems.”
True enough as a source mentioned “developing countries like the Philippines believe that they have the most to lose from continued global warming. Because much of the developing world occupies warmer regions, where many species of crops and domesticated animals live at the upper limit of their natural temperature tolerances, higher temperatures could lead to widespread livestock declines and crop failures. Moreover, unlike the industrialized world, most developing nations especially the Philippines, lack the capital and infrastructure to develop new varieties of heat-tolerant crops and animals, lack capital and infrastructure to build flood control systems, and lack capital and infrastructure to deploy disaster relief when needed.”
Human beings face global warming with a huge population at risk. The potential consequences are so great. That is why many of the world’s leading scientists and increasingly, politicians, business leaders, environmentalists and other citizens are calling for international cooperation and immediate action to counteract the problem.
In SCC, many said we are experiencing a problem of “improper” waste disposal. This may be a minute problem but if not properly addressed this could become a huge one. Are we serious in solving this problem? As a college, how much time, effort and financial appropriation do we provide in order to effectively and efficiently do the process of proper waste disposal and zero-waste management?
This is a great challenge to all of us… because if we do not act or do something we all will suffer in the end. Let us remember that making schools successful takes more than just individual effort - it takes teamwork. Schools are using teams to accomplish many tasks and for teamwork to be successful, teams and individual team members need to have clear, shared goals; to have a sense of commitment; have the ability to work together; have mutual accountability; have access to needed resources and skills; and other elements of effective teams to work towards a common goal.
It is then equally important that security, safety and disaster planning is done ahead of time while big problems do not occur yet. There are still time and ways to restore our dearest earth. When we do our contributions and share in little or big ways, we can say then that we have not failed being the trusted stewards of God’s creation. Amen.
Delivered by Sandra Lyn Q. Quiñones, SCC Director of Libraries during the Monday Morning Devotion on the Celebration of the Stewardship Month, November 9, 2009 at the Chapel of the Dawn, Southern Christian College, Midsayap, Cotabato.