Young South African Anglican joins international, multi-faith network of emerging faith leaders on climate action

6 July 2015

The Emerging Leaders Multi-Faith Climate Convergence is launching an international, multi-faith initiative that aims to connect a new generation of advocates for climate and environmental justice.

The Anglican Alliance is delighted that Ncumisa Ukeweva Magadla of the Diocese of Cape Town is one of these emerging leaders.

She’s been a part of Green Anglicans, the Anglican Church of Southern Africa’s Environmental Network, for two years, working with Anglican young people to nurture a “care for creation” mindset and spur radical lifestyle change throughout the region.

Ncumisa and the 100 other Convergence participants are sharing experiences of leadership in order to learn about the different ways that faith communities can drive positive environmental change.

This opportunity to meet people her age from other faiths engaged in environmental issues prompted Ncumisa to apply for the programme. She has been working with the Convergence initiator OurVoices to develop what she calls “a trend of conscious young people on environmental ministry.”

“I have always asked myself how others respond to climate issues in their countries and faiths, how they share ideas and resources,” she says.

Each Convergence participant will draw up an action plan for a year-long project in his or her home context.

Ncumisa intends to continue collaborating with young people across the Anglican Church of Southern Africa. She wants to create a creation care resource book with liturgical materials and suggested activities for the Church and Anglican young people in particular.

She’s hoping to bring back practical actions and ideas from the Rome Convergence that are fun and appealing to youth and could be implemented in South Africa.

OurVoices, a campaign of GreenFaith, the Conservation Foundation and diverse partners worldwide, including the Anglican Alliance, says the time is right for the emerging leaders initiative.

“The Paris climate negotiations in December and the release of the papal encyclical this summer create a remarkable opportunity to mobilize and connect [these new] leaders of diverse faiths on climate change,” they note in their announcement about the Convergence.

For Ncumisa, there is a logical link between her environmental engagement and her faith. “I am part of God’s creation and he loves all of his creation, and I was missioned in Genesis 2:15 to take care of that creation.”

The February 2015 meeting of Anglican Communion bishops on climate change held in Cape Town was a highlight of her eco-involvement so far. This meeting was chaired by Archbishop Thabo Makgoba, Primate of Southern Africa and chair of the Anglican Communion Environment Network.

Anglicans more senior in age are proud of the way in which young Green Anglicans are taking leadership roles in caring for creation.

“Ncumisa will be an excellent representative at this gathering in Rome. The Anglican Communion Environmental Network will be glad to learn from and be part of this network of emerging leaders,” says the Revd Dr Rachel Mash, Environmental Coordinator for the Anglican Church of Southern Africa and ACEN steering group member.

“It is really inspiring to see the energy and vision of younger people helping to shape the global faith movement on climate justice,” says Andy Bowerman, Co-Executive Director of the Anglican Alliance.

“This is the generation that will experience the impact of decisions made in Paris later this year – whether humanity responds at this final opportunity to prevent irreversible damage to our world. We need to listen to and support this movement of emerging leaders,” Andy adds.

Ncumisa thinks it’s important for the Anglican Communion that an Anglican young person like herself is a part of the emerging leaders initiative.

“We have been long sidelining climate issues and focusing on the needs of the people – which is amazing -, however humanity needs this beautiful earth to survive. The Anglican Communion states the Fifth Mark of Mission boldly and it needs to be practical, which is what we are trying to achieve.”

Read the declaration “The World Is Our Host: A Call to Urgent Action for Climate Justice” from the Anglican Communion bishops meeting on climate change held in Cape Town from 23 to 27 February 2015.

Learn more about the Anglican Communion Environmental Network and visit the ACEN Facebook page.  


In the photo: Young Green Anglican “Movers and Shakers training camp” cleaning up the beach. Ncumisa (front right, in black jacket) was one of the camp leaders. Credit: Green Anglicans