Nea Ionia, Volos, June 13, 2021
On June 13, 2021 the presentation of the research program "Green Orthodoxy and parallel actions", which is implemented by the Volos Academy for Theological Studies in cooperation with WWF Greece, was successfully held at the Church of Evangelistria in Nea Ionia, Volos. The project refers to the creation of a pilot "green parish" in Volos (Church of Evangelistria), as a trigger for the establishment of a network of climate-neutral Orthodox parishes, through the production of information material, the energy upgrade of the parish building and the installation of a small photovoltaic system, which will be accompanied by the necessary interventions in energy efficiency and savings in terms of building infrastructure and operation.
At the beginning of the event and after a short welcome address of the head of the church Archim. Amfilochios Miltos, a short message was presented by the Metropolitan of Demetrias and Almyros, Ignatius, about the urgency and importance of such an action, as well as about the human responsibility for stopping climate change. Then the speech was given to Dr. Nikolaos Asproulis, Deputy Director of the Volos Academy for Theological Studies, the person in charge of the implementation of the program, who briefly presented the goals and the basic steps for the implementation of the "green parish", while referring also to the other actions within the program.
Thus, in addition to the creation of the "green parish", various parallel actions will take place, such as: publication of information material for the ecological awareness of parishioners, organization of a school competition for essay writing on climate change in secondary schools in the prefecture of Magnesia, organization of events within the parish in order to inform and involve the parishioners in specific actions, the organization of an online conference on "Orthodox Church and climate change" in October 2021 (in view of 26th United Nations Climate Change Conference). At the same time, within the framework of the program, the operation of a specialized blog (greenorthodoxyvolos.wordpress.com) has already started, in which current texts, news, etc. are published for the environmental activity of the Orthodox Church but also for the latest developments in the relevant discussion worldwide. Finally, from the official radio station of the Holy Metropolis of Demetrias, "Orthodoxi Martyria" 104 FM, monthly environmental broadcasts will take place, where distinguished guests will talk to the station's director Nikos Varalis about issues related to climate change.
Afterwards, a short video intervention was presented by H.A.H. the Ecumenical Patriarch, Bartholomew, who referred to the spiritual causes of the ecological crisis and the need for human to react immediately by protecting God's creation. Then Ms. Theodota Nantsou, WWF Greece's head of policy, referred to aspects of the climate crisis, pointing out the dangers that lurk for the future of the planet and human survival. Finally, another video was presented on the role of the Orthodox Church in dealing with the climate crisis.
The event ended with a discussion with the parishioners, in order to clarify certain points of the program and the schedule of actions, while emphasizing the necessary contribution of the entire parish members to the success of the program.
This program is the second phase of cooperation of the Volos Academy for Theological Studies with WWF Greece. The fruit of the first phase of this cooperation was the publication of a collective volume on the role of the Orthodox Church in the Balkans in relation to the climate crisis, entitled: The Orthodox Church addresses the climate crisis (2021). To read and download the book click https://acadimia.org/images/pdf_doc_more/2021/02/orthodoxy__climate_crisis_complete.pdf.
You can watch the intervention of the Ecumenical Patriarch
You can also watch the intervention of the Metropolitan of Demetrias
To read the guide to the “green parish” click here
You can watch the intervention of Nikolaos Asproulis in the TV show O3 of ERT3 here
To read local and online press releases about the program click below: