Economy and Ecology

Countless times a day we are given the exchange rates and the stock market indicators. These “numbers” are the benediction to every single news broadcast on both radio and TV. We may be tempted to think of these numbers as referring to the economy but that would be a terrible reduction of meaning.

There are three words that come from the Greek root oikos. Their meanings helpfully overlap and point to three vital areas every one of us should be concerned about.

The English word economy comes from two Greek words: oikos-nomos, meaning the management or rules of the household. Let’s take a moment to think about our own households. Surely the uppermost concern within our households is that everyone has enough? Regardless of the numbers our primary aim is to use our resources to secure the best and most equal opportunity for all within our home. To tolerate a situation in our homes where some have too much while others go without would result in the breakdown of our family. Similarly, world inequality results in conflict.

The economy is directly rooted/related to ecology — oikos-logos. This is not surprising because the earth is our home. Therefore the primary responsibility of the economy should be to care for the earth. Sadly this is not the case. Although we have only one Planet Earth, we leave an ecological footprint of 1.5 planets; that is, we are currently using 50 percent more resources than our planet can regenerate to meet our current consumption needs. As a consequence, one-third of our agricultural land has disappeared over the past 40 years.

Both economy and ecology are related to human solidarity/family or ecumenism. The word ecumenical comes from the Greek word oikoumene. Economy and ecology join together to provide an abundant living for all inhabitants. When the human family is divided and at odds with each other the economy and ecology will not be honoured as they should. Today we gather for Holy Communion which is the great sign of economy, ecology and ecumenism coming together as God had hoped and promised.

Grace Alan


We believe in the Merciful One
who calls us to reject all idols and who seeks a deep communion with us.

We believe in the Merciful One
who is not remote but who is immersed in the life of this world sharing its hope
and feeling its pain.

We believe in the Merciful One
who identifies with the poor and the oppressed and those who long for faith and who calls us to stand with them.

We believe in the Merciful One
whose love is vulnerable, whose heart is aching and whose covenant with all people
is unshakeable.

 Christian Conference of Asia News1

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