The National Council of Churches USA's Eco-Justice Programme plans to mark United Nations World Water Day on Thursday 22 March 2007 with a new set of materials aimed at encouraging local congregations to take water stewardship seriously.
Local action is also an important part of global concern, says the inter-church body, which brings together America's Orthodox, Protestant, Anglican, historic African American and traditional peace churches. The 35 communions have 45 million members in 100,000 congregations across all 50 states, NCC USA estimates.
Entitled, 'Water Stewards: A Toolkit for Congregational Care of Local Watersheds', the online pack provides both practical advice and theological foundations for water stewardship, plus curriculum for churches wishing to engage in further reflection and study.
"There are over 500 references to water in the Bible," explains Cassandra Carmichael, director of Eco-Justice Programmess at the National Council of Churches USA. "As Christians, we have a moral obligation to care for God's gift of water and protect our nation's waterways."
"Water Stewards: A Toolkit for Congregational Care of Local Watersheds ," can be downloaded here  by signing in to the eco-justice network. The NCC stresses that the initiative is not trend-hopping on the back of publicity for environmental concern. In fact the ecumenical body has focused on Christian stewardship of the earth for more than 25 years.
World Water Day (WWD) 2007 will be guided by the theme 'Coping with Water Scarcity' under the leadership of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations. It will be supported by member states, civic and faith groups and NGOs.