Environmental Justice Updates
My “Conversation” with the Pope: Ecumenical Bonding over Creation Care and Coffee
In his encyclical on the environment, the pope says that he wants to be in “dialogue with all people.” I have been imagining what it would be like to take him up on this offer—literally, perhaps over coffee. Compliments are always a great place to begin, so I figure I would start by giving him a couple of high fives before getting to a few burning topics. (Read more from commentary by Rev. Brooks Berndt.)
Coming Together in Faith on Climate: A celebration supporting Pope Francis's call for action on climate change
Join us to elevate the Pope’s call to climate action during his visit to Washington, D.C. - Learn more about how you can participate in DC or from home.
Speak out on climate before December Paris talks
People are walking the talk about climate change! In Minnesota, Honor the Earth has just completed a journey by horseback and canoe along proposed oil pipeline routes where spills could destroy the wild rice lakes region. Elsewhere, Yeb Sano is making a low-carbon pilgrimage to parts of the world most impacted by climate change. What spiritual pilgrimage might you make to tell world leaders that December climate meetings in Paris need to create binding agreements on climate change?
New resources on space debris
At General Synod in June, delegates passed a resolution urging a decrease in space debris. Did you know that a paint chip orbiting Earth at over 17,000mph could seriously damage or even destroy a satellite? And there are over 500,000 pieces of debris bigger than a centimeter orbiting Earth. Find out more here.
Why should people of faith care about the environment?
God's Gift and Call To Us
As people of faith, we look to the scriptures for guidance for the choices we make in our lives. Genesis 1 says that when God created the heavens and the earth, God saw that everything was "very good." We learn in Genesis 2 that as humankind has the freedom to make moral choices, and that each of us lives with the responsibility for our personal actions or inactions. With the freedom of God's gift, the prophet Micah guides us towards moral and responsible lifestyle choices: we are to do justice, love kindness and mercy, and walk humbly with our God [Mic.6:6-8].
Our Response To God
We understand scriptures compel us to act on our faith grounded in wonder, reverence, love, and respect for all of God's creation. But clearly, God's creation is groaning under the burden of injustice, greed, and arrogance. Our choices have resulted in vanishing and degraded farmland, air unfit to breathe and water unfit to drink, unsustainable energy processes and consumption, and the perilous immediate and long-term worldwide consequences of global warming and climate change. Poor communities and communities of color will disproportionately suffer the unjust consequences of our choices. And now, we realize more every day that our choices threaten the voiceless natural systems that sustain all of life itself.
Our Choices Now
When confronted with environmental responsibility, people of faith now face an additional choice: to live in despair or to live with hope. We in the United Church of Christ are called to live with hope. We are called to go beyond lifestyle adjustment. We are called to spiritual and lifestyle transformation based on justice and reverence for all of God's creatures and creation. We are called by Jesus to love God and love our neighbor as ourselves. With God's grace, we invite individuals to transform their lives and their communities to become hopeful, restorative, and just.
We invite you to tell others of your concern and to work in your congregation for environmental justice. We invite you to sign up to attend a workshop or retreat that will expand your awareness and deepen your faith.