Environmental Justice Updates
Upcoming Environmental Justice Trainings: October 7-9, 2015 at Camp N-Sid-Sen on Lake Coeur d’Alene, Idaho
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?
Merchants of Doubt film discussion guide
Interfaith Power and Light has created a free discussion guide for faith groups watching the film Merchants of Doubt. This documentary is widely available on DVD and shows how a small group of people have sown doubt about the scientific consensus on the dangers of tobacco, the reality of climate change, and other issues.
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.