Upcoming Environmental Justice Events:
• Ecumenical Lenten Carbon Fast: Join UCC congregations in the carbon fast and resolve to reduce your consumption of fossil fuels during Lent. Recognize this time of repentance, fasting, and prayer with actions that benefit Mother Earth. Learn more.
• Earth Day Sunday: Earth day is an opportunity to reflect on the wonders of God's Creation. Earth Day is celebrated on April 22 each year, and churches are urged to celebrate Earth Day Sunday near this date. In 2014, Easter is April 20, so you may wish to designate April 27th as Earth Day Sunday, or another date that works for your church. Learn more.
• Environmental Justice Retreat in Minnesota: How can people of faith work for environmental justice for all? Join us for a training workshop, May 14-16, at Pilgrim Point Camps and Retreats Center in Minnesota to learn about this pressing issue. Cost is $90. Learn more and register.
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.