UCC resolutions address both the heavens and the earth
Two actions taken Tuesday, June 30, by the United Church of Christ General Synod endorsed the need for an outer space environment free of man-made debris while defeating a call encouraging mandatory identification of genetically-engineered foods.
In approving a resolution calling for “Responsible Stewardship of Outer Space Environment,” the Rev. Ruth Bradshaw, Wichita, Kan., reminded delegates, “God created the whole universe and we are called to be stewards of all creation.”
“Who will offer a bold, prophetic witness for a safe space environment?” asked Robert Batchelder, a delegate from the Massachusetts Conference. “Would it not be fitting for the UCC to lead the way?”
In addition to asking the national church to prepare educational materials for local congregations, the resolution endorses “adequate” funding for NASA for it to “lead the nations of the world in working together to reduce the volume of debris in low Earth orbit,” and supports international agreements that encourage “responsible behavior in space.”
A following resolution supporting legislation requiring labeling “of genetically engineered foods on food packaging” failed to garner the two-thirds vote needed for passage.
Supporters believed strongly that consumers deserved to know if ingredients in their purchased foods were the result of genetic engineering. Opponents were concerned about some of the theological foundations for bringing the action to the church body, the economic consequences to small manufacturers, and the confusion that opposition to labeling may be perceived as a general opposition to genetically-engineered foods.
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