If someone were to ask me why I am Christian, the scripture that comes to mind first is a passage in Matthew that begins, “You know that the rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and their great ones are tyrants over them. It will not be so among you…” Jesus goes on to explain how his followers are to embody a life that places the Roman Empire on its head. Greatness is no longer defined by power over others but rather by service for others. (More.)
Imagine that you could travel back in time with one chance to avert the sinking of the Titanic. Theologically, you could say, “Well, it must be God’s will for the Titanic to sink, so I will just let it sink, even if I have the needed knowledge to save everyone and even if I am going down with the ship as well.” From this vantage point, you could decide to muster a bit of hope and add, “I will certainly pray that God has a change of heart and saves us all. Alternatively, you could determine that this trip to the past is a divine ordained opportunity to serve as a vessel of God’s will and act rather than sit idly by as disaster occurs. (More.)
The General Synod of the United Church of Christ, in June 2019, voted in favor of a resolution to support the “Energy Innovation and Carbon Dividend Act of 2019.” This Act has been introduced into the U. S. House of Representatives as H. R. 763. Citizen's Climate Lobby has created a website to provide information about the Act.
Each UCC church is asked to support the Act with the following actions: (More.)
According to experts, we are just a few uncontrolled crashes away from creating enough debris to set off a chain reaction of collisions that would make low Earth orbit (LEO) unusable. Among the casualties would be NASA’s fleet of 26 satellites designed for long-term global observation of solid Earth, land surface, biosphere, atmosphere, and oceans. Scientists and policymakers depend on information from these spacecraft to monitor climate change and address such impacts as famines, water shortages, and natural disasters. (More.)
What can churches and their members do to support the Green New Deal and actualize their care for God's creation? Here are five actions they can take... (More.)
Seven preachers known for their work in caring for Creation were each asked to offer a tip on how to talk about the Green New Deal from the pulpit. (More.)
I have frequently thought of churches as laboratories of love—places in which we are constantly experimenting and learning how to be vessels of the divine, how to put love into action through our own lives. When it comes to the business of discerning how to embody God’s love in each and every sphere of life, one is ultimately compelled to consider how we relate love to our role as citizens. As citizens, how should we care for God’s creation? As citizens, what can and should we be doing to care for those devastated by environmental injustice? As citizens, how do we respond to the question raised in 1 John 3:17: “How does God’s love abide in anyone who has the world’s goods and sees a brother or sister in need and yet refuses help?”
For years, justice-themed buttons that one can pin on one's shirt, hat, or backpack have been a special part of General Synod culture in the United Church of Christ. It has been an important way to make known to others some of the most vital values and causes that one holds. Long after General Synod is over these buttons can also be a reminder of important moments in denominational history such as the passing of the resolution in support of marriage equality. As the UCC's Minister for Environmental Justice, the Rev. Dr. Brooks Berndt has loved this part of church culture while also wishing that it could be more ecologically friendly. What happens when some may wish to latter discard old buttons—buttons that might still be highly valued by others? To address the conundrum of how to support justice-causes in a way that is just to the environment, he has the launched "The Next R Button Shop," so that those attending General Synod can donate, trade, and collect used buttons. (More.)
I was speaking with some of my dearest brothers I have in ministry. I was complementing them on their success in ministry. The conversation went something like this:
Me: Man, y'all boys really doing it big out here. I love your hustle.
Pastor M: Man, you're out here doing major work too and, I don't even understand what you're doing.
Pastor B: Yeah bro, you're doing major work!
For Earth Sunday, Plymouth Church UCC of Shaker Heights, Ohio decided to undertake an activity to demonstrate how everyone—young or old—could do something to care for God's creation. After worship, they had a cookie sale for planet earth with the belief that every bit counts, or in this case, every bite counts! Earlier that morning, the children of the church had baked thumbprint cookies that were then sold during coffee hour to support a program that reduces the carbon footprint of humans. (More.)