Creation Justice Churches: Five Big Reasons to Become One!
As one of the UCC’s eight Just World Covenant programs, Creation Justice Churches guides congregations in discerning how they can best embody a commitment to care for God’s creation. There are five big reasons why every church should want to be a Creation Justice Church:
- It’s our first calling! In the opening pages of Genesis, we learn that the first job that God gives to us humans is to care for God’s creation (Genesis 2:15).
- It’s what Jesus would do! The apostle Paul spells out how Jesus sought to put right the broken covenantal relationship between God and all of creation (Romans 8:20-24).
- Clean air, clean water—those are good things! If there is something that should bring together Christians in common cause, it is protecting the gifts of creation. Who doesn’t want clean air and water?
- It’s about justice! As Christians, we seek justice—to be in right relationship with God, our neighbors, and all of creation. From racial inequities to the ongoing legacy of colonialism, creation justice is deeply intertwined with multiple matters of justice. The current climate crisis gives matters of justice utmost urgency.
- It’s in our DNA! The UCC’s Commission for Racial Justice was the central organization in the watershed events of the environmental justice movement. It is one of the most significant parts of our denominational heritage, and every UCC church has the opportunity to continue this powerful legacy.
The Creation Justice Churches program is not a prescribed list of things to do but a process of discernment on how to best care for God’s creation. In its own way, each church will determine how to fulfill this primary calling. To assist in this process, the heart of the Creation Justice Churches program is a set of four discernment questions with four accompanying resource pages of ideas for what your congregation can do to embody creation justice. In order to give sufficient, but not overwhelming options, each resource page offers exactly five ideas. In fact, the process of applying to become a Creation Justice Church includes exactly five steps!
“The Creation Justice Churches program is so badly needed at this particular time in history. The Church has a special role to play in helping save the earth and its creatures from degradation and even destruction. This program sets the tone, leads the way forward, and joins with others in this movement.”
—David Andes, Member of Elon Community Church, Elon, North Carolina