Putting your faith into action!
Climate justice can seem an impossibly large issue to tackle. But what I love about our work together on economic and environmental concerns is that every day there are opportunities to put our faith into action to bring about concrete change in the world. And as we call for bold leadership by our elected officials, we can, through daily acts of discipleships, transform ourselves and our communities.
Last week we looked at foundational documents and positions of The United Methodist Church on creation care and climate justice. This week, we are focusing on how we as individuals, congregations and communities might give life to these words and narrow the gap between who we profess to be and how we live our daily lives.
I have come to realize that from the moment I wake up and turn on a light to the time I'm setting my alarm as I go to bed, I am connected to and in relationship with people and communities near and far that sustain my life. Whether it's the coal fields of Appalachia, the lettuce fields of Yuma, Arizona, the mines of the Democratic Republic of the Congo, or the garment factories of Bangladesh, I know that my life is connected to others and that I am benefitting from them. The question I wrestle with every day is how can I improve these connections, better reflect my love for neighbor and be in solidarity with those communities as they seek a more just and sustainable future.
As we work to address climate change and reduce our greenhouse gas emissions, I realize there is a tendency to focus on minimizing our collective footprint. But I wonder how "zero impact" became our goal. Isn't our goal to transform death-dealing systems of scarcity and injustice into life-giving systems where all enjoy creation's abundance? We have the opportunity to change our systems of energy and food production and patterns of consumption to benefit God's people and God's planet.
The awesome news is that United Methodists and churches around the world are doing exactly that. Since just last week, I've had the chance to hear amazing examples from United Methodists putting their faith into action from Arkansas, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Florida, Illinois, Peru, and the Philippines. Our partners at Caretakers of God's Creation and United Methodist Women are doing tremendous work. And here at Church and Society, even as we advocate for systemic change, we continue to work to align our actions with our values by shifting to renewable energy, installing a green roof, and replacing bottled water service with water filter stations.
So this week I invite you to reflect on and share the ways, big and small, that God is calling you to be a part of something new - a new way of living out our faith and a new way of relating to one another and God's good creation.
John Hill, Director, Economic & Environmental Advocacy, General Board of Church & Society