Dear Colleagues in Creation Care,
As you settle in to enjoy this Update, I invite you to be mindful of God’s goodness as we all prepare to embrace the beauty of summer. The gifts of this season are particularly ‘earthy’ ones…with an opportunity to ‘engage’ with the soil…to feel the essence of the warm sun and to enjoy a baptism by (summer rain) shower. These gifts of God through creation touch us, body/mind/soul.
Yet as we enjoy these gifts we are reminded of the challenges before us as partners in creation care. We are in the midst of a massive carbon crisis…running head-on into more obvious concerns (bizarre weather patterns, glacial melting, etc.). I am grateful that there is a growing consciousness among many people toward Earth caring, with often a parallel consciousness as to how earth justice and social justice together weave a complementary pattern.
These caregivers include MANY gifted persons in PEC who dedicate themselves tirelessly in ministry in work in eco- and social justice, including members of PEC’s own Advocacy committee.
In the PC(USA), there’s a lot of ‘sustainable’ energy, through Environmental Ministries, the Office of Public Witness, Presbyterian Hunger Program (including the Enough for Everyone Program), Presbyterian Peacemaking Program, the Presbyterian Ministry at the UN, and “Unbound,” an exciting e-journal on Christian Social Justice from the Advisory Committee on Social Witness Policy. Montreat is offering a wonderful witness to earth care, as noted in Bill Seaman’s article. Stony Point (the site of our Steering Committee annual meeting) honors sustainable agriculture, with Ghost Ranch, and Ferncliff (the site of our 2013 Conference in Little Rock), and other PCCCA sites sharing the same philosophy. Eco-Stewards is also in the midst of all this great work. (In addition, PEC works closely with NCC Eco-Justice Working Group, for whom Shantha Ready-Alonso, our coordinator, is also staff).
With the presence of these friends, and many others in ecumenical and secular networks we enhance our vision. Our regional reps are reaching out to touch base with members, Earth Care Congregations, camps and conference centers, and Presbyterian colleges and seminaries. Please take time to note your regional representative. (Please also take time to vote in the election, which includes three new reps, as noted in Karen Turney’s article.)
There will be issues regarding social and environmental justice at General Assembly. We pray for guidance as these go through Overture and Commissioner Resolution process, and hope that you will ask your commissioners to please carefully review and support actions which support social and environmental justice.
Summer. It is an ‘earthy’ time, a time of contemplation and connecting. A time to recall these words from the UN Environmental Sabbath:
“…We celebrate all the family of creation, heaven and earth, as one seamless garment, of which we, too, are an integral part.
We celebrate the soils, which nurture the food for our bodies.
We celebrate the seas, the air, the forests and mountains, which nurture our souls.
As part of all creation, we too have a nurturing role to play.
We have been blessed with the ability to choose our role.
Now in community, we dedicate ourselves to choosing wisely.
Together with the Holy Spirit, we will choose life, that we and our children might live.
May the Holy Spirit guide us as we seek to heal and to nurture the earth and all of its creatures, to live in the midst of creation, and to love one another as brothers and sisters with all life.
And may we travel from this moment forward in awareness of our bonds to one another and to the Earth, and in commitment to our communities.
Wherever they may be.”
Moderator, Presbyterians for Earth Care