August 18, 2022 | by Sharon Delgado
The California-Nevada Climate Justice Ministries Task Force has had its first meeting and is organizing itself and making plans. To review the 2022 Annual Conference Recommendation calling for this task force to be established, see #7, “Recommendation to Amend the Standing Rules to Convene a Climate Justice Ministries Task Force.”
There are many things going on in the United Methodist Church related to creation care, responding to climate change, and working for environmental and climate justice. The United Methodist Creation Justice Movement (UMCJM) helped inspire the formation of our conference task force and will continue to inform our work.
Check out the United Methodist Creation Justice Movement’s August newsletter here. I am happy to announce that the writer who introduces the newsletter, Kristina Sinks, is a member of our newly-formed Task Force. She is a recent seminary graduate from Garret Theological Seminary’s Master of Arts in Public Ministry program and diaconal candidate in our annual conference. She also has a longer article in the UMCJM newsletter about her work: the Song of the Earth Movement. She explains: “The foundation of my project, called Song of the Earth movement, is about infusing our liturgical practice with more ecological theology so that congregations are better connected with the land and that their Christian practice includes caring for creation locally, right where they are.
In addition to the Climate Justice Task Force, we are forming an email network for churches, church groups, and individuals who want to stay connected or informed about what is going on in our annual conference and in the denomination related to climate justice in an ongoing way. If you want to be part of this network, contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org. Please forward this info to others at your church who might be interested.
You will help us get the word out about these efforts if you explore and Like, Follow, and Share our new Cal-Nevada Climate Justice Ministries Task Force Facebook Page, so others will know about us and how to get involved.
Education: As of the publishing deadline of this issue of The Connection, Congress had passed the Inflation Reduction Act of 2022, which is expected to be signed into law by President Biden. It is the US’s largest-ever investment in addressing climate change, but much more work remains to be done. There are numerous corporate concessions, including provisions that make investment in renewable energy dependent upon new leases for oil and gas projects. Read “Game Changer and Reason to Hope: House Passes Inflation Reduction Act” to get a sense of this legislation and what it took to get it to pass.
Action: In the leadup to the next international climate conference on November 7, GreenFaith, a global interfaith organization, is organizing Faiths 4 Climate Justice for a 4 week period of climate action from October 2nd to November 6th. The COP 27 climate talks will meet in Egypt. Check out a few photos of GreenFaith actions. Contact us if you would like to participate.
Inspiration: “Though we may already subscribe to life-giving beliefs about environmentalism and climate care, our worship has to reflect that belief in order to move us to actually do something about it, to live differently—to allow that kind of life-giving theology to take root in us. Every week, when church services are planned, decisions are made about what we will sing, preach, pray, read, and display. This thoughtfulness is an opportunity to move beyond creation-neutral worship and into creation-centric worship: declaring aloud, collectively, in our sanctuaries, that Earth is God’s body, declaring that we are but one part of it, declaring that salvation must be collective and must include all creation. Creation-centric worship says to us: I know you believe that Earth is to be cared for, but now what? How then shall we live?” Kristina Sinks