Bound by a sacred responsibility to care for God’s earth and to preserve it for the next generation, Creation Care and stewardship ministries are gaining popularity worldwide. You may have heard of St. Francis of Assisi, the patron saint of ecology and animals, and might even have a statue of his likeness in your garden. He was said to have a great love of animals and the environment, and is credited for connecting caring for the poor with caring for creation, making him the father of eco-justice. But did you know that people of faith around the world of all spiritual backgrounds are answering the call to protect the earth, and faith-based statements on climate change can be found across the spectrum of religious practices?
Leaders of four United Methodist general agencies are calling for “bold action to protect God's people and God's planet,” as world leaders gather for the Nov. 6-17 United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change in Bonn, Germany.
Also known as COP 23, the Nov. 6-17 conference will be presided over by the government of Fiji, with support by Germany, as work continues on the enabling frameworks of the Paris climate accord of 2015.
On April 26, 2017, President Trump ordered Secretary Zinke and the Department of Interior to review National Monuments on Public Lands claiming there should be more public input on monument designations. The majority of Americans want to leave land and parks alone. This year, over 225,000 people called on Congress to protect public lands, and 2.4 million comments were submitted in defense of these places, including over 15,000 from pro-life Christians. America wants to preserve public lands and maintain the status quo.
A Statement by Rev. Mitch Hescox, President/C.E.O. Regarding S. 1624 Protect Children, Farmers and Farmworkers from Nerve Agent Pesticides Act of 2017
Our kids should be able to eat safe foods, yet they are continually threatened by chemicals like chlorpyrifos, a pesticide with a long history of poisoning our children. It’s home use was restricted in 2011 and it was scheduled to be completely banned on March 31, 2017 until EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt suddenly decided it was safe. Now instead of waiting for Mr. Pruitt’s five year stay of the ban, a group of eight Senators led by New Mexico’s Tom Udall is taking a stand to defend our kids with the introduction of S.1624 ‐Protect Children, Farmers and Farmworkers from Nerve Agent Pesticides Act of 2017. We applaud their efforts and pledge our support.
A strong United Methodist advocate for sound environmental policy and practice is becoming the manager of creation care ministries for the denomination’s worldwide mission agency, the General Board of Global Ministries.
The Rev. Jenny Phillips has been minister for environmental stewardship and advocacy of the Pacific Northwest Annual (regional) Conference for three and a half years and has been involved in creation care for a decade. The conference program in large part equips local churches to understand and take part in advocacy and action related to climate change, control of carbon emissions, and other dangers of fossil fuels.
Nature abhors a vacuum. With the withdrawal of the United States from the Paris climate accord, there is a void in global leadership on climate change that others are willing and able to fill it. Countries like China, Germany and France are stepping up. In the U.S., states, cities, universities, corporations, and even churches are voluntarily reducing greenhouse emissions in the spirit of the Paris climate accord.