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Toward a Sustainable World: A Role for Churches

Toward a Sustainable World: A Role for Churches

Guest post by John Tallmadge

In our time, human activity has subjected the social and ecological systems of planet Earth to unprecedented stress. Global climate change, habitat loss, extinctions, overpopulation, and pollution degrade the biosphere while epidemics, poverty, resource depletion, inequality, war, and violence degrade the human world. Present habits and trends cannot be sustained without serious and perhaps fatal damage to the Earth and its community of life.

In a sustainable world humanity and nature would flourish in mutually enhancing ways. Human communities would care for one another, using resources modestly and equitably, without impairing the ability of future generations or other life communities to meet their own needs.  

How can the world’s churches help us pursue such a worthy, and indeed such a vital goal?

It may help to realize that sustainability is not something we achieve and then we’re done; it’s something that has to go on forever, requiring a deliberate transformation of our way of living. It’s not a simple problem, like baking a cake, or a complicated problem, like putting a man on the moon; rather it’s a complex problem, like raising a child or making peace in the Middle East. Complex problems have many possible solutions, none given or foreseen; they can arise only through learning and change from within, on the part of all components within the system. If you are part of the problem, you have to be part of the solution.

Gazing down this strenuous, uncertain path, we can take some light and comfort from our religious life. Faith can provide direction and purpose in the midst of uncertainty. Hope can help us cleave to more promising visions of the good life and human flourishing. Sacrifice can help us embrace the challenge to do more with less for the sake of the greater good and a deeper sense of fulfillment. And community can encourage and support us as we disentangle ourselves from the webs of privilege, entitlement, and wasteful consumption spun by industrial capitalism.  

Because social change happens one person at a time, we believe that congregations can become seedbeds of transformation. A deliberate program of green faith, green learning, green living, and green outreach can foster right thinking and right action in our individual lives as well as our lives in church, neighborhood, city, and bioregion. With each other’s help and encouragement, we can become the change we wish to see in the world.

 

Investing in a Just Future – Newsletter 2

Investing in a Just Future – Newsletter 2

February 24 is our Commitment Sunday! We invite all of you to bring your commitment cards if you haven’t already mailed them in, as we join together in Investing in a Just Future. As of last Sunday, we already have 24 early pledges turned in for a total of $412,160 – that’s over halfway to our full goal of $750,000! Our church leadership has really gotten excited about a future in which we expand our justice seeking capacity in church, community, and creation. How will you support this important initiative?

Read more about how we’re Investing in a Just Future in our second newsletter: IJF Newsletter 2

Martin Luther King, Jr. Coalition Interfaith March

Martin Luther King, Jr. Coalition Interfaith March

Join the Martin Luther King, Jr. Coalition of Cincinnati for an interfaith march, prayer service, and program for MLK Jr. Day on Monday, January 21. You can participate at 10am at the Freedom Center, 11am at Fountain Square, 12pm at Music Hall, or any of the above. Pastor Stacey will be offering a prayer during the service at Fountain Square. Get more information at https://mlkcoalition.org/about/

 

 

 

 

 

Transgender Day of Remembrance

On November 25, we spent part of our worship time honoring Transgender Day of Remembrance by hearing from one of our members, Teri Miles, about the dangers to the trans community and raising in prayer the names of the 28 transgender persons who were killed in the United States this year. You can read the statistics of violence against transgender persons worldwide and the names of the U.S. victims here: TDOR 2018.

You can also listen to Teri Miles’ remarks below (and the choir anthem tacked on as an additional treat).