Becoming a Creation Justice Church
We here at ERUCC have long taken seriously the issues of social justice and environmental stewardship. Our green team is now looking to take that to a new level by becoming a UCC Creation Justice Church.
So, what does this mean, and how can you get involved.
First, here’s a review of some of the initiatives undertaken in the past two years:
- Encouraging the use of sustainable products,
- Reducing waste including the elimination of disposal cups, plates and utensils,
- Adopting a program to compost food waste
- Educational forums and classes on topics ranging from recycling to climate change.
- Collaborating with other groups to plant trees
- Participation with the Frederick Food Security Network to grow fresh vegetables for people in need
- Advocacy for the Frederick Climate Emergency Resolution and two forest preservation bills
- Signing up to use community solar at ERUCC and in some of our homes
Becoming a Creation Justice Church will designate our entire community as a “green” church. As a congregation, we will consider environmental and justice issues in all our actions and decisions. Every committee and team will have a part to play. Whether it is looking at green investments, using energy-efficient practices, or considering the environment in our worship and education, we have an opportunity to demonstrate our dedication to Creation. In doing so, we witness to the Frederick community that we are committed to being the church and living out our faith.
So where are we in this process?
The congregation must now formally adopt a covenant statement that outlines our commitment to sustainability. Joining this covenant commits our congregation to caring for the Earth, and putting it at the forefront of our thinking as we move forward with our church and life choices.
The Green Team drafted a covenant for consideration by our church and presented it to Consistory. If Consistory approves the covenant, it will then come before the congregation at our May Congregational Meeting for a vote. The covenant reads as follows:
We, the members of this congregation, realize that God has given us an amazing planet on which to live. This planet is shared by the rest of humanity and will be shared with future generations as well. As such, it is our responsibility to care for this precious gift and keep it healthy for those who will come after us. Being good stewards of our environment will be at the forefront of our thinking as we plan for, and carry out, our ministries.
We further realize that negligence in the care for our planet has resulted in damage to our environment and that this damage has disproportionally affected marginalized people in our country and throughout the globe. Therefore, we commit to advocating for environmental justice so that those who may not be in a position to speak for themselves can reap the rewards of such efforts.
As a church, and as individuals, we pledge to care for our planet and to seek justice for those whose lives have been adversely affected by the neglect of our environment. This also means that we will recycle responsibly, use the earth’s resources with as little waste as possible, support efforts at reducing the effects of climate change, help protect endangered species, reduce our carbon footprint and stop air and water pollution.”
As this point, we are seeking feedback from you. Is this something you feel we can commit to? Please send your thoughts to Linda Coyle, Chair of the Green Team at firstname.lastname@example.org. This feedback will guide the Green Team and the Consistory as we consider future action.
Thanks in advance.