In a couple of weeks, our congregation will be hosting a “Cool Congregations” workshop, intended to promote an informed and committed response by people of faith to the serious environmental threat posed by global warming. We sent out a mailing describing the event to churches of every denomination in the metropolitan area and to all the UCC churches in northeast Iowa.
This week I have been making follow-up calls to a selected list of churches that had received the mailing — I had the A’s and B’s and C’s!
I have been surprised — and disheartened — by the palpable disconnect between many of these faith communities and any sense of responsibility for the health of the planet. Maybe it’s because the issue of global warming has become so politicized, though it is most difficult for me to see how this is in any way a partisan issue. Or maybe it’s because churches believe that even talking about global warming means being co-opted by some broader “liberal” agenda.
That is what I find disheartening, and disturbing. Who better should care about this earth than those who believe God made it? Who better should be eager to do all we can to keep it beautiful and pristine and life-sustaining than those who believe God made it good and left us in charge of keeping it good? What is the value of a faith that serves only to prepare us for “another life” and largely neglects this one? Where is the integrity in a faith waits longingly for a “new world” while letting this one “go to hell?”
Life is God’s gift to us, a most precious gift indeed. And we honor God best by taking good care of that gift … in its entirety! Not just taking care of souls, but bodies too! Not just honoring the Word, but the Word made flesh! Not just valuing the Spirit, but all that the Spirit brings to life, all that the Spirit brought to life when it moved over the waters at the dawn of creation!