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What is Your Denomination Doing to Care for Creation?


This is an annotated list of main sites and resources for different denominations.  See also Eco-Justice Ministries at www.eco-justice.org.

 

Earth Care in the Christian Tradition

 

Henry Martinez


The purpose of this project is to survey the efforts toward creation care in different church bodies in the Christian tradition.  The hope is twofold.  First, that those affiliating with these particular traditions will be able to connect with movements, projects and efforts and people involved in caring for creation.  Secondly, that those interested in ecumenical work might have an idea of what is happening in the larger bodies of churches in their communities.

The basic organization takes shape in three parts: 1) what the tradition is doing, 2) worship and education resources available, and 3) advocacy and statements/resolutions.  A brief description of the content on each site is offered.  In some cases there were no clear efforts in one or more of these areas, and those sections have been left blank.  After surveying specific denominations there are a few ecumenical sites that may offer helpful resources. Finally, I have included denominations that have produced statements on global warming/climate change and links to those documents.

Presbyterian Church, USA

What is the PC(USA) doing?

(http://www.prcweb.org/index.cfm) The Presbyterians for Earth Care (formerly Presbyterians for Restoring Creation) is a network that offers information and stories for eco-justice advocacy.  The organization puts out a newsletter, offers regional events and hosts conferences regarding issues of eco-justice education and training.

(http://www.pcusa.org/environment/) The Environmental Ministries office provides a newsletter, information on environmental issues, and contacts for Stewardship of Creation Enablers who can be a presbytery-provided resource for congregational action.

(http://www.pcusa.org/coffee/) This site offers information on fair trade coffee and how congregations might order coffee via Equal Exchange.

(http://www.pcusa.org/palms/order.htm) Providing ecologically sustainable palm branches for Palm Sunday

Resources:

Worship: (http://www.prcweb.org/index.cfm?fuseaction=resources&fuse=resources) This site of the Presbyterians Restoring Creation offers devotional material for Advent and Lent, bulletin inserts, and scripture passages and hymns from the Presbyterian hymnal which have to do with caring for creation.

Education: (http://www.pcusa.org/food/) This Food and Faith site offers information and links for how congregations might take action in the area of food consumption and awareness.  Under “Can you Make a Difference,” there is a sample letter directed toward a chef or grocery store manager advocating for a local food supply. The emphasis is to provide information which can be helpful for immediate action.

There is a downloadable curriculum for middle school student and adults called “Just Eating,” which focuses on how food choices affect our health, earth, and relationships to others.

Advocacy:

(http://www.pcusa.org/washington/) This site is a connection to the public advocacy office in Washington D.C.  The site features updates on current legislative action as well as resources for congregations and individuals to get involved in public policy.  Also provided is a theological rationale for public advocacy.

Evangelical Lutheran Church in America

What is the ELCA doing?

(http://www.lutheransrestoringcreation.org/Home) Website and blog devoted to the networking of congregations, seminaries, synods, colleges and universities, outdoor ministries, and public policy offices to foster a care for creation.  The goal is that earth care becomes part of the identity of the church.

(http://www.elca.org/Our-Faith-In-Action/Justice/Advocacy/Issues/Environment-and-Energy/Global-Warming-Climate-Change.aspx#Learn%20more) As one of the justice issues, this link connects not to one specific project, but rather to action in providing information to learn more, advocate for change, and how to make changes individually and in community.  Other resources for environmental issues include information and facts sheets on water and coal mining.

(http://www.thelcf.org/create/funds/collaborative_funds/lcf_community_fund/foundation_initiatives/creation_care_environmental_initiative) Through the Lutheran Community Foundation the grant funds the projects Lutherans Restoring Creation and Engaging Lutheran Congregations through Sense of Place.  There are links to articles offering reflections on Creation Care, a Case Statement for Creation Care, and links to books and online resources.

Resources:

Worship: (http://www.elca.org/Our-Faith-In-Action/Justice/Advocacy/Issues/Environment-and-Energy/Environmental-Worship-Resources.aspx) This is a Lenten worship resource from 2009 and focuses on Reflection, Remembering, Rediscovery, Repentance, Reconciliation, and Recommitment.  They are found in both PDF and Word documents.

(http://www.seasonofcreation.com/) An Ecumenical resource, this provides a template to follow the Revised Common Lectionary and uses four Sundays in September to focus on Creation.

Education: (http://www.elca.org/Our-Faith-In-Action/Justice/Advocacy/Congregational-Resources/Caring-For-Creation.aspx) This site provides PDF resources and fact sheets for small groups and discussions along with climate change information.

(http://store.seracomm.com/index.php?main_page=product_info&products_id=156) 6 part DVD series reflecting on our relationship to creation.  Geared toward adults with a study guide included.

Advocacy:

(http://www.elca.org/Our-Faith-In-Action/Justice/Advocacy/Issues/Environment-and-Energy.aspx) Through the advocacy office, the ELCA has a site for information on Environment and Energy with current congressional legislation listed.  There is a link to find elected officials.

Statements and Resolutions:

(http://www.elca.org/What-We-Believe/Social-Issues/Social-Statements/Environment.aspx) Environment 1993

Church Of the Brethren

What is the Church of the Brethren doing?

(http://www.brethren.org/site/PageServer?pagename=witness_issues_environment) This site is one of the “Witness” issues for the church.  It offers action alerts and a search to contact your congressional representative.  The site also links to the eco-justice program of the National Council of Churches

Resources:

Worship:

Education: (http://www.brethren.org/site/PageServer?pagename=witness_issues_environment) There are two skits in PDF form as well as a contextual reading of Psalm 8.

Advocacy:

(http://www.brethren.org/site/PageServer?pagename=witness_action_alerts) These action alerts are provided in order to offer an informed witness to legislative bodies.

Statements and Resolutions:

Resolution on Global Warming/Climate Change 2001 (http://www.brethren.org/site/DocServer/2001_Global_Warming_and_Climate_Change.pdf?docID=828)

Resolution on Global Warming and Atmospheric Degradation 1991 (http://www.brethren.org/site/DocServer/1991_Global_Warming_and_Atmospheric_Degradation.pdf?docID=922)

Reformed Church in America

What is the RCA doing?

(http://www.rca.org/Page.aspx?pid=1518)  The Caring for Creation ministry provides links to other sites in the areas of food, energy use and consumption, and points to the National Council of Churches Eco-justice site.  The site also connects to a blog (which can be subscribed to) and resources from other denominations.

Resources:

Worship:

(http://nccecojustice.org/resources/#earthdaysundayresources) Links to “Sacred Spaces and Abundant Life” resource of the National Council of Churches, which has an adaptation of this resource specifically directed toward RCA congregations.

Education:

Advocacy:

(http://www.rca.org/Page.aspx?pid=1496) Provides information and a voice advocating  for Coffee hour ethics.

Statements and Resolutions:

(http://www.rca.org/Page.aspx?pid=1616) Undated report on Climate change

(http://www.rca.org/Page.aspx?pid=498) The document is not here in full, but this lists resolutions which were passed (from 1982 and 1994).

United Church of Christ

What is the UCC doing?

(http://www.ucc.org/environmental-ministries/) The Environmental Ministries of the UCC provides a link between environmental issues and justice issues.  The site offers loads of information on environmental issues, highlighting current news stories, books and studies.

(http://www.ucc.org/environmental-ministries/environment-and-energy-task.html) This is the site of the Environmental and Energy Task Force which works to provide guidance and resources for congregations in environmental programming.  Another project of this task force is http://www.uccecoaction.org/ which offers links to resources and reports.

(http://www.uccecoaction.org/Conf.html) This lists projects and organizations within the nationwide conferences of the UCC.

Resources:

Worship: (http://www.ucc.org/environmental-ministries/worship-renewal.html) The worship and renewal resources include hymns, sermons, prayer and confession. Also, task force statements are available in PDF form.

Education: (http://www.ucc.org/justice/environmental-justice/) Provides a description of environmental justice including a report on toxic waste and the correlation between toxic waste facilities and its effects on communities of color (PDF).

Advocacy:

(http://www.ucc.org/justice/advocacy_resources/advocacy-basics.html) This site explains the reasons for doing advocacy and offers some steps for developing an advocacy strategy.

(http://www.ucc.org/justice/advocacy_resources/) Here resources are offered in a variety of topics along with downloadable brochures and a manual entitled “Almost Everything You need to Know About Environmental Justice” (in Spanish and English).

Statements and Resolutions:

(http://www.uccecoaction.org/Warming07.html) Resolution on Climate Change 2007

(http://www.uccecoaction.org/Warming99.html) Resolution on Global Warming 1999

(http://www.uccecoaction.org/SynodPolicy.html) Links and summaries to church social policy statements regarding environmental issues

The United Methodist Church

What is the Methodist Church doing?

(http://www.umc-gbcs.org/site/c.frLJK2PKLqF/b.2808983/) This is a list of coalitions of which the United Methodist Church has elected a liaison.  There is a brief description of the organizations within the coalition.

(http://www.umc-gbcs.org/site/c.frLJK2PKLqF/b.2808983/) The Environmental Justice issues include Clean Air, Clean Water, Corporate Responsibility, Environmental Racism, Global Warming and Energy, and Sustainable Living.  In each of these areas, there are tabs providing an overview, news statements and articles, resource tools, and beliefs which cite social principles of the church.

Resources:

(http://www.umc-gbcs.org/site/c.frLJK2PKLqF/b.2808983/)

(Both worship and education resources are provided by topic)

The Resource Tools tab yields PDF documents which can be helpful for education and worship.  For example, the “Faith & Facts” sheet (found in the Resource Tools of Clean Water, Global Warming and Sustainable Living) lists some Bible passages, cites principles and resolutions of the Methodist church, provides scientific information, and includes some practical steps for people to take.

Advocacy:

(http://www.umc-gbcs.org/site/c.frLJK2PKLqF/b.2808983/) Through the Board of Church and Society, this site on economic and environmental justice offers an overview and beliefs of the United Methodist Church.

Statements and Resolutions:

(http://archives.umc.org/interior.asp?ptid=1&mid=1686) This lists the social principles of the church which include statements on the natural world, animal life, energy, food, and others.

(http://www.umc-gbcs.org/site/apps/nlnet/content3.aspx?c=frLJK2PKLqF&b=2954181&content_id={065C8320-4CD3-40B2-9E42-CB5C609496CF}&notoc=1) Resolution on Global Warming and Energy Policy

Episcopal Church USA & The Anglican Communion

What is the Episcopal Church Doing?

(http://www.genesiscovenant.org/) Directed toward all faith communities, this covenant calls for a commitment by religious institutions to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions by 50% in ten years. The site offers links to books, articles, websites, and other resources for congregations.

(http://www.eenonline.org/) The Episcopal Ecological Network is part of the Peace and Justice Ministries of the Episcopal Church.  The site offers tools in the areas of Reflection, Education, and Action for congregations and individuals interested in an “ecological spiritual journey.”

(http://www.episcopalchurch.org/1829_ENG_HTM.htm) Environmental Stewardship Council of the Episcopal Church.  This has links to news and events, resources, and the advocacy center.

(http://acen.anglicancommunion.org/) The Anglican Communion Environmental Network seeks to provide resources for individuals and congregations and promote responsible earth care.

(http://acen.anglicancommunion.org/links/initiatives.cfm) This list provides links to various initiatives and projects in the Anglican Communion along with a brief description.

Resources:

Worship: (http://EENOnline.org/reflect.htm) This section has three main parts: Liturgies, Music, and Theological Reflections.  Listed are liturgical resources from different congregations and groups, as well as a list of hymns with a creation theme.

Education: (http://EENOnline.org/educate.htm) A bibliography of ecologically themed books as well as links within the Anglican Communion and ecumenical and interfaith organizations.

(http://www.episcopalchurch.org/documents/CreationCatechism.pdf) Catechism of Creation in Question and Answer format from the Committee on Science, Technology and Faith.

Advocacy:

Statements and Resolutions:

(http://eenonline.org/about/resolve.htm)  List of past and present resolutions concerning the environment

(http://acen.anglicancommunion.org/resources/documents.cfm) List of letters and documents (PDF) that have to do with the environment and climate change.

The Roman Catholic Church

What is the RCC doing?

(http://www.catholicsandclimatechange.org/) Follows the Catholic principles and teachings of Prudence, Poverty, and The Common Good regarding the issue of climate change.  The site offers suggestions for how to connect to action, connect to church teachings, and other organizations.

(http://catholicclimatecovenant.org/) This is the site for a coalition of Catholic organizations.  There is a short video, “Who’s Under Your Carbon Footprint?” along with stories from other congregations and tips for reducing carbon footprints.  The St. Francis Pledge is directed toward individuals, families, congregations and institutions to foster a care for creation and the poor.  The pledge calls for a commitment to Pray, Learn, Assess, Act, and Advocate.

(http://www.usccb.org/sdwp/ejp/) This is the site for the Environmental Justice Program of The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops.  The site offers information on why the commitment to environmental justice is important, and offers resources to learn more about what Catholics are doing (http://www.usccb.org/sdwp/ejp/climate/wcd.shtml); listed here are grants for projects in various dioceses throughout the United States.

(http://www.ncrlc.com/Web-Life-Stewardship.html) The site for the Catholic Rural Life Conference has resources on Water and Global Climate Change. Each of these issues has more information and links regarding: “The Situation,” “Catholic Thought,” “Taking Action,” and “Resources and Links.”

Resources:

Worship: (http://catholicclimatecovenant.org/resources/suggested-prayers/) Suggested prayers for use in worship and reflections (PDF).

(http://www.usccb.org/sdwp/ejp/climate/index.shtml) Under the tab Prayer Resources are PDF documents of “Special Occasions Prayers.”  It also offers some “Homily Suggestions” (PDF), guidance and reflections for preparing sermons and making connections to care for creation.

Education: (http://catholicclimatecovenant.org/resources/why-does-the-church-care/) Resources available (PDF) offering explanations: “Why does the church care?” “What you can do” “Global Climate Change Science” and “Taking Personal Action”

(http://www.catholicsandclimatechange.org/resources/education.html) A few lesson plans and scientific information regarding climate change.

Advocacy:

(http://www.usccb.org/sdwp/ejp/climate/lettersalerts.shtml) Here is a list of letters and action alerts regarding climate change and

Statements and Resolutions:

(http://catholicclimatecovenant.org/catholic-teachings/vatican-messages/) Messages from the Vatican (and other Catholics) regarding climate change

(http://www.usccb.org/sdwp/ejp/climate/usbishops.shtml) Statements by US Bishops (Spanish)

(http://www.usccb.org/sdwp/ejp/climate/regional.shtml) Statements by Regional Bishops

(http://www.usccb.org/sdwp/ejp/climate/vatican.shtml) Vatican Statements regarding climate change, sustainable development.

Mennonite Central Committee

What is the MCC doing?

(http://www.mennocreationcare.org/)  The creation care network is an organization of the Mennonite Church USA and Mennonite Church Canada.  The network features stories, resources, and tools for households, congregations, schools, agencies.  The names of Mennonite congregations actively involved in care of creation are listed along with links to resources, networks, stories and websites.

(http://carecreation.mcc.org/)  This website features stories and photos from the past few years of how climate change is affecting people in various places.  There is also a Donate button that gives a narrative description of a project in a few countries and what the donation would go toward (i.e. “ $30 US helps plant 200 trees in Haiti”).

(http://www.laurelville.org/mission_vision.html) Mennonite church center located in Pennsylvania which commits to sustainability and care for creation.

Resources:

Worship:

Education: (http://mennocreationcare.org/resources.php) This site links to articles and a searchable database as well as a way to sign up to receive a newsletter.

(http://carecreation.mcc.org/careforcreation/resources/) Resources which highlight some books, toolkits for discussion on water and food, videos and other websites.

Advocacy:

Statements and Resolutions:

Disciples of Christ

What is the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) doing?

(http://www.discipleshomemissions.org/PublicWitness/environment.htm#5) The site for the Eco-justice/environmental ministries of the Disciples of Christ. Material is provided around the ministries and documents of the church.  At the bottom of the page are links geared toward individuals and congregations.  Also listed are resources for planning events and a book list for use in congregations.  Also listed are guidelines for the Green Church Program.

(http://www.discipleshomemissions.org/PublicWitness/Alverna.htm) The Alverna Covenant of the Disciples of Christ was written by the task force on Christian Lifestyle and Ecology. The covenant acknowledges that God has created the world with finite resources and calls covenanters to live a sustainable lifestyle.

Resources:

(http://www.discipleshomemissions.org/PublicWitness/EnvironmentResources.htm) A few links to programs and resources for congregations, including study guide, resources for an energy audit, and a link for the Earth stewardship campaign called “Return to the Garden” which offers a timeline for starting a congregational community garden.

Advocacy:

Statements and Resolutions:

(http://www.discipleshomemissions.org/PublicWitness/ResolutionsEcology.htm)  Links to the many resolutions of the General Assembly concerning ecology.

Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America

(http://www.goarch.org/ourfaith/environment) Statements and Articles on the Environment

Unitarian Universalists

What is the UU doing?

(http://www.uua.org/leaders/environment/greensanctuary/index.shtml) This site explains the Green Sanctuary Program, which provides information for congregations to initiate projects and promote sustainable living.  The process by which a congregation can be a green sanctuary is explained along with a link to the downloadable manual (PDF, 121 pages).

(http://uuministryforearth.org/) The Unitarian Universalist Ministry for the Earth is site offering news updates and information regarding the environment and justice.

(http://www.uua.org/socialjustice/issues/environmentaljustice/index.shtml) This site lists the environmental justice issues highlighted by the UU: Global Warming/Climate Change, Green Jobs, Mountaintop Removal Coal Mining, Border Wall, and Right to Water.

Resources:

Worship: (http://uuministryforearth.org/earth_spirituality_sermons) List of sermons regarding the earth and spirit (PDF).

Advocacy:

(http://www.uua.org/socialjustice/resources/index.shtml) Congregational resource for advocacy (http://www.uulmca.org/programs/water.html) Site for the Climate and Water Justice program (UU Legislative Ministry California)

(http://www.uusc.org/content/international_human_right_water) Campaign offering information advocating for the human right to water

Statements and Resolutions:

(http://www.uua.org/visitors/6798.shtml)  The Seventh Principle reads “Respect for the interdependent web of all existence of which we are a part.”

(http://www.uua.org/socialjustice/socialjustice/results.php?ftst=regular&search_in_body=1&search_in_title=1&search_text=&topic=Environmental%20Justice&subtopic=&type=&from_year=&Submit=Submit) Social Justice statements pertaining to environmental issues

Ecumenical Sites

(http://www.creationcare.org/) Site for the Evangelical Environmental Network and Creation Care Magazine.  The site is directed toward individuals, families, and churches to provide educational resources and information on national policies.  Includes links for educational resources, resources for churches and material for use in worship.

(http://www.creationcare.org/resources/declaration.php) Declaration on the Care of Creation

(http://nccecojustice.org/) This is the site for the Eco-Justice Program of the National Council of Churches of Christ.  Listed are various environmental campaigns with links and information with what is going on and how people can take action.  The Take Action tab lists legislative actions and offers a list of issues and how representatives can be contacted.

(http://nccecojustice.org/partners/denom.php) Here is the contact information for denominations/communions which have participants in the eco-justice working group of the National Council of Churches.

Education: (http://www.eco-justice.org/CurricReview.asp) This ecumenical resource is a database which lists curriculum materials for multiple ages, listing environmental topics, which are developed specifically for churches.

Statements on Climate Change

The following bodies have published statements or resolutions addressing climate change/global warming.

Alliance of Baptists (http://www.allianceofbaptists.org/learn/about/statements) Downloadable Word document (April 2009)

American Baptist Churches USA (http://www.abc-usa.org/LinkClick.aspx?fileticket=%2fhSPMfOOAok%3d&tabid=199) Resolution on Clean Air

(http://www.abc-usa.org/LinkClick.aspx?fileticket=0JpsQst6Agw%3d&tabid=199) Resolution on Global Warming 2007

The Anglican Communion (http://acen.anglicancommunion.org/resources/docs/canberra_statement.pdf) Response to climate change 2005

Disciples of Christ (USA and Canada) (http://www.disciples.org/GeneralAssembly/ResolutionsandBusinessDocket/0921/tabid/518/Default.aspx) Statement on Global Climate Change 2009

Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (http://archive.elca.org/advocacy/corporate/climatechange.asp) November 2007

(http://www.elca.org/Our-Faith-In-Action/Justice/Advocacy/Issues/Environment-and-Energy/Global-Warming-Climate-Change.aspx) Provides background of global warming including links to other sites and helpful information for congregations and individuals.

Friends United Meeting (Quaker) (http://www.quakerearthcare.org/InterestGroups/OtherAreasBeingExplored/ClimateChange/ClimateChange2.htm) Article 2 of 3 regarding global warming/climate change

Church of the Brethren

(http://www.brethren.org/site/DocServer/2001_Global_Warming_and_Climate_Change.pdf?docID=828) Resolution on Global Warming/Climate Change 2001

Presbyterian Church (USA)

(http://www.pcusa.org/environment/restore.htm) Lists affirmations of the 202nd General Assembly (1990), a copy of which can be ordered from this site.

United Church of Christ

(http://www.uccecoaction.org/Warming07.html) Resolution on Climate Change 2007

United Methodist Church

((http://www.umc-gbcs.org/site/apps/nlnet/content3.aspx?c=frLJK2PKLqF&b=2954181&content_id={065C8320-4CD3-40B2-9E42-CB5C609496CF}&notoc=1) Resolution on Global Warming and Energy Policy (amended to 2004)

Roman Catholic Church

(http://www.vatican.va/roman_curia/secretariat_state/2009/documents/rc_seg-st_20091217_migliore-copenaghen_en.html) Statement at United Nations Conference on Climate Change, December 2009.

Reformed Church in America

(http://www.rca.org/Page.aspx?pid=1616) Undated Report on Climate Change

Southern Baptist

(http://www.sbc.net/resolutions/amResolution.asp?ID=1159) Resolution on Environmentalism, 2006.

Unitarian Universalists

((http://www.uua.org/socialjustice/socialjustice/statements/8061.shtml) Statement on Global Warming/Climate Change 2006




 

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