June 01, 2023 | by Sharon Delgado
Climate Justice Ministries June 2023 Report
“Climate justice through faith-inspired connection, education, advocacy, and action”
Faith-Inspired materials for climate justice
Go to umcreationjustice.org/worship to find excellent materials for worship developed by the UMC Creation Justice Movement folks. Go to the website, then click on the Resource tab to find lots of worship materials, Bible study materials, music suggestions and more. Praise AND action are required in these days. Resources for your church | UMC Creation Justice Library
Annual Conference is coming up soon (June 15-18). We are compiling stories, reflections, and photos of what local churches in our conference are doing related to creation care, environmental justice, or climate justice for our Annual Conference display. It’s not too late—the deadline has been extended to June 5. You can send them to email@example.com. If you are at Annual Conference, be sure to stop by our display, which will include examples of “faith-inspired connection, education, advocacy, and action.” We would love to talk with you.
Also, if you have not yet taken our survey of churches and church members, so we can find out what you are doing or how we can serve you, you can do so here: https://forms.gle/APsoX3d8jLv3UYme9
United Nations Environment Program
Negotiators from nations of the world are coming together in Paris from May 29-June 2 for the Second Session of the Intergovernmental Negotiating Committee on Plastic Pollution. Their goal is to create a strong treaty to limit plastic pollution. It’s important to realize that fossil fuels are at the root of the problem of plastic pollution, as they are with climate change. To find out more, read “Plastic Treaty Process Puts Spotlight on Circular Economy” by The United Nations Environment Program (UNEP). Be sure to also see Rev. Gayle Pickrell’s report below on a Plastic-Free July.
Clean Water Act Weakened
On May 25, the Supreme Court drastically limited wetlands protections and weakened the decades-old Clean Water Act. Find out more at https://earthjustice.org/brief/2023/supreme-court-sackett-clean-water-act. Stay tuned for further information and possibilities for advocacy.
Our Task Force will be presenting a resolution to Annual Conference and a petition to be forwarded to next year’s General Conference, both on climate finance. They will be published on the Conference website soon.
The Annual Conference resolution, “Climate Responsible Finance for United Methodist” would endorse the World Council of Churches’ initiative, “Climate-Responsible Finance: A Moral Imperative towards Children,” which links the impacts of climate change on the world’s children with the strategy of engagement with banks that are invested in fossil fuels.
The General Conference petition would add “fossil fuels” to the Book of Discipline’s list of investment screens, which already include “direct or indirect involvement with the production of anti-personnel weapons and armaments (both nuclear and conventional weapons), alcoholic beverages or tobacco; or that are involved in privately operated correctional facilities, gambling, pornography or other forms of exploitive adult entertainment.” Cal-Nevada and several other annual conferences approved this petition in 2016, but it failed to pass at General Conference. Since that time, however, not only have the impacts of climate change gotten worse, but many people have also become aware of how dire the climate crisis is, so it’s worth a try.
Find out more about the rationale for passing petitions and resolutions based on the connection between our finances and the climate crisis in an explanatory video from the United Methodist Creation Justice Movement, featuring Rev. Sharon Delgado and others who speak about their importance. You can find them here.
Take Action on Plastic
“A month without plastic? You’ve got to be kidding! There’s no way! Everywhere you look, there’s something made of plastic.
But what about getting serious, at least for a day, a week, or a month (as proposed by Plastic-Free July 2023 movement) about abstaining from single-use plastic? I may be able to do that, at least for a day, which may lead to a week, and maybe even a month!
Plastic Free Foundation, a not-for profit global social movement, has stopped around 300 million kgs (661,386,786 lbs) of plastic polluting the world each year. In 2022, almost 90% of the participants made at least one lasting conscious change…”
Recent research reveals that more single-use plastic is being produced than ever before, with 98% still coming directly from fossil fuels, contributing to greenhouse gas emissions.
To read Rev. Gayle Pickrell’s full report and call to individuals and churches to join the movement for a “Plastic Free July,” sign up for our newsletter here.
Global Ministries EarthKeepers Training
United Methodist Global Ministries seeks U.S.-based United Methodists to lead grassroots environmental projects that are action-oriented, antiracist, bold and entrepreneurial. EarthKeepers is a training program that equips US-based United Methodists to launch and grow environmental projects in their communities. Topics include eco-theology, antiracism, community organizing and project planning. All participants plan a project during the training. Fall 2023 Application Available June 1 | Fall 2023 Connection Available June 1
The next EarthKeepers training events will be held Oct. 5-8, 2023.
California Interfaith Power and Light
Our Climate Justice Ministries task force is partnering with California Interfaith Power and Light (IPL), with the assistance of its Northern California Director, Gregory Stevens. He encourages churches who want to learn more about how to “green” their facilities to contact him at Gregory Stevens firstname.lastname@example.org. There are grants and other benefits for churches and other non-profits that want to insulate their facilities, install solar panels, LED lighting, and make other changes to reduce environmental harm. IPL helped several churches in our Annual Conference become IPL “Cool Congregations,” and worked with Hope UMC in South San Francisco, which is now a “Resiliency Hub.”
Further Opportunities and Resources Beyond the Annual Conference
Coming in the Fall: Looking ahead to the fall and the Seasons of Creation for 2023. A new theme for 2023 was announced, Let Justice and Peace Flow, with a one pager available in different languages.
Western Jurisdiction Creation Justice’s next gathering will be on Thursday, June 8 at 10 am (PST). You are invited to worship together with liturgy, prayers, and devotion focusing on creation care and creation justice. See more details in this flyer. Contact Courtney Randall at email@example.com if you are interested in attending the zoom meetings or worship times which are the second Thursday of each month at 10 am (PST).
Creation Justice Movement Café: June 21, 2023 at 11 am MT. The once-a-month Wednesday meetings are an opportunity to listen, learn, and share joys, successes, questions, concerns, and possibilities. Each third Wednesday (10am PT), and occasional evenings, the Café features a topic and/or a speaker and generates hope for our good earth. Everyone is welcome. The Movement Café webpage will provide updates on speakers, topics, and recordings. Come, listen, learn, and share joys, successes, questions, concerns, and possibilities Register here.
UWF Just Energy for All Monthly Webinar next Session: June 21, 2023 at 1 pm MST
Join the monthly Just Energy for All webinars to hear from experts, community leaders and United Women in Faith members advocating for just energy solutions in their communities and around the world. Learn about efforts to prioritize women’s voices in climate justice advocacy, reduce air pollution, install solar panels, increase electric school buses, and more. REGISTER HERE
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