Think having a green corner in your parish newsletter or bulletin is a great idea, but don’t have time to research or write one? Episcopal Climate News is here to help! Every Monday, to help Christians live out our faith in daily life, ECN offers a free green-living tip and a theological quote that your parish can use. Just copy/paste the text below, and feel free to edit/shorten as your space requires. Share this week’s column on Facebook.
Living on God’s Earth
By Episcopal Climate News, facebook.com/EpiscopalClimateNews
This week’s earth-friendly living tip: Vote, and get out the vote!
One of the biggest things we can do to care for God’s creation is to vote on Tuesday, November 6, for the candidates whom we believe will do the most to mitigate climate change— and not just in federal elections, but at the state and local levels, too.
The separation of church and state is important, but “church and state” is not the same thing as “faith and politics.” The institutional church cannot and should not endorse candidates, but as individual Christians, our faith shapes our lives — and voting is part of those lives. We do not force our religion on others, but we do use it to guide our own decisions.
As Episcopalians, we have taken baptismal vows to resist evil, to love our neighbors, and to strive for justice and peace. We don’t set those vows aside on Election Day. Furthermore, to paraphrase the Rev. William Barber of Moral Mondays and Repairers of the Breach, if the church is not concerned with the social conditions that create the pastoral needs of God’s people, then it is committing is a form of malpractice. Perhaps this is why Scripture speaks so often about issues that are now considered “political,” from poverty to agriculture to immigration (three of the many issues deeply affected by climate change).
The church can’t say which candidates will do the most to care for the earth and stand up to fossil fuels and greed, but we can say that this is something we as Christians must consider when we choose our preferred candidates. So be sure you have a plan to vote your values on November 6: Where is your polling place? Has it changed since the last election? How will you get there? What time will you go? And perhaps most importantly, can you take anyone with you to make sure they vote too, or offer babysitting to someone who can’t otherwise make it to the polls?
Episcopal Climate News quote of the week: The Rev. Margaret Bullitt-Jonas
The Rev. Margaret Bullitt-Jonas, an Episcopal priest, serves as Missioner for Creation Care in both the Episcopal Diocese of Western Massachusetts and the Massachusetts Conference of the United Church of Christ. From her October 31, 2016, sermon, “Climate change: An emergency of the heart“:
“Christians often say that we need to be good ‘stewards’ of the planet. That’s true. But sometimes the word ‘steward’ can sound rather wimpy, as if it’s enough for us to recycle a can once in a while, or to turn off a light. I think we need a term that is more robust, more full of juice. Maybe we need to be ‘spiritual warriors’ engaged in ‘sacred activism.’…
“Climate change is obviously a scientific issue, an economic issue, a political issue, but it is also a moral issue, a justice issue. The poorest nations and the poorest citizens in each nation are those most vulnerable to climate change, because of flooding, food shortages, and the loss of clean water.”