Inspired by Martin Luther King, Jr., we must cast a vision for a healthy, equitable, and inclusive future for God’s creation and then work to bring it about. Here are some practical tips for ways we can live into that vision for humans and all of nature.
UNITED METHODIST CREATION JUSTICE MOVEMENT
We may be in darkness now—but with light just around the corner, we can keep moving toward it. Our Creator God has already supplied the Light. Imagination has the power to draw us forward to a restored and just world. Imagine that!
“I have a dream . . . .” Martin Luther King, Jr., cast his vision for all to see and aspire to. He also worked to bring it about. What is your dream for creation? What is your dream for justice? How will you work to bring about a healthy, equitable, and inclusive future for all of God’s kin-dom? Read God’s vision: Isaiah 65:17-25.
What if we switched to renewable energy? What if rooftops welcomed the sun with solar panels? What if plentiful green spaces were filled with trees and pollinators and grew organic food for the community? What if oceans were clear of plastic? What if humans and all of nature were thriving, not merely surviving? Hold the vision, live the vision, share the vision.
Imagine you live in a recreational vehicle (RV). Your water tank holds only 50 gallons. Every time you turn on the water, the noisy electric pump turns on, too, sucking up your RV’s battery power. Would you keep the water running while you brush your teeth or rinse the dishes? Would you take long showers? Imagine saving the world.
Feeling overwhelmed by all that needs to be done to protect the planet and its people? Imagine a huge bowl of something you’d like to eat. You take a bite and then another bite—not the whole thing at once. Choose one action you can do and do it. Don’t stop there. Take on another “bite,” and then another. You are making a difference.
Bringing about a better environment for all requires individual choices and group effort. Power up for change with a group. Join your church’s green team or a national organization, like Interfaith Power and Light, Sierra Club, or the Ocean Conservancy. Or pull together a small group of folks willing to work locally. Start by reading what Margaret Mead says about a small group of committed people.
Moving or decluttering? Keep in mind that 146 million tons of solid waste go into landfills in the U.S. every year. Imagine that! Located in “someone else’s backyard,” landfills are notorious for environmental injustice and for methane, which contributes to global warming. Look for alternatives. Donate, rehome, or recycle instead of trashing.
When you need to return an item of clothing you bought online, do you imagine it is handled with care and eventually sold to someone else? Unfortunately, much of what is sent back gets sent on to landfills. Before buying, take measurements, use the size charts, and rely on customer reviews. Before you return anything, check with friends. Perhaps they would add the piece to their wardrobe if it’s right for them.
It’s a new political year, a new opportunity for you to urge local, state, and federal lawmakers to act on behalf of Earth. Describe your vision for change. Even if you do not know the details of what legislation or policy is needed, you can speak as a person of faith and advocate for God’s creation. Ask those in power to support what you value.
Look beyond your insurance policy to see what’s happening at the office. Collecting money from all the policy owners, the company invests it—often in fossil fuels. Imagine if that money went instead to renewables or other life-giving enterprises! It’s your money. Find an insurer that invests in the future, not the past.
Imagine your home as warm as you need it to be without costing you or Earth a penalty. Reap the advantages of a smart thermostat for heating and cooling or add weather stripping or caulking around windows and doors, thermal drapes or blinds, and insulation. These relatively inexpensive changes pay off rapidly for you and for future generations of earth-dwellers, too.
The United Methodist Creation Justice Movement is providing these tips to equip church members, families, and individuals to respond to God’s call to care for creation and do justice with our neighbors. For more information, go to umcreationjustice.org.
Share these tips with your family, friends, and congregation. Choose any or all. Forward them to someone you care about. Cut-and-paste to put them with your email signature, add them to your letters and emails, worship bulletins, and newsletters, and include them in your social media feeds and your website.
Last Updated on October 31, 2023