Each week during the Season of Creation, we are focusing on one part of our shared ministry for God's creation. This week, we focus on the ocean.
About Our Work
The Creation Justice community has worked together to uphold and expand protections for marine sanctuaries. Relatively untouched, marine sanctuaries serve as hotbeds of biodiversity for God's marine creation. Marine sanctuaries contribute not only to the healing of marine species, but also toward lasting positive impacts on human lives. We are also hosting ocean leadership trainings as well as roundtables. We have events coming up this Saturday, September 28 in Newport News, Virginia and October 4 in Atlantic Beach, North Carolina.
So much of the ocean is unexplored, and the wonders of God's marine creation are still being discovered the deeper we are able to go. We have a moral responsibility to ensure God's marine creation sustains life and inspires wonder for generations to come.
In the News
Today the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) released the Special Report on the Ocean and Cryosphere in a Changing Climate. This report covers the state of the world's ocean, as well as high mountain snowy areas and polar regions known collectively as the cryosphere. It explains the ocean and cryosphere's roles in the climate system, as well as current and projected climate change impacts on fisheries, coral reefs, coastlines, and the people that rely upon them.
The findings in this report indicate that there will be serious impacts on all of God's marine creation unless humans take swift action to reduce emissions. These impacts include unprecedented sea level rise, changing behavior and migration patterns for marine life, stronger and more frequent tropical storms, flooding, food insecurity, and impaired water quality. Simply put, the global ocean is responsible for 97% of all water on planet Earth. We have a moral responsibility to do everything in our power to safeguard this vast and magnificent, yet limited, gift of God's creation.
Download the IPCC report hereAction: Protect Marine Sanctuaries
This week, we encourage you to take the time to read this report and engage with your communities on the impact climate change will have on all of our marine creation. We have one ocean, and a duty to protect it for generations to come. We also invite you, if you haven't already, to take our featured action for September. Reach out to your members of congress and ask them to take action to protect marine sanctuaries.
Take ActionFeatured Education Resources: S.acred O.cean S.eas is a former Earth Day resource with great content to consider as you talk with your communities on the importance of protecting our ocean and all of the marine life within it.
Climate Partner to Watch: Blue Theology Mission Station
Creation Justice Ministries partners with Blue Theology Mission Station on our marine creation work. We plan to send a team of ocean champion faith leaders out to Monterey Bay to learn from and with Blue Theology in Spring 2020. If you, or someone you know, would be a good fit for this opportunity, we encourage you to nominate/apply here.
We also want to give a shout-out to Interfaith Oceans. Their website is rich with ocean resources.
Each week during the Season of Creation, we are focusing on one part of our shared ministry for God's Creation. This week, we focus on climate.
Thanks to the leadership of young people, climate change is in the public spotlight with a major Climate Strike planned for Friday, September 20. Some of our members and partners have created faith resources for the Climate Strike.
About Our Work
The Creation Justice community roots our climate justice ministry in ecumenical Faith Principles on Climate Change. Educating, equipping, and mobilizing faith communities about climate issues and climate solutions has taken on many forms. In addition to our curricula, we have facilitated dozens of workshops at churches and religious conferences on topics such as "Faith for Energy Equity," "Climate Justice and Christianity," and "Just Transition in Appalachia." We advocate to uphold public policies that help protect vulnerable communities from climate change, and we support our members that participate in international climate negotiations.
Looking Ahead to 2020
I am excited to announce our Earth Day Sunday 2020 theme will be "The Fierce Urgency of Now." It will mark 50 years since the first Earth Day, offer theological reflection on our Kairos moment, encourage people to become Creation Care Voters, as well as help faith communities interpret dire reports we have seen from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC).
Also, Ecumenical Advocacy Days 2020 theme is: Imagine! God's Earth and People Restored. This annual conference will take place April 24-27, 2020, bringing together nearly 1,000 Christians in Washington, DC. Creation Justice Ministries is once again on the planning team. We hope you can come!
Many people of faith are unaware that their faith communities have been active on climate issues for decades. It is both sobering and fascinating to see faith perspectives on climate issues from the early 1990s in the National Religious Partnership for the Environment film God's Creation and Global Warming.
This week, take a faithful stand for God's creation and our health. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has proposed to roll back methane pollution standards that require oil and gas industrial operations to plug leaks. Methane is a fast-acting dangerous greenhouse gas, and the Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) that come with methane leaks disproportionately cause devastating illnesses in vulnerable communities. When you press the "Take Action" button, you will get a form letter to President Trump and Administrator Wheeler. This action alert is a shared effort by Creation Justice Ministries and Interfaith Power and Light.
Take ActionFeatured Education Resources: The Next Generation Rises With education, prayer, preaching and action resources, honor the ways young people are leading the way to protect, restore, and more rightly share God's creation.
Other climate education resources of interest include African Americans and Climate Change, Sustainable Food in a Changing Climate, Ethics of Energy, and the report Climate and Church: How Global Climate Change Will Impact Core Church Ministries
Climate Partner to Watch: Interfaith Power and Light
Creation Justice Ministries frequently partners with Interfaith Power and Light, which provides a religious response to global warming through 40 state affiliates.
Each week during the Season of Creation, we are focusing on one part of our shared ministry for God's Creation. This week, we focus on our public lands. Our public lands can provide a sanctuary for us to retreat to for spiritual and physical renewal. In the Bible, wilderness areas have often served as places for people to go and discover God. In the Gospels, Jesus would often retreat into the wilderness for times of prayer and solitude.
About Our Work
The Creation Justice community has been active in the establishment and protection of wilderness areas, monuments, parks, and wildlife refuges. We support public policies which protect public lands such as the Land and Water Conservation Fund, the Wilderness Act, and the Antiquities Act of 1906. The Creation Justice community pays special attention to places that are considered sacred by their current or ancestral inhabitants. For example, the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge encompasses the "sacred place where life begins," which is the site of the creation story known to the Gwich’in people.
This week, we celebrate the third birthday of the Northeast Canyons and Seamounts Marine National Monument. The Creation Justice community was instrumental in building the momentum to establish this first national monument in the Atlantic Ocean and the only national monument established with a primary goal of supporting marine climate science. Unfortunately, marine sanctuary protections are in danger of being rolled back. Please write to your members of Congress in support of marine sanctuary protections.
Take ActionFeatured Education Resource: Out of the Wilderness: Building Christian Faith and Keeping God's Creation
Public Lands Partner to Watch:
A Christian Ministry in the National Parks: This is a grassroots, student-led ministry started in Yellowstone National Park in 1951. They work to provide a Christian Community for those who are visiting our National Parks.
Thanks again for your continued support during the Season of Creation. We hope that you will continue to find ways to enjoy and preserve our public lands so that future generations will be able to enjoy them!
Throughout the Season of Creation, our team will present a weekly theme honoring one aspect of God's amazing creation. This week's theme is water.
About Our Work
The Creation Justice community educates, prays, and acts to uphold our sacred relationship with water.
We offer curricula about water stewardship. We support religious authors publishing letters to the editor and opinion editorials about safe water. We have also supported dozens of faith community leaders in a prayer campaign for better water stewardship.
We host convenings. In 2018, we held a "Healing Waters Retreat" in Michigan, and we will host another retreat in West Virginia this October. These retreats gather people who have lost access to safe water with faith-rooted water justice advocates. We have also cosponsored the State of Appalachia conference, which always includes a water justice component.
We stood with the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe as Water Protector allies, and we have advocated to protect the Bristol Bay, the Great Lakes, the Chesapeake, and the Boundary Waters. We have championed public policies such as the Environmental Protection Agency’s Stream Protection Rule as well as the Waters of the US Rule. We also call on policy makers to uphold and strengthen the Clean Water Act.
Action: Nominate a faith leader who is doing extraordinary work to protect water. This could include advocating for safe and affordable drinking water, watershed stewardship, care for rivers and lakes, or care for the ocean. A small committee of the Creation Justice Ministries board will review nominations and choose honorees. We will feature honorees on the Creation Justice Ministries website, and they will win a trip to the Blue Theology Mission Station in Monterrey Bay, California where they can pray together, learn from each other, and enjoy God's marine creation. NOMINATE TODAY.
Featured Education Resource: Water, Holy Water has Christian education material about water use, pollution, and the challenges facing watersheds. It also includes sermon starters and a liturgy. Download it today.
Water Partner to Watch: Ecumenical Water Network
The Ecumenical Water Network (EWN) is an ecumenical initiative of the World Council of Churches, based in Geneva. This network of churches and church-related organizations promotes the preservation, responsible management and equitable distribution of water for all, based on the understanding that water is a gift of God and a fundamental human right. We highly recommend their Lenten resources.
Through the waters of our baptism, we are reminded of how God's redeeming grace cleanses and renews us. God provides all of creation with clean water for good reason. Clean water is essential to health and habitat. It keeps us hydrated, healthy, and turns our homes, our recreation sites, and work spaces into safe places.
During this Season of Creation, we hope you will continue to seek out new ways to treasure God's creation, and perhaps consider becoming more active in the Creation Justice community. If you read about any initiatives that interest you, please write to us and let us know how you'd like to get involved.
About this Blog
This blog shares the activities of Creation Justice Ministries. We educate and equip Christians to protect, restore, and rightly share God's creation.