We have often heard the saying that to be Presbyterian is to be ecumenical. That means, we don’t separate our particular understanding of being Christian and worshipping and practicing church polity in our own tradition as being something that excludes us from celebrating and doing ministry with other Christian denominations and communions.
Our ecumenical partners, nationally and around the world, help us to keep connecting our Christian faith to our responsibility of caring for God’s creation. From the Creation Justice Ministries production of our annual Earth Day Sunday materials to gathering with ecumenical friends through the World Council of Churches and ACT Alliance at the annual United Nations climate talks (Conference of the Parties, or COP), we learn a lot from ecumenical engagement. We also know that many of our Earth Care Congregations in the PC(USA) do their local Earth Day community fairs, workshops, and celebrations ecumenically. We are grateful for our siblings in other traditions!
Here are a a few wonderful resources that may help you personally or in your congregation, for learning and/or planning educational or worship experiences:
- This spring, United Church of Christ put out an important environmental justice report update called “Breath to the People: Sacred Air and Toxic Pollution” including a map with the 100 most toxic polluters
- Pope Francis invites all Catholics (and I would posit, all people of Christian faith) to consider May 16-May 23 as a week to remember the Laudato Si report from 5 years ago, and to rejuvenate efforts to care for God’s creation and people. There will be a worldwide day of prayer on May 24. Many Presbyterian congregations have benefited from using the Pope’s encyclical to look into issues of faith and caring for our world.
- Resources about faith and the environment are also now compiled through the United National Environmental Programme as a “Faith for Earth Initiative”
What ecumenical relationships, projects and programs have been helpful to your own creation care ministry? We are grateful to be a part of God’s big family of faith.