Hello St. Paul’s,
Happy Earth Day! As people of faith we are called to be good stewards of God’s creation. Our Presiding Bishop recently said, “The work of helping to save God’s world is not a secular endeavor. It is the sacred work of God. For God so loved the world, and we who follow in the footsteps of Jesus are summoned to love as God loves.” Sacred work, a work of love.
This week members of Christian churches in the United States gathered to discern how we can combine our faith with our knowledge of the climate crisis to advocate for creation care in the halls of government. The Ecumenical Advocacy Days event addresses every social justice concern, and it is especially fitting that environmental justice is the focus during Earth Week. Particularly relevant to the St. Paul’s community as we study systemic racism is the intersectional phenomenon of environmental racism. The organizers of the online event write, “We continue to see how the historic reality of colonialism and structural racism has designed systems that live on today, through environmental racism and a myriad of other injustices that grew out of the same evil roots. Addressing the history of colonialism and structural racism is key to achieving climate justice.”
In our regional commitment to social justice, the Episcopal Diocese of San Diego has formed a Creation Care Task Force. Headed by Co-missioner of Service and Justice, Deann Rios, individuals from churches throughout the Diocese have committed to addressing environmental justice through prayer, study and action, forming collaborations among churches in the Diocese, and offering ways to teach compassion for God’s Earth. St. Paul’s is an active part of this effort.
Midway through this month of Creation Care Faith Forums, this Sunday we will hear from a panel of Simpler Living members who will share some climate solutions that they hope will stimulate increased commitment to this critical social justice concern. Environmental justice or Creation Care (the term used by the Episcopal Church, among other denominations) intersects with other social justice issues: immigration (climate devastation is one of the reasons for migration, and will be increasingly so in the future); racism (the locations of fossil fuel plants are often in frontline communities, and food deserts are prevalent in many neighborhoods of color and poverty); and economic justice, among others.
What, then, can we do?
- Pray, as always, for our own transformation and for all those who suffer from environmental injustice.
- Support one another in the sometimes challenging decisions we need to make in order to reduce our carbon footprint.
- Act as responsible citizens of the country and the world, contacting the State Assembly and Congress to advocate for sustainable solutions.
I’m grateful to our Simpler Living ministry members for all they do to raise our awareness of the need for action, and particularly for providing me with content for this letter.
Tonight’s Communion in the Courtyard service will be a special celebration in observance of Earth Day. I hope I’ll see you there. If not, I’ll see you on Sunday.
Here’s more information about the 2021 Ecumenical Advocacy Days: https://www.episcopalnewsservice.org/2021/04/19/episcopalians-participate-in-ecumenical-advocacy-days-focusing-on-climate-justice/
Your sister in Christ,