Dear Friends ~

Greetings in Christ’s name! I hope that this finds you very well.

We’re emerging from the pandemic! Truly, we are. It may seem painfully slow – and life has changed. As they say, “we’re in a new normal.” We’re beginning to worship together and in-person; beginning the conversation about when to relax masking requirements for worship, and how we begin to make the building more available for more use.

By the time you read this, we will have had a congregational meeting deciding whether or not to approve expenditures to renovate the kitchen, bringing it into fire and life-safety code (and therefor insurance) requirements. That’s a major undertaking – and can only happen when a congregation sees hope in its future. And that would be consistent with all that we saw emerge from the work of our Visions Committee. It is an exciting time!

I’m grateful this Spring for another experience – the discussion of Jim Antal’s book, “Climate Church, Climate World: How People of Faith Must Work for Change.” I confess that I approached many evenings, having done my homework, but not sure how much energy I would have for facilitating the discussion, only to find myself fully alive – because of the energy that a handful of other vital people brought to this conversation.

Jim Antal – tells us that this is a moment for which the church – people of faith – were made!

I’d be surprised if you didn’t join me in a surprising “Aha!” moment. Of course! We who believe that God’s whole creation is, in fact, holy – who know what it means to be grateful for the gift of life, the gift of clean skies and water, for the beauty of landscape, for growing things – we know what it means to grieve the despoliation of the gift given us by the Creator. After all, as Sandy reminds me, a favorite hymn for many is “For the Beauty of the Earth.” The only appro-priate response for the gift is grateful care of that which we have been given.

It’s precisely because we know our gratitude that we can choose to speak up, to act out, to make waves in order to be among those who would challenge the same old way of doing things that are wrecking – destroying – our home, the Earth.

The energy of the discussion has led me and others of our group to do a lot more research from credible resources, sharing it among ourselves. I want to share some of our gleanings.

For instance – many of us feel either helpless, or hopeless, perhaps even guilty about the climate crisis as a human-induced reality. We may feel as though we could be doing more to give witness to the need to change. I’m certainly aware of how my choices impact carbon emissions and pollution, and strive to be more conscious of how to make better choices, the better to care for the environment which we share.

Yet, the truth is that much of the increase in atmospheric CO2 was done at a corporate level. Studies show that just 100 companies are responsible for 71% of global emissions (just use your search engine to look for Carbon Majors Database, and the Carbon Disclosure Project). They are from all over the world – including the US. But just because they are global corporations does not leave us without a voice. I have heightened hopes that we will enlarge our awareness and raise our voices, too.

We’re a people of faith, a people of hope, a covenanted community of the Beloved. So let us live in that faith as we walk on the Way of a living Christ. He is here! And we, too, are on the Way with Him ─ an arms-wide-open, welcoming body of Jesus-followers, called to love each other and the Earth.

In the Peace of the Resurrected Christ,