In their new book, Climate of Hope: How Cities, Businesses, and Citizens Can Save the Planet, former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg and former chairman of the Sierra Club, Carl Pope, note that the religious community has become an important newcomer in the global struggle against climate change: “the religious movement for action is growing, as more faith leaders rally around the belief that it is our responsibility to care for God's creation.”
The Federated Church's part in this conversion over the past year has brought us recognition as a “green congregation” by the United Church of Christ's Massachusetts Conference. Our Care for Creation Team is now looking to move forward with fresh action in guiding the next stage of FCO's green journey.
Planning for the next 12 months includes projects in each of the three major areas of our responsibility.
Deepening our grasp of Care for Creation's foundations in biblical faith. This will be accomplished partly by increased attention to this theme in Sunday morning worship. Showing of an important award-winning film, Journey of the Universe, will be another (it places our planet's struggle with environmental degradation in the context of the universe's nearly 14-billion-year history).
Adding new practical ways to combat climate change. On this front we are planning, for example, to make it possible to rely less on paper cups in our beverage consumption and to make more use of ceramic mugs. We shall also encourage FCO members to develop their at-home composting habits (hereby linking to what our pre-school kids are planning on composting).
Intensifying our involvement in the Cape Cod Climate Change Collaborative (5Cs). As one of the first faith communities to link with the 5Cs, we shall reach out to other Christian and non-Christian religious bodies on the Cape and Islands, encouraging them also to move in a new green direction. One of the Collaborative's leaders has recently expressed hope that increased involvement by churches and other faith communities in this “big tent” environmental initiative will lead to broadly-shared ways of speaking about climate change threats that are more understandable and morally compelling than is much of current environmental speech.
Members of the Care for Creation Team are Emily Boyle, Mary Lee Mantz, Larry Minear, Paul Minus, Connie Newell, Sally Norris, Jean Souther, Jeff Talmadge, Cheri Tyree, Emily Whittemore and Ross Witt-Long. We are always eager to know what other FCO members think we should (and should not) be doing!
Paul Minus, Chair