The article that follows is from the Huffington Post, and is another great example of a Church leader taking a powerful stand. It is decidedly refreshing, and a sign of hope that we have leaders who will call a spade a spade and who demonstrate leadership on critical issues of our time.
Climate change and global warming impacts all of us. It is especially severe on those who have the least ability to mitigate its deadly effects. Those who intentionally turn a blind eye to climate change and its impacts on the poor and hungry are harming us all and helping destroy God’s perfect creation. And like the good bishop said, that is sin.
Head Of The Episcopal Church Says It’s ‘Sinful’ To Ignore Climate Change
The presiding bishop of the Episcopal Church had strong words this week for people who deny climate change based on “political interests” or “willful blindness.”
“The Judeo-Christian tradition has always called those motivations sinful,” Bishop Katherine Jefferts Schori said Tuesday at an event to raise awareness about climate change. “It’s decidedly wrong to use resources that have been given into our collective care in ways that diminish the ability of others to share in abundant life.”
Speaking at an Episcopal Church event in Los Angeles called The Climate Change Crisis, Jefferts Schori said that humanity has reached a “life and death” decision to change the tide of climate change and that the window of opportunity “will not last long.”
“We are making war on the integrity of this planet,” she said. “We were planted in this garden to care for it, literally to have dominion over its creatures. Dominion means caring for our island home.”
Tuesday’s event kicked off a 30-day challenge for people to learn about and advocate for environmental change. Over the course of the initiative, which ends on Earth Day, April 22, participants who sign up on the Episcopal Church’s website will receive daily emails with information to help them reduce their carbon footprint and spread awareness about climate initiatives in their communities.
Climate protection is an issue of personal interest for Jefferts Schori, who has a doctorate in oceanography and worked as a marine biologist before entering the priesthood in 1994. The bishop is a backpacker and nature lover who has studied interconnected systems like the circulation of water, the atmosphere and marine geology.
The Episcopal Church as a whole has made environmental stewardship a top priority. The Episcopal Ecological Network was formed in 1986 to provide educational resources to Episcopal churches around the U.S. and build grassroots efforts to address environmental issues in communities.
In 2012 the church partnered with interfaith environmental nonprofit GreenFaith to launch a certification program for Episcopal churches around the country to make their worship and educational facilities more environmentally friendly.
“We are meant to love God and what God has created and to love our neighbors as ourselves,” Jefferts Schori said Tuesday. “Jesus insists that those who will enjoy abundant life are those who care for all neighbors, especially the ‘least of these’ — the hungry and thirsty, the imprisoned and sick — and that must include all the species that God has nurtured on this planet.”
Food for all is a necessity. Food should not be a merchandise, to be bought and sold as jewels are bought and sold by those who have money to buy. Food is a human necessity, like water and air, and it should be available. — Pearl S. Buck
What do you think about this statement? Do you agree or disagree?
There is no question that food is a human necessity; it’s a necessity for all living beings. But there are arguments to be made on both sides of the question.
What would happen if food was freely made available to everyone on the planet? Would the results be good? Would the positive benefits of universal access to nutrition outweigh any negative impact?
What would be the largest positive impact of food being made available to all without cost? What would be the most detrimental impact of universal food for all?
There would definitely be some amazing positive results of everyone being fed. Yet, along with the good there would be some negative effects, as well.
You make the call. The decision is yours. Should food be available to all without cost? Why?
One may explain water, but the mouth will not become wet. One may expound fully on the nature of fire, but the mouth will not become hot. — Takuan Soho
Words, no matter how wise or erudite can only represent. That’s why our words, even powerful words, such as love, compassion, and justice will never fully achieve the world we desire by themselves. Powerful words are just that: powerful words.
Powerful words need to be supported by powerful actions.
Love needs to be lived. Compassion needs to be shown. Justice needs to demonstrated.
Only then will the lonely will be comforted, will the hungry be fed and will the oppressed finally be set free.
I love a good challenge. And obviously so does everyone else. How many thousands have already doused themselves with buckets of icy water on behalf of ALS? Drenching oneself in gallons of ice water has become the “fad de jour.”
Don’t get me wrong. ALS is a wonderful and worthy cause, and it’s one I totally support. But is the ice bucket challenge really the best way to raise awareness over a serious illness? Some would say it is. Just look at all the challenge has already accomplished. And I myself am fond of pointing out that I like the way I am actively doing something far better than the way you are doing nothing.
Yet, every time I see those untold gallons of clean pure water being poured over someone I cannot help but think of those of our family around the world who cannot even imagine such a sacrilege. Wasting clean water, wasting any water, who can conceive of such a thing?
I have watched women and young girls walk for hours to scoop water out of muddy clay pits in eastern Chad. I have been honored to be offered water so thick and turbid I could strain it with my teeth. I have been to places where water is a commodity so limited as to be fought over.
Water is precious. Water is life. We need to honor it. We need to conserve it. And above all, we need to use it wisely, even reverently.
Support ALS. But do it without thoughtlessly wasting a limited and precious resource. My challenge is for all of us to find a better way to do the good we all seek.
Here are a few photos from the Stop Hunger Now team’s assessment trip to north Cebu. Although not as devastated as Taclibon, the needs of this area are immense and will be for months to come. Food, water and shelter are needed for immediate relief, but long-term aid for rehabilitation and reconstruction is also going to be essential, as well.
Last Thursday, the Stop Hunger Board was in its annual retreat when Allen mentioned we were already monitoring the situation in the Philippines and that various staff were already beginning to plan our response. From then until now we have not slowed down.
Stop Hunger Now has been in full crisis response mode for the past week. Already over a million meals have been shipped or will shortly leave the US for the Philippines. One full container (285,000 meals) has already left California and another hundred thousand meals are being airlifted from Kansas City. Other containers are scheduled to leave early next week.
Working with our strategic partner, Wine to Water, we are providing 1100 Sawyer water filters. Each of these filters have the capacity of providing over 275 gallons of clean water a day.We are also sending high energy bars, medicine, medical supplies and other donated relief supplies.
Stop Hunger Now Malaysia is sending another quarter of a million meals. And they are gearing up to provide more.
But the most exciting facet of our response is that our wonderful partners in the Philippines are going to hold a special packaging event in Manila next week where volunteers will package another 120,000 meals for their countrymen in the area of the Philippines devastated by Typhoon Haiyon. Providing the opportunity for Filipinos to help provide life-saving meals is powerful in so many ways.
Tomorrow morning Allen Renquist and I will fly to the Philippines to coordinate our immediate relief efforts with our partners, assess the extent of the damage, and plan for Stop Hunger Now’s continuing response to this tragedy. We will be joined by Jordon Gurnsey, a close friend and supporter of our efforts, and Tiki Keh, our Stop Hunger Now Malaysia Director.
We will try to post on a regular basis to share stories and photos, so stay tuned for more detailed reports of our trip.