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The Resistance Prays

November 25, 2018
By Chett Pritchett 

Today's Top Story
"U.S. Climate Report Warns of Damaged Environment and Shrinking Economy," via the New York Times. "A major scientific report issued by 13 federal agencies on Friday presents the starkest warnings to date of the consequences of climate change for the United States, predicting that if significant steps are not taken to rein in global warming, the damage will knock as much as 10 percent off the size of the American economy by century’s end."
Scripture 
“We know that the whole creation has been groaning in labor pains until now; 23and not only the creation, but we ourselves” –Romans 8:22, 23a
We have fallen short as caretakers
  • As I read the news of thirteen federal agencies presenting a dire report on the state of the environment and the economy, I was drawn to the above passage of scripture from the letter to the Church in Rome. And yet, I was hesitant to include it in my reflection. Earlier in this chapter, we find condemnation of homosexuality; following, we find words about salvation that have been used in acts of colonialism and manipulation. And yet in between these difficult parts of our faith, we find a stark reminder: “all creation is groaning” and not just creation, but humanity, too.
  • This is a reminder that we humans are a part of creation. Climate change and environmental degradation are keenly connected to the health of not only individuals but the collective health of communities. When people of faith talk about the environment, we must not solely talk about topics like recycling, composting, agriculture, water rights, and fossil fuels. Indeed, we must engage those topics and talk about environmental racism, the connection between droughts, fires, and floods and global poverty and migration. We must begin to understand the role gender plays in providing for the economic well-being of families and management of the environment in local communities. (Hint: Women play an overwhelming role in both of these activities in developing countries, but their knowledge is often overlooked and ignored).
  • In the age of Trumpism and climate change denial, this week’s report from federal agencies highlights the situation in which we find ourselves. Likely irreversible, we must ask ourselves what role we as people of faith will take. No longer can individual actions be seen as the only way to implement ecological action. Moving forward, we must use collective action to stem the tide of climate change.
Act
Pray
Great Creator, who you formed the Earth from the depth, you asked humanity to steward that which you spoke into being. We admit we have fallen short as caretakers of your creation. Empower us to seek justice and repent by changing our ways, both personally and collectively. Amen.
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