The E-mail Commentary from Eco-Justice Ministries
Who Am I?
A congregation that is attentive to eco-justice will blend pastoral ministry with activism. That's not a tension between opposites. The personal needs of the folk in the pew have a bearing on how we live in the world, and how well we care for all of God's creation.
The question of self-identity is at the core of many pastoral needs. People wrestle with the question, 'Who am I?' In answering that question, we often label ourselves as parents or children, by our jobs or political parties, by age or race or gender.
As members of the Christian church, though, we claim a distinctive and over-arching identity. Along with our other descriptions, we all proclaim, 'I am a child of God.' To see ourselves as children of God is an essential part of coming to grips with the beliefs and behaviors of a faithful eco-justice perspective. Claiming an identity as a child of God is important in resisting and rejecting other beliefs and behaviors that are damaging to the environment and to just relationships.
What are some of the affirmations that we make when we identify ourselves as children of God?
From the basis of the 'consumer' perspective, we hear statements that are contrary to our faith:
In all of our churches, and in all of our lives, let us remember that we are first and foremost children of God.
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The first word is out about the 2003 Environmental Justice Ministries conference of the National Council of Churches and its 23 participating denominations/communions.
"Sustainable Living in a Global World" will be held June 20 - 22 at Seattle University in Seattle, Washington. The publicity says: "How do we live sustainably in a world that is moving towards a single global economy built on free market capitalism and free trade? How can we build a human economy that is sustainable, just, and honors the rest of God's creation? Join us as we examine the spiritual, ethical, and theological implications of living in a global marketplace. Participants will discover a spectrum of individual, congregational, and societal actions that can help create a healthier, more just, more sustainable world."
This biennial gathering of the ecumenical community is open to denominational staff, clergy and lay leaders, theological educators, and anyone interested in learning how the Christian community can take a leadership role in addressing issues of sustainability.
For more information contact Cassandra Carmichael (firstname.lastname@example.org) or visit the NCC Eco-Justice Working Group website at http://www.webofcreation.org/ncc/workgrp.html
Eco-Justice Ministries * 400 S Williams St, Denver, CO 80209 * 303.715.3873
Home Page: www.eco-justice.org * E-mail: email@example.com