There are a lot of things happening at Annual Conference this year – a lot of important conversations for our church to be having. From human sexuality, to the war in Afghanistan, to the issue of climate change – there is a lot of important business on the slate this year.
Last night I had the opportunity to co-lead a workshop with David Radcliff of New Community Project on the Query on Climate Change that will be an item of business on the floor this afternoon. It was thrilling to have a standing room only crowd in the room, and a good and robust conversation around the variety of issues surrounding climate change – is it real? what can we do? who has financial vested interests in seeing it affirmed or denied?what is actually going on?
In the midst of all of these, the one that hit home the most for me was the question – is this something the church should even be addressing? Shouldn’t we leave this to the environmentalists and scientists?
This is why, for me, talking about climate change from a faith perspective, from a position of my faith, is as much of a no-brainer as it is. Because at its root, the human struggle with climate change isn’t actually about the science – it is a reflection of our faith. Of how we live as transformed people in this world. It is, at its root, a matter of our souls. Whether or not the science is exactly right, we are living in a way that isn’t sustainable and in relationship with the rest of God’s Creation – what climate change does is put on display for us the impacts of how we have been living. And it is up to us, as the church, to lead a moral and soul searching shift in our manner of living.
And, as was noted last night, the Church of the Brethren has a message to share here. Of simple living and community. Of another way of living – with each other and with the rest of Creation around us. To some extent, we turn to the scientists and environmentalists using their God given gifts to tell us what is going on, and in what ways we can make a difference. But it is a matter of our faith and our souls that we decide to change the way we live – and live as beings created in the image of God, who declared the entirety of this Creation good.