The Earth is the Lord’s, Not Ours: Facing the Climate Emergency
The earth is the Lord’s and all that is in it. -Psalm 24: 1
At its 223rd General Assembly in 2018, the PC (USA) acknowledged that human behavior is responsible for climate change: “God’s gift of Creation – the context in which all life seeks fulfillment – is in crisis. Driven by material aspiration, humanity’s use of fossil fuels since the Industrial Revolution has broken Creation’s balance.”
At First Presbyterian Church of Ann Arbor (FPC), we understand climate change as a social justice issue. According to Jesus, the Greatest Commandments are to love God and to love our neighbors as ourselves (Matthew 22:37-40). The PC (USA) has affirmed:
“The love of neighbor, particularly ‘the least’ of Christ’s brothers and sisters, requires action to stop the poisoning, the erosion, the wastefulness that are causing suffering and death.” - “Restoring Creation for Ecology and Justice” (1990),
The tragedies of rising temperatures, drought, fires, hurricanes, flooding, deforestation, displacement, and death brought on by global warming fall most heavily upon our poorest neighbors locally and worldwide—those who have contributed least to the problem.
Our Climate Justice Action Group seeks to help FPC members learn more about the climate crisis and find opportunities for action at the political, corporate, and personal levels. We hope to provide information and resources to motivate, educate and activate interested people.
Our commitment is guided by statements approved by the PC(USA) and our own Session. In 2020, the Session affirmed:
- That God is revealed in love, that God is revealed in honesty and integrity.
- That God is revealed in the scientific and medical understandings that help us to be faithful stewards of all God’s creation.
- That we are all part of God’s family, and that we are profoundly interconnected.
As a deeply interconnected family, what happens to one of us happens to all of us; our collective health depends upon the health of each and every one of us and of the ecosystems we inhabit. - “Guidance for Our Response as Christians to Public Health Crises” – FPC
As faithful people, we call for individuals, congregations, and policymakers to take urgent action on behalf of God’s creation.
Resources for Climate Justice:
- “We are tearing down the Creation God has given to us” https://www.presbyterianmission.org/story/we-are-tearing-down-the-creation-god-has-given-to-us/
- PC (USA) list of social witness policies and resources: https://www.presbyterianmission.org/ministries/compassion-peace-justice/acswp/topics/
- City of Ann Arbor Climate Action Plan https://www.a2gov.org/departments/sustainability/Carbon-Neutrality/Documents/A2Zero-Climate-Action-Plan-_3.0.pdf
- A2 Climate Partnership https://www.a2cp.org/
- Earth Care Congregations https://www.presbyterianmission.org/ministries/environment/earth-care-congregations/
Additional Resources for Climate Justice
**WRITE CONGRESS** to Support the Federal Reconciliation Legislation
Please take two minutes to tell your Members of Congress to support the reconciliation package that includes the (only) major climate funding package. We have until 9/27 to save the earth!
We must have a reconciliation bill that invests billions for wind, solar and efficiency, sets a 100% renewable energy standard, creates a Civilian Climate Corps, invests billions in electric vehicle charging stations and EV rebates, modernize the electrical grid, and makes major investments in environmental justice communities.
You can use the MIClimateaction.org tool to write to your legislators.
For more information, please email the Social Justice Action Group at firstname.lastname@example.org