Climate Justice

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
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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.

Upcoming Events:

Earth Day 2022 (April 22, 2022) promises so much for us as we emerge from our winter cocoons for beautiful spring, and hopefully from our pandemic isolation, as well.  It can kick off a season of working to slow climate change in our own community.  The following list offers some activities that we can join to engage ourselves and our families in this important work.

  • Earth Day Virtual Run.  Join the virtual fun run to celebrate our planet!  Friday April 22 through Saturday April 30.  1M 5K 10K 13.1 and 26.2 miles.  $16 entry includes medal, bib, and at least 15% goes to Wild Earth Allies. https://www.eventbrite.com/e/2022-earth-day-1m-5k-10k-131-262-save-2-tickets-192633972397?aff=ebdssbdestsearch
  • Earth Day Festival, Sunday, April 24th 1-4:30pm, Leslie Science & Nature Center, 1831 Traver Road Ann Arbor, MI 48105.  About the Festival. The Ann Arbor Earth Day Festival is an annual celebration coordinated by the Ann Arbor Earth Day Festival Planning Committee, a coalition of local environmental nonprofits and agencies, and will be held this year at Leslie Science and Nature Center. This free, family-friendly event features displays, hands-on activities, live entertainment, green building and communiting technologies, energy topics, water awareness, sustainable agriculture, and more!  In the true spirit of Earth Day, this festival will again be a Zero Waste event.  Visitors can help keep up the average of 90% waste diverted from landfills during the Earth Day Event by bringing their reusable water bottle and putting their waste in the right receptacles. https://www.lesliesnc.org/a2earthday.  This event is free thanks to local donors and sponsors!
  • Ann Arbor Natural Area Preservation (NAP) works to protect and restore Ann Arbor's natural areas and to foster an environmental ethic among its citizens. NAP Earth Day activities include working on a turtle survey on Saturday April 23, get your hands dirty on this Stewardship Workday in Leslie Woods Sunday April 24, or working with the wildflowers at Folkstone Park on Saturday April 23.  Nothing says you are battling climate change like dirty hands!  https://www.a2gov.org/news/pages/article.aspx?i=864
  • The Bee Joyful Shop in Dexter has a wide variety of artsy crafty Earth Day-centered activities throughout April. Bee Joyful is Michigan’s first zero waste shop.  Fun for all ages. https://www.eventbrite.com/o/bee-joyful-shop-31464294025
  • Junga’s Ace Hardware,1220 E. Michigan Ave. Saline, MI 48176, Saturday, April 23rd 9:00am-2:00pm.  Join us at the Saline ACE Hardware.  See the latest EVs all together in one place, and talk to the owners about their experiences.  Take a test ride in an electric vehicle and see how you can make your transportation easier while saving money and improving the environment.  Register to attend: https://driveelectricearthday.org/event?eventid=3227
  • Earth Day Clean Up Event, Saturday, April 23rd11am, Montibeller Park, 4305 Ellsworth Road Ypsilanti, MI 48197.  Get Involved!  Come out and support your parks with this volunteer opportunity to clean up at Montibeller Park.  Just bring your own water and a lending hand, we’ll provide the rest.  Gloves, trash bags and good vibes provided.  We will keep track of volunteer hours provided, let us know if you need any “proof of service” for your own records.

You Can Take Action Now

Download and mail a postcard to your legislator now

You can use the MIClimateaction.org tool to write to your legislators.

Additional Resources:

Additional Resources for Climate Justice

Contact:

For more information, please email the Social Justice Action Group at sjag@firstpresbyterian.org