Pacific Northwest Annual Conference
 Creation-Care, 365
   

 
 PNW United Methodists
Caring for God's Creation
 

 
IN THIS ISSUE
Prayer for a Changing World

Small Steps:
"Summer Heat"

Tools for Renewal:
"Becoming Carbon Positive" Manual

Lectionary Links

Events & Actions:
Spring-Summer 2013

Creation Keepers:
United Methodist Building

UMC Creation-Care News

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"CC-365" Archives
Please click on the above link to find an indexed list of our archived issues.
Issue #70
"CO2: Lament & Action"  
May 2013
Greetings!
CO2 trends Mauna Loa 
"The graph shows recent monthly mean carbon dioxide measured at Mauna Loa Observatory, Hawaii." Source: NOAA's Trends in Atmospheric Carbon Dioxide 

One week ago today, the media world was buzzing with this news from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration: "Carbon Dioxide at NOAA's Mauna Loa Observatory reaches new milestone: Tops 400 ppm."  With this distressing "milestone," we have officially surpassed Earth's sustainable limits.  The scientific consensus is that 350 ppm is the highest level that will maintain a relatively stable and safe climate -- the climate upon which all life depends.  The esteemed  Dr. James Hansen (former NASA Climatologist) states our climate reality with clarity: "If humanity wishes to preserve a planet similar to that on which civilization developed and to which life on Earth is adapted, paleoclimate evidence and ongoing climate change suggest that CO2 will need to be reduced ... to at most 350 ppm."

In response to this distressing news, we offer this issue of Creation-Care, 365.  In it
, we hope that you'll find prayers of lament and hope, and resources to inspire and equip action.

Grace and Peace be with you,

Creation-Care Projects Coordinator

PNW Office of Connectional Ministries   

QuotePrayer for a Changing World

From the Sisters, Servants of the Immaculate Heart of Mary 

Excerpted from their "Litany for a Changing World"    

 

"God, give us the grace to help heal this world and to reverse the effects of climate change. The seas are weeping and the land is in grief. But we are called to be signs of hope in this world, to be co-creators with God of a global community where the earth is respected and cherished. We ask our Creator to give us discernment and to guide us as we become active members of the human family, working with our sisters and brothers to change the destructive trends that are causing global warming. We have been given a great gift, the richness of Creation, and as we celebrate the earth on this day, we pledge to protect this gift of God. Hear us Creator, and be with us every day as we seek to restore and preserve your Creation. Amen."


 SmallStepsSmall Steps... for Greater Good
Join Me for "Summer Heat" in D.C. and Elsewhere Summer Heat

The following invitation comes from fellow United Methodist, Bill McKibben and other friends at 350.org.  I plan to join their Summer Heat movement in Washington D.C. at the end of July -- please let me know if you plan to as well.  

"...as the planet lurches past 400 parts per million concentrations of CO2, the moment has come, the moment to ask [ourselves] to do hard, important, powerful things. The last two weeks of July are, statistically, the hottest stretch of the year. This year we want to make them politically hot too. Which means we need you, out on the front line.

"...We're calling this next phase of the fight 'Summer Heat.' Over the course of the final weeks of July, from the Pacific Northwest to the coast of Maine, from the Keystone pipeline route to the White House where the administration has broken its promise to put solar on the roof, to the Utah desert where they're getting ready for the first tar sands mine in the US, we're going to try and get across the essential message: it's time to stand up -- peacefully but firmly -- to the industry that is wrecking our future.

"...Here's how it works. This is a list of the actions planned so far. ...Find the one nearest you. Start making plans to show up. ...Our hope is that this summer will be a historic show of solidarity not just with the Americans who suffer most from the fossil fuel industry, but with the people across the planet whose lives are at risk as the world warms - and indeed with the planet itself, beleaguered but still so worth fighting for."
Small_StepsTools for Renewal
"Becoming Carbon Positive: A Manual for Places of Worship"
From Climate Buddies & Interfaith Environmental Network of Austin  Austin Interfaith Energy Network

Fresh out of Austin, TX comes, "Becoming Carbon Positive: A Manual for Places of Worship."  This new, FREE, download-able toolkit offers excellent guidance, tools, and tips to all of our PNW "Climate-Justice Ministries" and all ministries wanting to reduce their "carbon footprints."  If you have any questions about using and/or adapting this resource for your ministry, please contact the PNW's Tanya Barnett.

Here is a brief description from the manual's introduction: The purpose of this manual is to assist faith-based communities in leading the effort to care for our Earth and reverse the effects of climate change. We will do this by addressing and mitigating global warming emissions one congregation or group at a time. This manual provides resources for your journey to heal the damage done to our shared environment and human-kind by the impacts of human-caused climate change. This manual will help you and your congregation:
  • Build awareness about the challenges of global warming and climate disruption
  • Create a teaming approach to address those challenges
  • Assess your organization's contribution to global warming and climate change
  • Develop plans and commitments
  • Identify best practices and tools your group can adopt to reduce the carbon footprint of you and your congregation, and
  • Measure and celebrate your congregation's accomplishments.
Chapters include:
  1. The Spiritual Basis for Environmental Stewardship
  2. Human-Caused Climate Change
  3. Forming an Energy Action Group
  4. Leading an Energy Action Group
  5. Conducting a Climate Performance Assessment
  6. Creating an Energy Action Plan
  7. Energy Action Toolkit   

_______

Photo: Climate Buddies' Interfaith Energy Action Team on Earth Day 2013, celebrating the release of their new "Becoming Carbon Positive" toolkit for congregations.  

Lectionary Links
Some excellent, on-line sermon helps -- most of which coincide with the Revised Common Lectionary:
Events & Actions
Spring-Summer 2013
Creation Keepers
UM Building
United Methodist Building
The United Methodist Building, Washington D.C.
EPA 100% Green Power User: General Board of Church and Society of the United Methodist Church

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) Green Power Partnership works with a wide variety of leading organizations -- from Fortune 500 companies to local, state and federal governments, and a growing number of universities and faith-based institutions -- to encourage the use of green power to meet their organization-wide electricity use. Their website states: "Using green power helps reduce the environmental impacts of electricity use and supports the development of new renewable generation capacity nationwide. Usage amounts reflect U.S. operations only and are sourced from U.S.-based green power resources. Organizations can meet EPA Partnership requirements using any combination of three different product options: (1) Renewable Energy Certificates, (2) On-site generation, and (3) Utility green power products."

 

The EPA's "Top Partner Rankings" highlights the annual, green power use of leading Green Power Partners within the United States. As in 2012, the General Board of Church & Society of The United Methodist Church is a 2013 "Top Partner;" that is to say, they meet 100% of their institutional energy needs through green power.  Specifically, The Methodist Building -- the Board's "home," located on Capitol Hill in Washington D.C. -- meets its needs energy needs through wind power (using NextEra Energy Resources).

 

This building looms large -- physically, historically, and symbolically -- and presents a powerful witness to the decision makers who pass its doors on a daily basis. From GBCS's website, here are a few notes on this important building:

  • The United Methodist Building is the only non-government building on Capitol Hill.
  • The building is significant for the role it has played at turning-points in the nation's history. These include the 1963 March on Washington led by Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.; the 1968 Poor People's March, the farmworkers' boycott; years of protest against the Vietnam War; ERA marches, the 1978 Longest Walk of Native Americans; and the 1989 Housing NOW! March.
  • The Building's beautiful Simpson Memorial Chapel has served as a place of sanctuary and prayer for those who live and work within the shadow of the Capitol. Within these walls, leaders from both parties and all religious persuasions have found the strength and courage to act on their convictions.
  • Since the 1970's the building has been the center of the ecumenical community's work on energy and environmental issues. It was the ecumenical center for the 1980 and 1990 Earth Day Celebration.

What a gift, and source of strength, to know that United Methodists bear such a great creation-caring witness in our nation's locus of power.

 

UMC Creation-Care News
"Creation-Care, 365" is a free, e-resource of the PNW Annual Conference of the United Methodist Church.  Subscribers are welcome to reprint any/all of the materials contained within; cite "Creation-Care, 365, www.pnwumc.org." Thanks and God bless you in your creation-caring efforts.