I’ve been reading about the heat waves that are happening all over the world. 114 degrees in London! 121 in Delhi, India. Heat-generated fires in Spain. Most of these cities’ residents have little or no air conditioning. People are dying. Many of these deaths affect the poorest of the poor, but none of us is immune. When I read about the current heat waves around the globe, the droughts and the fires, part of me wants to deny any of this is happening. But it is all too real.
The climate on earth is changing. Warnings about climate change began in earnest in the mid-1990’s. Scientists warned us that we would reach a time when we wouldn’t be able to correct the damage we have done to the planet. During the pandemic, however, when human beings around the world were forced to isolate and quarantine because normal life changed radically, there were places where the air and water quality improved. So, I have great hope that our planet can heal if we change our behaviors.
Why is this important to Christians? From the beginning, we have been charged to take care of God’s creation; not destroy it. This has been a driving force in the care of creation theology of the PCUSA. As stewards of God’s creation, we have been called to tend the earth and protect natural resources so that our children and our children’s children will be able to enjoy this beautiful world. Of course, this isn’t just about us. We care about all people whom God has created. Our ministries are centered around this premise: to love our neighbors as ourselves.
Several years ago, FPC became an Earth Care Congregation. Under the leadership of Nancy Abrams and others, recycling and energy conservation became a priority. Conservation measures have been implemented around the church to save energy, save water resources, and to recycle paper, glass, plastic, and foam – all making our church “greener.” In our church library there is an entire display dedicated to environmental issues and what our community and church is doing. Just this year we added a foam trailer to our property in addition to the glass and bottle recycling located on the top deck of our parking garage. New technologies are becoming more and more available and affordable, such as solar panels and electric/hybrid cars.
Most of us recycle at home to do our part and there may be times when we wonder what difference we are making, but a lot of small efforts on the part of many does make a big difference. When I look at my grandchildren, I’m inspired to continue to do what I can by supporting environmental efforts to keep our planet clean and beautiful for future generations.
In Psalm 24 we find these words: “The earth is the Lord’s and the fullness thereof; the world and those who dwell therein.” Let’s protect this precious world that God has given us.
If you want to find out more about ways you can get involved in recycling and conserving resources in Greensboro, go to: https://www.greensboro-nc.gov/departments/field-operations/recycle