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February 23, 2012

Creation Care News

FIA-cover-08Yesterday was the beginning of the Christian season of Lent, and there are many groups out there encouraging a greener Lent this year. First up, the Massachusetts Conference of the United Church of Christ and New England Regional Environmental Ministries are encouraging people to give up carbon for Lent – a “Carbon Fast.”

Participants will get a daily email with a tip on how to reduce their carbon footprint. From their website:

We don’t expect everyone to be able to do everything suggested; but serious consideration of each day’s activity can raise people’s awareness, inviting them to think more carefully about how their day to day living impacts the environment and make the changes they can. In addition to the activity for the day you will find information about the carbon impact of the activity, along with links to more information related to that activity.

While we consider all of the activities a form of spiritual practice, a concrete way of participating in the stewardship of God’s creation, some of the activities are overtly spiritual in the more usual sense that people understand the word: meditation, prayer, self-reflection. The intention is to provide do-able actions which can make a difference; not to overwhelm people, make them feel bad about themselves, or cause them to feel that the situation is hopeless. We want people to feel better for doing this as well as challenging themselves to do more.

Last year more than 6,000 people took part in the Lenten Carbon Fast. Here’s more about why it makes sense for Christians to think about the Earth during Lent.

The Evangelical Environmental Network is also encouraging people to give up carbon for Lent, and they’ve got a whole page of resources to help out.

Speaking of long-term projects, the Coalition on the Environment and Jewish Life (COEJL) is busy moving forward with its Jewish Energy Covenant Campaign. From the Campaign’s intro (PDF):

A diverse group of Jewish leaders is supporting the Jewish Energy Covenant Campaign by signing the Jewish Environmental and Energy Imperative Declaration. Lead by COEJL, this campaign will galvanize the Jewish American community to stand together with one voice, take concrete action and make tangible change, as well as serve as a model for other communities. With this commitment to action, awareness of sustainable environmental responsibility will become part of the daily life of Jewish homes, communities and institutions.

This campaign differs from past Jewish environmental initiatives in that it commits the community’s leadership and institutions to take solid action on climate change and energy independence. In the ultimate act of repairing the world (Tikkun Olam), the American Jewish community will significantly lower its emissions of greenhouse gases and help the nation work toward energy security.

You can read the full Covenant declaration on this page. COEJL is holding a series of informative training webinars for participating Jewish organizations who have signed onto the Jewish Energy Covenant Campaign declaration. Keep up to date by following their blog.

And last but not least, the folks over at Project ME: Muslims & The Environment have their own Facebook page and have been uploading some interesting videos from Creative Muslims. The videos are an introduction to Islam and environmental issues.  Here’s part 1.

Did I miss anything? Please comment and let us all know about other great Creation Care work various faith groups are taking part in!

-- Heather Moyer, Sierra Club

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