Monday, April 2, 2012

Creation Corner Column, April 2012: Energy and Ethics: Earth Day Sunday 2012 and beyond

With secular debates on energy policy and practices come a host of questions that perhaps only a community of faith believers can address. Toward that end, consider the following and then see the Earth Day Sunday materials at .

How do we, as Christians...

,,,fuel our families, communities and world in ways that are Christ-centered and honor God's gift of Creation? the complexity of the involved issues, discern how God wants us to respond?

...advocate for energy sources that provide for all without degrading the very land that God so cherishes? we reflect on environmental disasters that have resulted from an economy dependent upon extraction, answer the question of "are we doing all we can to ensure that such disasters will not occur again"? that we value the interests of others for clean air, clean water, and just energy sources?

...reconcile ourselves to the role our energy needs play in harming God's people and creating inequality? to embrace appropriate emerging technologies that will allow us to be better stewards of God's Creation and decrease our energy consumption?

...ensure that the decisions we make regarding our energy sources include our Christian values---justice, stewardship and love for our neighbor?

...serve communities in need so that they can experience the bounty of God's good Creation? people who strive for justice, sustainability and sufficiency, eliminate our own wastefulness while also advocating for others who lack access to energy?

For more specific resources, from a faith-based point-of-view, that address concerns in your region, for example, those of hydraulic fracturing ("fracking") for natural gas, Gulf oil spill, Mountain top removal coal mining, Power Plant Pollution, see


Earth Day 2012, now a world-wide observance involving one billion people, is always on April 22. See Earth Day Network (EDN for the Campaign for Communities "Global Day of Conversation" and EDN's "A Billion Acts of Green ( Also see for carbon output reductions. EDN also has a Green Schools campaign and an Educators Network.


A Global Day of Prayer for Creation Care, April 26, 2012 is coordinated by the Evangelical Environmental Network ( EEN has eighteen co-sponsors. See .


Two events in Pennsylvania this April that blog readers may wish to learn from and duplicate in their areas are these:

1. A Creation Care Symposium on a local basis, in this case a bioregion where natural gas drilling and transmission pipelines are being placed (the north and west branches of the Susquehanna River), will focus on the goals of informing attendees about environmental issues, bringing together clergy and lay faith leaders, sharing experiences and resources, encouraging one another to consider action options, celebrating Creation and praying for inspiration.

Organized by two Lutheran ministers, they will be joined by a restoration ecologist and a board member of PA Interfaith Power and Light. An authorized ELCA lay worship leader will moderate the panel for the 7-hour event at a Catholic church in Selinsgrove PA on April 19. Info at e-mail

2. The Gettysburg PA Lutheran Seminary "Getting Green Faithfully" Convocation April 17-18 will bring scholars together for lectures and workshops on such topics as ecological theology; world examples of religion-based creation care; congregational "greening" in education, liturgy, facility management and advocacy; providing a moral presence in the face of evil; etc.

Speakers include Rev. Fletcher Harper, Stacey Kennealy, Dr. Cynthia Moe-Lobeda, Debbie O'Halloran, Rev. Amy Reumann, Rev. Dr. David Rhoads, Rev. John Spangler, Jr., Rev. Dr. Gilson Waldkoenig.

An updated version of the "Of Land and Seasons Liturgy" will provide the Eucharist setting. See more details at .


Sacred Acts: How Churches are Working to Protect Earth's Climate by Mallory McDuff is a recent book from New Society Publishers. With a foreword by Bill McKibben, it is about "acting in good faith---environmental stewardship through worship, education, advocacy and action. Also available as an e-book.


For the kids: The animated 3-D film adaptation of Dr. Seuss' The Lorax illustrates how important individual actions on behalf of the environment can be. Help a child learn that one can take personal responsibility in trying to make the world a better place.


"Renewal", the first feature-length documentary film to tell the stories of America's grassroots religious-environmental movement is now available. Order the DVD, or see the trailer, at It won the Best in Fest Award at the Hazel Wolf Environmental Film Festival. "Renewing the Earth, Renewing Faith."


Three E magazine (The Environmental Magazine) features on "extreme weather" (also known as "freak weather", "weather out of whack") appear in their March/April issue. Web links there help the lay person understand scientific findings. See