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Caring for God's Creation: Called to be Stewards
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The Episcopal Ecological Network is a national network of active lay and clergy persons within the Episcopal Church, USA, who share a common concern for the environment and a common belief in the presence of God in all Creation and who work to make these concerns and beliefs known throughout all Provinces and Dioceses within the church.  Members come from the provinces of the Episcopal Church USA.  The activities of the Episcopal Ecological Network are focused on the areas of Reflection, Education, and Action.  This page a resolution you may wish to use with your environmental organization.
Eco-Justice Resolutions from other Ajudacatories
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last update:  06-03-09

 

This resolution was passed in June 2002 by the California Pacific Annual Conference
of the United Methodist Church as Resolution #90.

In Defense of God's Creation:
A Call to Preserve Biodiversity and Halt Mass Extinction

 

Source of Staff Time: Church and Society Staff and Board modest
Source of Funds: minimal Church and Society budget

Submitted by:  Rev. Peter Moore-Kochlacs, Rev. Emma Moore- Kochlacs, Rev.John Lurvey, Rev. Beth Cooper, Rev. Andy Welch, Rev. Kay Barre', Betty Clopton, Rev. Brian Kent, Joyce Georgieff, Verne Nostrup, Gail Kendall, Rev. Gwen Jones-Lurvey, Rev. Debbie Gara, Rev. Al Waterson, Bruce Hallenbeck, Sue Cook


WHEREAS:  Psalm 104: 24 declares, "How many are your works, O Lord!  In wisdom you made them all:  the earth is full of your creatures"  and Psalm 50 proclaims, "For every animal of the forest is mine (God's) ... I know every bird in the mountains and the creatures of the field are mine" and

WHEREAS:  Genesis 7:8 in the story of Noah and the Ark declares," Of clean animals, and of animals that are not clean, and of birds, and of everything that creeps on the ground, two and two, male and female, went into the ark with Noah, as God had commanded Noah" and

WHEREAS: The United Methodist Social Principles state, "All creation is the Lord's and we are responsible for the ways we use and abuse it.  Water, air, soil, minerals, energy resources, plants, animal life and space are to be valued and conserved because they are God's creation and not solely because they are useful to human beings.  God has granted us stewardship of creation.  We should meet these stewardship duties through acts of loving care and respect." and

WHEREAS: the Methodist Social creed states, "We affirm the natural world as God's handiwork and dedicate ourselves to its preservation, enhancement and faithful use by human-kind," which means that, as keepers of the earth, humans are responsible for preserving all of Gods creation, and

WHEREAS: God created all forms of life for a reason, but 20% of the plant and animal species in California are at risk of extinction, 73 have already been extinguished, and the same situation is occurring all over the world.  According to the International Union for the Conservation of Nature, one in 4 mammals, one in 5 reptiles, one in 3 fish and one in 8 bird species worldwide face a high risk of extinction in the near future, and

WHEREAS: Scientists tell us that humans are driving species to extinction at a rate that is much greater than the planet has experienced for 65 million years, that we are losing 2-3 species every hour and that we are living in the midst of a "mass extinction" of living things, and

WHEREAS:  A mass extinction would not only rob God's gift of diversity from our children, but would threaten humanity's food supply and the gigantic ecosystem disruption caused by a mass extinction could also eventually lead to the destruction of human culture and to the extinction of humankind as well as the destruction of most plant and animal species.

THEREFORE LET IT BE RESOLVED that the California Pacific Annual conference declare that, "restoring creation must be a central concern of the mission of the church.  This mission shall be incorporated into the life of the church at every level."

LET IT ALSO BE RESOLVED that United Methodists encourage and work with other citizens, governments, societal institutions and religious organizations to face the severity of this threat by taking steps in practice, policy and systemic change that will prevent mass extinction and preserve the biodiversity essential to the flourishing of life.

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the California-Pacific conference supports the retention and expansion of laws necessary to protect all of God's creation.  These include: 1) laws to protect and preserve our National Parks, wilderness areas and National Forests  2) laws to protect threatened and endangered species such as the Endangered Species Act and the Marine Mammal Protection Act ,  3) laws to reduce emissions of pollutants which have a great potential to disrupt ecosystems 4) laws to ensure responsible stewardship of publicly owned lands, and 5) laws that encourage responsible family planning.

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that all United Methodist congregations be urged to engage in teaching by word and example of the importance of living a less materialistic spiritual life.  This includes: 1) encouraging responsible purchasing decisions both individually and organizationally, 2) engaging in positive social action, and 3) engaging in acts of nurture and witness on behalf of God's creation
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that this resolution and the concerns it lays out be incorporated as appropriate into Methodist curriculum and other education materials and events, and disseminated widely throughout various media of the United Methodist Church.

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that Methodist camps and conference centers become informed and active regarding the preservation of habitats and biodiversity in their own communities, and to join with other community groups to ensure that development and industrialization do not impair the integrity of wetlands, streams, fields and forests.

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the conference will encourage United Methodist volunteer and financial support of agencies - national and international, governmental and nongovernmental -- that work to preserve fragile ecosystems, protect endangered wildlife, and empower impoverished people to meet their needs through community-based development that protects their natural resources and environment.

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that all United Methodists congregations be encouraged to commend the companies that have pledged to stop purchasing lumber from endangered forests, and to encourage United Methodists and other purchasers of wood products to make serious efforts to avoid purchasing products made of wood from endangered forests.

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the conference call upon the United States Congress and the Bush administration, particularly the Environmental Protection Agency, the U.S. Forest Service, and the Interior Department (especially the Fish and Wildlife Service) and also the governments of the states, to refrain from or turn back all efforts to abolish or undercut established policies and  initiatives to protect endangered species, preserve wetlands, restore the Florida Everglades, minimize road building in national forests, and  preserve roadless wilderness areas. 

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the conference call on the U.S. and other governments, on U.S. and international development and lending agencies, and on national and multi-national corporations and banks to desist from large-scale projects, such as old-growth timber cutting and forest fragmentation, mega-dams, and oil exploration and drilling in vulnerable regions, that devastate ecosystems, threaten wildlife survival, and displace indigenous people.  The conference should also encourage delegates to the International Conference on Sustainable development to be held in South Africa in September of 2002 to address these issues.