Church & Society

Environmental Justice

Katie Crise (right) holds a lantern lit by a solar powered lamp during the General Conference Climate Vigil at Oregon Convention Center Plaza in Portland. The vigil was held to call attention to climate change during the meeting of The United Methodist Church's top legislative body. Photo by Mike DuBose, UMNS.
Katie Crise (right) holds a lantern lit by a solar powered lamp during the General Conference Climate Vigil at Oregon Convention Center Plaza in Portland. The vigil was held to call attention to climate change during the meeting of The United Methodist Church's top legislative body. Photo by Mike DuBose, UMNS.

As revealed through the creation story of the Bible, humankind has struggled from our earliest days to live in right relationship with the created world, with each other and with God. God’s vision of shalom invites all of creation to know wholeness and harmony and yet too often we have treated creation simply as a resource for humankind’s use.

“All creation is the Lord’s, and we are responsible for the ways in which 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.”     — United Methodist Social Principles ¶ 160

Today, we understand more deeply than ever before, the profound consequences of our failure to serve as caretakers of God’s creation. Ecological crises and extreme poverty are a reflection of our inability to share the abundance God has entrusted to our care. Ever-expanding scientific knowledge helps us better understand and informs our response to challenges ranging from the health impacts of environmental toxins to the threats posed by climate change.

United Methodists are called to a ministry of reconciliation between God, humankind and creation. In and alongside frontline communities experiencing environmental injustices, we are participating in God’s healing of creation. Through acts of personal, social and civic righteousness, United Methodists are modeling a new lifestyle and advocating for God’s people and God’s planet so that all God’s children can share in the goodness of Creation.