Christian responses to environmental concerns
The National Council of Churches
and various inter-faith groups
The National Council of Churches of Christ in the USA (NCC),
The NCC is the leading force within the ecumenical movement of Christianity
in the U.S. It is an organization consisting of Anglican, Orthodox, mainline
Protestant and liberal Protestant denominations in the USA. Conservative
Protestant faith groups generally are members of the National Association of
Evangelicals (NAE). The NCC is fraternally related to the World
Council of Churches.
Among the NCC’s contributions is extensive work on environmental, peace and
social justice issues. Its eco-justice programs include biodiversity, climate
and energy, consumerism, green buildings, land, and water. As of 2007-MAR,
current eco-justice programs include:
||Promotion of Earth Day Sunday. This:
"Includes background information, sermon starters, ideas for youth
and adult study, suggestions for individual and congregational action,
sample liturgies, and a bulletin insert, as well as an opportunity to
engage your elected officials concerning the farm bill."
||An eco-justice sermon writing contest.
||A report describing how churches can save money and protect the
||Promoting a series of Adamah (Hebrew for Earth) congregations who take
on environmental challenges.
||Promoting the "Step It Up 2007" demonstrations. This is a U.S. - wide
attempt to pressure congress into cutting carbon usage by 80% by 2050.
||Advertising upcoming events that promote eco-justice. 1
A number of NCC-affiliated denominations provide have "social and
environmental justice e-advocacy tools or action networks."
The Interfaith Climate and Energy Campaign, sponsored by a
collaboration of the NCC, the Coalition on the Environment and Jewish
Life commissioned a document "The Cry of Creation: A Call for Climate
Justice." It was published by Earth Ministry in 2003-OCT. It
documents how climate change and global warming are a threat to all people and all creation.
3 Some of the points raised by the
||Global climate change is not about economic theory, political platforms,
partisan advantage or interest group pressures. It is about the future of God’s
creation and the one human family.
||We have a moral obligation to Third World nations who have toiled and have polluted and depleted their own resources to feed our consumption.
||Action to mitigate global climate change must be built upon a foundation of
social and economic justice that does not put the poor at greater risk, or place
disproportionate and unfair burdens on developing nations.
||If we are to reduce energy consumption in a way that preserves the best
parts of industrial civilization, we have to start now. Now, while we are still
sufficiently energy-rich and material-rich to afford the high cost of
technological development and to buy time for the changes we need in public
attitudes towards energy use.
||We consume far more than we need to of almost everything: Food, space,
material goods, and energy. More and more people have to take themselves off the consumption treadmill. However, there are still people who cannot imagine life
without low-price gas, cheap imports, and the produce of factory farms.
||The great bulk of buying and the power not to spend is under our control.
||Lowering consumption would reduce exploitation of children and
in the Third World countries, and would slow depletion of global resources. It
would narrow the gap between the rich and the poor.
||Consumerism identifies a lifestyle in which a large number of individuals
obtain more than is needed, more than is necessary for fulfillment, and more than
Gods Earth can sustain. It is covered by the document Responsible Purchasing by
||A scant 20% of the world’s people, most of whom are North Americans, earn 86%
of the income, consume 80% of the world’s resources, and create 83% of the
||We have a culture that values marketing more than meaning.
||A growing number of religious leaders cite consumerism as the Earth’s greatest
||Purchasing responsibility is one very important way to care for the Earth and
The following information sources were used to
prepare and update the above essay. The hyperlinks are not necessarily still
"Eco-Justice Programs: Justice for God's planet and God's people,"
National Council of Churches, at:
"Activist's Toolbox" and "E-Advocacy," National Council of Churches, at:
Michael Schut & Tanya Marcovna Barnett, "The Cry of Creation: A Call for
Climate Justice." Booklet & study guide, Earth Ministry, (2003). Purchase
http://earthministry.org/ Online at:
http://www.protectingcreation.org/ This is a PDF file. You may require
software to read it. Software can be obtained free from:
Copyright © 2006 by Vladimir Tomek
Original publishing date: 2006-AUG-16
Latest update on: 2006-AUG-27
Author. Vladimir Tomek, with some input from B.A. Robinson