There are many environmental organizations hard at work, here in Georgia and across the globe. Each is doing valuable work. There are even more faith-based environmental groups now. GIPL is among the fray and partnering with all of them. Yet, we have a particular mission — to recruit and encourage Georgia’s congregations to speak out and act in caring ways for the planet. I like to think of it as recruiting them for the choir. GIPL’s mission is to harmonize our voices on behalf of Creation.
I believe deeply that people of faith have a particular offering for the environmental movement. For starters, we operate influential organizations that can show the importance of being energy and water efficient. We can make choices based on our faith values about what we consume. We can make connections on the environmental impact of the production and manufacturing of goods we utilize as houses of worship. I believe we each have our own part to play in this work.
Yet, what I believe to be most important is that the sacred texts of all the world’s religions invite us to see ourselves and the world with a different lens. We are created as more than consumers – the way the market economy wants us to view ourselves. We were created in love, to love and to be loved. Living into that reality means that we see the world with eyes of love, which moves us into acts of gratitude and compassion that bring healing to a hurting world – an earth being ravaged.
People of faith see value in a world that is not being destroyed for our sake. People of faith see value in a world that has endless beauty for future generations to experience. People of faith see value in acting on behalf of the voiceless among us, including Creation that stands tall as trees, peaks as mountains and flows as rivers.
So we have our work cut out for us. The earth continues to feel the pressure of our abuse. Creation still groans for our loving response. Now more than ever, let the choir sing in harmony. Let us a make a joyful noise! Let our voices be bolder, may our actions be hopeful for our sake and for the sake of the earth.