Care-Taking God's Creation

      From the earliest days of the church, Christians have had a vested interest in environmental stewardship. It is in our family history, the very makeup of who we are today.

      We envision a Church so in love with God’s creation that its care-taking is as integral to the community as its Sunday worship.

Our Mission is to:

1) Connect the roots of our theology to the physical world;

2) Connect the theology of creation care to direct action and evaluative metrics; and

3) Connect church bodies to the theological and logistical resources they need to improve their environmental relationship.

Baptism, Communion, and Creation Care

Evaluating Current Practices

            Denominations or churches receive one point for taking action on each line item in the four categories allowing for quantitative rankings. This gives denominations helpful feedback on their projects and priorities. 

 

Explanation of Categories & Line Items

  1. Cut Emissions- Reduce the total output of carbon emissions into the earth’s atmosphere

    1. Fossil Fuel Divestment- A denomination meets this requirement if they have never invested in fossil fuels at the national level; already divested from fossil fuels at the national level; OR if they have implemented a process of divestment at the national level that will be completed by 2050.

 

  1. Green Infrastructure- A denomination meets this requirement if they have committed to the construction/renovation/retrofitting of denominational buildings to be environmentally responsible and resource-efficient AND have allocated resources to encourage local church buildings to do likewise.

 

  1. Travel Alternatives- A denomination meets this requirement if they have implemented workplace policies that reduce the need for carbon-heavy work travel, including but not limited to: video conferencing, virtual offices, fuel-efficient vehicles, air travel offset programs, etc.

 

  1. Advocacy & Lobbying: National- A denomination meets this requirement if they have an official committee of staff AND/OR volunteers working with local, state, AND national governments to pass legislation that reduces carbon consumption.

 

  1. Advocacy & Lobbying: International- A denomination meets this requirement if they have an official committee of staff and/or volunteers working with multiple governments, global corporations, AND/OR international agencies to pass agreements that reduce carbon consumption.

 

  1. Remove CO2- Increase the planet’s ability to remove carbon dioxide and offset its effects

    1. Afforestation/Reforestation- A denomination meets this requirement if they can demonstrate evidence of engagement in afforestation/reforestation programs on the local or global level.

 

  1. Return Stolen Land- A denomination meets this requirement if they have a working relationship with the leadership of one or more indigenous nations to protect colonized land from exploitation from corporate and government interests.

 

  1. Responsible Consumption- A denomination meets this requirement if they have organizational policies that encourage low carbon alternatives for necessary equipment and supplies. This may include, but is not limited to: hybrid cars, vegetarian entrees at conferences, recycling and compost facilities in the workplace, elimination/reduction of plastic and single use products.

 

  1. Advocacy & Lobbying: National- A denomination meets this requirement if they have an official committee of staff AND/OR volunteers working with local, state, AND national governments to pass legislation that promotes strategies & technologies that offset the effects of carbon dioxide.

 

  1. Advocacy & Lobbying: International- A denomination meets this requirement if they have an official committee of staff AND/OR volunteers working with multiple governments, global corporations, AND/OR international agencies to pass agreements that promote strategies & technologies that offset the effects of carbon dioxide.

 

  1. Fight Disinformation- Strengthen public knowledge and trust in climate data

    1. Bible Study- A denomination meets this requirement if they have educational materials available to the public that includes ethical biblical study and examines the role of responsible discipleship in the climate crisis.

 

  1. Media Campaign- A denomination meets this requirement if they have a targeted campaign for climate justice on social media, public television/radio, podcasts, blogs, magazines, newspapers, or any other mass media format.

 

  1. Congregational Groups- A denomination meets this requirement if they have accessible tools to support the formation, training, and mobilization of climate groups at the congregational level.

 

  1. Public Resolutions & Commitments- A denomination meets this requirement if they have released public resolutions, social commitments, OR ethical principles for intersectional and comprehensive climate justice.

 

  1. Leadership Education & Training- A denomination meets this requirement if they have funding AND resources for clergy/lay leaders to deepen their understanding of climate justice. This may include: sermon series templates, conferences, continuing education courses, tuition reimbursement/scholarships for climate events, printed and online materials, etc.

 

  1. Prepare & Adapt- Increase the capacity to survive extreme weather

    1. Welcoming Immigration Policies for Climate Refugees- A denomination meets this requirement if they have public social principles/resolutions affirming and promoting the inclusion of refugees and asylum seekers into their community AND/OR have done advocacy work in defense of refugees and asylum seekers in the US legal system.

 

  1. Protections for Low-Income Families- A denomination meets this requirement if they produce, fund, AND/OR programmatically support ministries specializing in preparing low-income families to manage extreme weather. This may include, but is not limited to: training and equipment to protect a home, job training for relocation, community disaster response planning, funding for utility bills, etc.

 

  1. Increase Disaster Funding- A denomination meets this requirement if they have a financial reserve or program specifically to respond to climate-related disasters AND if that reserve or program has increased its budget by at least 10% in the last five years.

 

  1. Invest in Water Access/Water Rights for All- A denomination meets this requirement if they produce, fund, AND/OR programmatically support ministries specializing in safe, affordable access to clean water either in the US or abroad.

 

    5. Education for Women & Girls- A denomination meets this requirement if they produce, fund, AND/OR programmatically support ministries specializing in the education, health, AND/OR economic advancement of women and girls, who are disproportionately affected by climate change and make up 80% of climate refugees.

 

Resources for Churches

American Baptist Churches of Metro Chicago

(773) 634-1495

4401 W. Irving Park Rd.

Chicago, IL 60661

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