Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Abandoning Business as Usual?

A resolution calling on the Investment Committee of the Executive Council, the Episcopal Church Pension Fund, the Episcopal Church Endowment Fund, and the Episcopal Church Foundation to divest from fossil fuels and reinvest in clean renewable energy is on today’s priority calendar in the House of Deputies at the Episcopal Church’s General Convention. The House of Bishops has already passed Resolution C045.

This has been an amazing General Convention so far, with signs of a sea change in the Episcopal Church. Many people have a deep desire to be the church in the world rather than simply hoping that the world might stop by some Sunday morning and see how pretty our buildings are. Getting serious about our response to climate change is a big piece of being the church in today’s world.

Yesterday I came across a post written two years ago, Discipleship and Abandoning Business as Usual. While the Sunday lectionary is not this year’s, and the specific examples of current effects of climate change and the political conversation are different, I’m sharing it because it still speaks to what we are about today at General Convention.

Please pray for the members of the House of Deputies as we continue our work on all sorts of resolutions, and especially pray for us to find the wisdom, courage, and love to end the practice of profiting from the destruction of life on this planet.

Another said, “I will follow you, Lord; but let me first say farewell to those at my home.” Jesus said to him, “No one who puts a hand to the plow and looks back is fit for the kingdom of God.” (Luke 9: 61-62)

As we prepare for our Sunday Gospel reading of Luke 9:51-62, we are hearing about record high temperatures and dangerous heat in the southwestern United States, the most recent widely publicized effect of global warming in the news in our part of the world. In India this week, there were mass cremations of hundreds of people who were killed in floods and landslides two weeks ago. Officials there predict that the final death toll will be more than 1000 people. In Canada, the city of Calgary is beginning what promises to be a long clean-up from flooding. According to this report from the CBC, “the province faces a potentially decade-long cleanup effort that could cost $5 billion by BMO Nesbitt Burns estimates.” President Obama gave a long-awaited major speech about climate change this week.

The reality of climate change is becoming clearer as both the increase in extreme weather events and the necessity of preparing for and mitigating its effects become more visible. “Business as usual” is not a realistic option any more.