Environmental Justice

Earth Day 2015: An Update to the 13 Steps to Sustainability

Earth Day 2015: An Update to the 13 Steps to Sustainability
Answering God's call to care for the earth and its people.

Around this time in 2014, United Methodist Women launched the 13 Steps to Sustainability program at our Assembly. This program has the potential to be a powerful tool for our work together across the U.S.  With its step-by-step, organized way of working toward building more sustainable events, and with a measurement tool that can gather data from all of us to see how we are improving year by year, it can help all of us accomplish living within our fair share of the earth’s resources so that all her peoples can thrive.

Since the launch of the program, our nine jurisdictional guides  have been at work sharing these 13-steps and numerous resources at Leadership Development Days, at some Conference team meetings, at local Churches, district meetings and soon at Jurisdiction meetings.

And now, just in time for Earth Day 2015 (April 22), we’ve updated our sustainability website with some short useful videos, PowerPoint presentations and a new practical guide complete with checklists. We’ve also put what we want to measure on the webpage for each principle.  This is very exciting, and it recognizes the many dimensions of this program (practical program, event infrastructure, educational materials and measurement tool), while responding to some of the comments we received from women who genuinely care about the world in which we live and who had ideas and thoughtful critique for us!

We live in a time where the earth is crying out to be heard, and those living closest to the biggest wounds are disproportionately suffering in unjust ways. We are learning that our lives, the lives of those we love, the lives of those we’ve traditionally been in mission with, as well as the earth are wrapped up together in an interdependent way that we have ignored during the last 150 years of industrial development. This program helps United Methodist Women — 800,000 strong — reduce our consumption, our carbon footprints, our paper and water use, toxin emissions and waste, while reinforcing just economic opportunities, accessibility, affordability, racial justice, solidarity with local communities, multi-generationalism, the purchase of healthy foods, and the well-being of all that are participating. These are our honored principles. When we model this infrastructure together, we influence the lives of all those at our meetings who then further influence groups and persons in their larger communities. We have the possibility of changing our way in the world, so it becomes about careful love of the creation and people around us. Thank God for United Methodist Women members who serve the world’s peoples in such practical and organized ways!

We are the church. We are: Faith, hope and love in action.


Posted or updated: 4/17/2015 11:00:00 PM