CREATION JUSTICE COVENANT ADOPTED BY CHRIST CHURCH UCC AT ITS CONGREGATIONAL MEETING NOVEMBER 2018
We, the members of Christ Church UCC, Elizabethtown, PA:
Believe in the sacred story of origin that speaks of our common connection to God, to each other, to all of creation, and to the world in which we live, work and play;
Understand that it is our responsibility, as individuals and as a church, to not only care for but also to help heal and restore creation. We desire that this deeply felt commitment be reflected, with an urgent sense of calling, in all aspects of our congregation’s life and that we lead, by example, beyond the walls of our church into our community and our world;
Recognize that the impacts of environmental exploitation, degradation, and global climate change disproportionately impact historically marginalized communities, especially people of color, and that we have a calling and a responsibility, as human beings, to work on behalf of all those who face issues of social injustice and oppression.
Rationale Behind This Creation Justice Covenant:
Why Creation Justice instead of Environmental Justice? Environmental consciousness and social justice are intimately intertwined and, as a result of this, the term “creation justice” has emerged in the UCC as well as wider faith circles and was adopted for the title of this covenant. “Creation”, rather than “Environment”, transcends artificial divides between “human” and “nature” and speaks to the truth of their interconnectedness. It also evokes the sacred story that acknowledges not only our common connection to each other but also to God.
Why include social justice issues in a Creation Justice Covenant? The United Church of Christ was a pioneer in the area of Environmental/Creation Justice. Its 1987 landmark study was the first of its kind to address the issues of race, class, and the environment on a national level. Race was the major factor identified in that study. Because of this groundbreaking work, the reality of environmental racism was brought to the public’s attention. For over 30 years since then, the UCC has continued be a leader on issues pertaining to the environment, especially how they are inextricably connected to larger issues of social justice. This is who we are as a denomination. This is the ministry to which we are called and to which we must respond. If we truly believe that God is Still Speaking, to all of us and for ALL of us, then we must be still listening. Moreover, in addition to simply listening, we must speak as well, lending our voice to the voices of our wider church and joining in God’s work. There is no “Justice” until there are right relationships among ALL of God’s creation.