West End United Methodist Church
Response to the Climate Crisis
We, the congregation of West End United Methodist Church, affirm our faith in God our Creator, in Jesus Christ our Savior, and in the Holy Spirit our Guide and Guard.
All creation belongs to God, and God has granted us stewardship of all creation. This stewardship calls us to acts of care and courage directed at reversing the current misuse of God’s creation.
While economic, political, social, and technology developments have lengthened and enriched human life, they have also led to regional defoliation, dramatic extinction of species, human suffering, and overconsumption of natural resources, especially by industrialized societies. In particular massive emission of carbon dioxide from the burning of fossil fuel over the past 60 years is causing our climate to heat unnaturally, resulting in extended droughts, more severe weather events, sea level rise and longer forest fire seasons. This continued environmental damage jeopardizes the natural heritage that God has entrusted to all generations.
"We acknowledge that unsustainable human activities have placed the entirety of God's creation in peril." (From the UMC Social Principles of 2020). We recognize the responsibility of the West End United Methodist Church and its members to advocate for an ecologically equitable, socially just and sustainable world leading to a higher quality of life for all of God’s creation. We commit to taking steps to respond to the threats outlined in the new 2020 Social Principles concerning Creation in Peril.
Let it be resolved that:
West End United Methodist Church's Creation Care practices, planned annually under the guidance of a Creation Care Team, will be considered in all areas of ministry and mission. Our Church will become an increasingly effective witness by demonstrating concern for the climate crisis through our statements, education, outreach and advocacy.
- West End United Methodist Church will stand in support of legislation and policies that combat climate change and its effects on all creation, advocating specifically for laws and public policies that reduce carbon emissions.
- Recognizing that individual actions and the actions of a single church will be insufficient to deal with the global nature of this crisis, West End United Methodist Church supports a Resolution by the Tennessee Conference that proposes a corporate and systemic response by the Tennessee Conference and The United Methodist Church to implement sustained advocacy for public policies that reduce carbon emissions.
As United Methodists, our theology and practice need to witness to our concern about the climate crisis and our hope for future generations. As we do so through our advocacy and actions, we will demonstrate to all, especially to our children, the importance of caring for the garden that God created and show by word and deed that we are faithful stewards of that garden.
Note: Portions of paragraphs 3 and 4 are found in the 2016 Book of Discipline, paragraph 160.
Approved unanimously by West End's Ministry Table on March 10, 2020