Everything that we choose to do has consequences on the world around us. The conveniences that our modern society provides us often come at a cost somewhere else down the line. For example, a lot the food that we buy from the store requires a collaborative effort between farmers, manufacturers, and freight carriers. More often today the food has to travel over hundreds of miles until it reaches your plate, all the while consuming fuel that adds to polluting the air along the way. While obtaining food is beneficial, the means by which it is delivered can be negative on the environment.
The social, economic, and environmental concerns apparent in this world are undoubtedly connected to our lifestyle choices. If we take just a moment explore where our clothes come from, how our bananas are grown, or where our trash goes, we begin to find a chain of world-wide interactions. We all have heard stories and seen pictures from guest speakers who address the inconsistencies of wealth and necessity around the world. How would you feel if even the choices we made here at home affected those communities? If you knew how to adapt your lifestyle to be more beneficial to other people and the earth, would you be willing to do it?
The ministry of Eco-Stewardship desires to address these and similar concerns, and gives us ways in which witnessing God’s love can be done through our daily decisions. Growing some of your own food or buying locally at the farmers market are a couple solutions to the example I gave above, and only a fraction of the options that eco-stewardship encourages us to explore. As followers of Christ, we need to examine our choices and seek ways to extend the Golden Rule everyday, everywhere.
There are a growing number of examples where churches have demonstrated eco-stewardship in the world. Next month, I hope to share some of these cases and help discuss other possible ways in which our congregations could contribute.