I’m a Christian environmental evangelist!, writes Restoring Eden head Peter Illyn.
In an article in the hip environmental journal Grist, Illyn adds he recognizes that “this definition is loaded with stereotypes, both positive and negative, but it best describes what I do — traveling around the country preaching in churches and colleges about the goodness of nature and our sacred duty to love, serve, and protect God’s creation.”
Restoring Eden is a Christian-based networking of people decated to nature appreciation, environmental protection, and public advocacy. They write that: The forests, animals, birds, fish, entire ecosystems, and other wild species have no voice in our modern political arena. We must be that voice. Even native peoples often have little voice.
Restoring Eden focuses on advocating for these marginalized groups. We call it, “taking care of the least of these.” We also facilitate practical service projects that directly benefit the creation and the indigenous peoples that rely on healthy natural resources.
Not the usual faith-based ministry, Restoring Eden is “less about membership and programs, and more about a conversation and a community that lives out the biblical mandate to ‘speak out for those who cannot speak for themselves’ (Proverbs 31:8) as advocates for natural habitats, wild species and indigenous subsistance cultures.”
Restoring Eden is so hip that they have a myspace page – already with over six hundred friends. To learn more about their campaigns, click here.
Unfortunately, the current Administration has thus far failed to respond to this worsening crisis. By forming this unusual alliance with scientists, these evangelical leaders– who believe it is their moral obligation to preserve God’s creation — hope to convince the President and Congress to confront this growing threat.
Hosted by Terry Gross on her NRP show Fresh Air, Richard Cizik, vice president for governmental affairs of the National Association of Evangelicals, discusses creation care from a pro-life perspective.
Recognizing the deep connection between faith and ecology, the Regeneration Project is one of the emerging interfaith grassroots organizations that works directly with congregations in greening houses of worship. In October, it put An Inconvenient Truth in 4000 churches through its state Interfaith Power & Light chapters. According to their web site, “The Interfaith Power and Light effort began in 1998 with Episcopal Power and Light and the support of Grace Cathedral as a unique coalition of Episcopal churches aggregated to purchase renewable energy. In 2001, we co-founded California Interfaith Power and Light, which helps people of faith in California to organize and promote positive environmental change around energy and global warming. Nationally, we are working to establish Interfaith Power and Light programs in every state.”
As a person of faith, here’s 10 things you and your friends can do right now:
2. Go on a Low Carbon Diet, the 30 day program that helps you lose 5000 pounds. Find out how you can become a cool household by shedding pounds of carbon dioxide from your life.
3. Conduct a home energy audit. Use thermostat settings and insulation to conserve energy with heating, hot water, and air conditioning.
4. Sign up for renewable energy from your utility. In some states there is still no renewable energy to purchase. If this is the case in your state, you can buy wind tags – vouchers to help build wind energy — from Native Energy with whom we have partnered.
5. Ask your religious leader to give a sermon on global warming.
6. Buy energy efficient home appliances and buy a fuel efficient vehicle.
7. Be an Energy Star Congregation by considering ways to improve the efficiency of your buildings and equipment and curtail unnecessary energy use. For information, call 888 STAR-YES.
8. Use a car less and walk, bike, and use mass transit more.
9. Write, call or email your elected officials. Tell them global warming is a religious issue, that the U.S. must participate in strong and fair international agreements and adopt strong national policy. This is the most important thing you can do right now!
10. Stay informed. You can do this by exploring the links on this site. Coming soon! New ideas to help you and your congregation fight global warming.