About 150 activists and experts gathered in Greensboro recently for the North Carolina Council of Churches’ Critical Issues Seminar focused on integrating Creation Care with the mission and ministry of faith communities.
The Seminar took place on Oct. 14 at Congregational United Church of Christ and featured the Rev. Canon Sally Bingham, president and founder of the national Interfaith Power & Light campaign, as the keynote speaker. North Carolina Interfaith Power & Light, a program of the Council, is a state affiliate of national IPL.
Workshops throughout the day looked at a variety of topics including “Preaching on Creation: Understanding the Ecological Message of the Bible,” “The Relationship Between Climate Change and Immigration,” and “Bringing Nature to Christian Education: Ideas, Resources and Attempts.” Incoming NC IPL Director, Dr. Kathy Shea, led a session on “Making the Connection Between the Health of People and the Health of Creation.”
At his session on “Brewing Justice: Fellowship and Fair Trade Coffee,” John Odom of Starmount Presbyterian Church in Greensboro described how switching to Fair Trade coffee had led to other positive changes at his church, including building an interest within the congregation about other ecological and production issues.
“Rarely do we ask the question what is the cost of the cheapest,” he said. Secondary costs can include destruction of natural resources and degradation of workers that may come with saving money only in the short-term.
Closing the day, Bingham prayed, “Forgive us, our brothers and sisters, the damage we have done to creation and to each other. We pledge to do better…each of us matters to You, and the choices we make matter.”