Creation Care News:
United Methodists Bring Faith and Advocacy to Olympia and Beyond
By The Rev. Jenny Phillips
When I lead workshops on climate change and advocacy, I often invite people to consider what gets in the way of their taking public action on issues that concern them, whether writing a letter or email, participating in a rally, or engaging in conversation with public officials. It is common for people to hold back because they are afraid they might not know enough. And behind that fear is anxiety over the possibility that someone who seems to know more might be able to see and name their faults and inconsistencies, and they will feel ashamed or not know how to deal with it.
It is hard work to stand up and say something is wrong. Most of the time, people don’t want to hear it. And it is hard to be the one pointing out the gaps between values and actions because we all have a few gaps between our values and our actions.
Yet the extreme vulnerability required to engage with the pressing issues of our day is desperately needed. Even as we strive to do better, we can’t wait to call out larger systems of injustice. And if we can stay in relationship with one another and tolerate the pain we see and name, we might just be able to do the work we need to do to transform the world.
Over the past month, United Methodists have stepped out in faith as bold advocates for our communities and God’s creation.
-In partnership with Faith Action Network and Earth Ministry, Interfaith leaders met with Gov. Jay Inslee on a variety of legislative, social and environmental concerns, from racism to fossil fuel exports.
-Faith Action Network hosted Interfaith Advocacy Day in Olympia, where dozens of United Methodists met with their senators and representatives.
-Tacoma and Seattle area clergy distributed ashes outside the community hearing for the Tacoma methanol plant proposal on Ash Wednesday. Those who were not responsible for evening services stayed to testify on the plant’s potential impacts on the community, economy, and environment. Currently, planning is paused according to The News Tribune (http://bit.ly/methanol-plant-paused).