Southeastern Synod ELCA

Climate Disasters

March 08, 2018

From August 17, 2017 until September 3, 2017, we read about and watched the life of Hurricane Harvey.  Beginning August 30, 2017 until September 16, 2017, the life of Hurricane Irma drew our attention.  Then, September 16, 2017 through October 3, 2017, the life of Hurricane Maria wreaked havoc. From all of these events, many lives were lost and thousands of lives were changed forever.  The monetary cost of these disasters were over $300 billion.  Then there were the massive fires in California, followed by the mudslides. 
 
The year 2018 began with the “Bomb Cyclone,” bringing unusual frigid temperatures and icy coastal flooding along the Eastern Coastal area.  And, just recently, we read where the Arctic Circle is experiencing temperatures above freezing during the winter season while Europe records record freezing temperatures.
 
Were these a unique set of circumstances?  Many people firmly believe, with scientific support, that this climate disruption has been caused principally by human consumption of fossil fuels causing a dramatic increase in carbon emissions.
 
If you are like many people, you are experiencing a feeling of helplessness.  Monstrous disasters are beyond our individual ability to change.  If we do believe in the human cause of climate disruption, we believe there is little we can do about it personally.
 
But as children of God, followers of Christ, we embrace the responsibility of stewardship; not only time, talent, and treasures, but also stewards of God’s creation.  We are nourished and fed spiritually and physically by the gift of creation and all that it means.
 
We can act.  There are the simple things we can do, like composting, recycling, repurposing, energy audits, community gardens, home gardens, educational programs for both adults and children, bible studies and intentional understanding of the cause and effects of climate disruption.  We can act at home or within the congregation.
 
Then there are the more direct actions.  Advocacy is necessary in a democracy.  When individual citizens communicate with our national, state, and local governmental representatives, they take notice.  Communications can take the form of phone calls, letter and email writing, or face-to-face conversation.
 
Remember, it is God’s work, but our hands.

Written by the Southeastern Synod Green Team