Stewardship of Earth is part of how we show love to God
April 25, 2018 by Minner Serovy
The Confession of 1967 includes a wonderful image of the love of God:
“God has created the world of space and time to be the sphere of God’s dealings with humankind. In its beauty and vastness, sublimity and awfulness, order and disorder, the world reflects to the eye of faith the majesty and mystery of its Creator. God has endowed humans with capacities to make the world serve their needs and to enjoy its good things. Life is a gift to be received with gratitude and a task to be pursued with courage. People are free to seek life within the purpose of God: to develop and protect the resources of nature for the common welfare, to work for justice and peace in society, and in other ways to use their creative powers for the fulfillment of human life.”
It is God’s created world, and we have been given the privileges and responsibilities of habitation and stewardship; it is the stage on which we come to know and interact with our Creator. When I say the words, “All that we are, and all that we have, belong to God,” I can think of no clearer example than this abundant planet we share, of all that God provides us through it, and through the capabilities God has given us to increase its bounty.
Conserving Earth’s bounty
Caring for the planet, its natural beauty and life-giving resources, does not suggest that we don’t have faith that God could re-create it. It does not suggest that God would not protect us from our neglect. Nor does it require that one adopt any single political or scientific conclusion. Caring for the planet is the only logical response to the gift of having it at all. Caring for the planet is a model of stewardship, of being a steward; it is a tool for teaching stewardship in all areas of Christian life and to all age groups. This is not our planet. It is God’s. We are not the last tenants. God’s plan is for generations and generations to follow. Resources are not ours to hoard or use up. Resources are to be used or conserved for the common welfare.
The Presbyterian Foundation helps lead the PC(USA) in supporting ways to preserve God’s creation and its resources. Positive investments have helped create solar farms, which can provide a consistent source of energy in areas of political conflict, in areas of natural disaster, and in places where generators and wires don’t exist. You can read about those investments here.
Through the denomination’s Mission Responsibility Through Investment (MRTI) committee we encourage companies to explore renewable and non-polluting energy sources, and through our investment advisors, we encourage consideration of environmental, social, and governance factors in selecting stocks. We partner with the Presbyterian Investment and Loan Program to offer Restoring Creation low-interest loans for environmental improvements in local churches. The New Covenant Trust Company has created an investment solution for churches and mid councils interested in employing a fossil free investment approach.
Learning to be attentive to how we care for the gifts of our planet is a project that each generation can undertake. Taking the lessons of conservation, common welfare, generosity, values investing, and investing in the future are lessons that translate to all areas of our lives and spiritual journeys. I encourage you to learn what is being done and pick a way that you, too, might participate.
For more information about how the Presbyterian Foundation can help you or your congregation practice environmental stewardship through investing, read this article here and watch this video. If you’d like to talk to someone about this, reach out to your Ministry Relations Officer, which you can find here.