LUCC Creation Justice 2021 Annual Review

2021 Annual Review and update to May 2022

A Creation Justice Church in the Environmental Ministries Program of the United Church of Christ as of February 12, 2019, LUCC has pledged to review our progress annually.  Due to the unprecedented cancellation of many LUCC church programs and initiatives due to Covid-19 restrictions, 2021 was a year of limited Creation Justice activities and engagement at our church.  However, some progress on previous initiatives and an ongoing effort to keep our Creation Justice commitment alive were made.


2021 Initiatives as stated in January 2021 Report

Status – Completed, Cancelled, In Process, or On Hold

  • Activate EV charging station and advertise location for community use – COMPLETED
  • Complete solar panel estimate process – choose installer and continue research for funding – ON HOLD
  • Represent LUCC Creation Justice work at local events – EarthFest St. Pete, April 4, 2020 at Williams Park, etc. – CANCELLED
  • Review Permaculture Design when available and make decisions about grounds – IN PROCESS – REWILDING OF 54TH AVE. GROUNDS BEING CONSIDERED – REDESIGN OF LAWN AROUND CROSS ALSO BEING CONSIDERED
  • Adult Day Care – Green practices agreement – VERBAL AGREEMENT BUT STILL IN PROCESS
  • Extend Green Practices agreement to other renters – IN PROCESS
  • Continue to expand LED lighting in church – IN PROCESS

In addition, the Creation Justice Task Force sponsored some of the following activities in 2021 and into spring 2022:

  • Support of the Rights of Nature Resolution submitted to the 33rd UCC General Synod and passed in July 2021. Included in this resolution is the following call to individual UCC churches nationwide to take action to support this new resolution:

BE IT FINALLY RESOLVED that the Thirty-Third General Synod of the United Church of Christ calls on individual churches to respond to the Rights of Nature by taking the following actions:
• Participate in the Season of Creation for September Sundays. Include Creation care during each liturgical season (Earth-Seders, Tenebrae, Easter sunrise service outdoors, and Earth Day. Preach every six weeks often on Earth Justice. Celebrate outdoors or bring the outdoors into the church.
• Ritualize environmental grief: Bio-Diversity Day (May 22), Remembrance for Lost Species (November 22). Start environmental grief support groups.
• Foster love of God’s creation, organize walks in botanical gardens and wilderness, plant trees, take nature hikes, and attend UCC summer camps.
• Study and implement Kairos Document, Call to Action, a 10- year Mobilization Plan on Climate Change and Inequality.
• Become a Creation Justice Church and Green Hub of God’s green grace,  https://www.ucc.org/how_it_works_becoming_a_creation_justice_church
• Subscribe to the UCC Environmental Justice newsletters and environmental newsletters; share webinars, and read and study on creation care and climate change. These are spiritual practices to equip us for creation care.
• Work for the Green New Deal (the transition to renewable energies) Advocate for the Rights of Nature and take part in climate strikes and non-violent protests.
• Organize locally, partner and build local community networks with conservationist and environmental groups. Many folks in these organization have had spiritual experiences within nature, recognize and find common ground to restore damaged environments.
• Be creative and imaginative in our defense of the Rights of Nature

  • Earth Day Campfire Celebration on April 30, 2021 – Restore earth campfire with writing of love letters to Mother Earth
  • Consultation with gutter installation and drainage experts to address flooding of facilities in heavy rains – OVERWATERING OF LAWN AND DEBRIS IN DRAINAGE DITCHES WERE ADDRESSED.  SANDBAGS MADE AVAILABLE FOR STORM SITUATIONS.
  • Cathedral on Fire and climate change book discussion on line – three sessions in October 2021
  • Committee participation by Claire Stiles on UCC rewriting of How to Become a Creation Justice Church criteria and steps.  Led by Brooke Berndt online over a number of months.  https://www.ucc.org/what-we-do/justice-local-church-ministries/justice/faithful-action-ministries/environmental-justice/creation_justice_churches/
  • Ongoing Committee participation by Kim Wells and Claire Stiles on the FL UCC Creation Justice Task Force with Panel discussion and supporting other churches in their efforts to become a Creation Justice Church. Spring 2022
  • Earth Day LUCC property cleanup on April 23, 2022 with small group raking the Labyrinth, collecting branches and debris for a brush pile, and picking up litter on our property.

Summary

Our Creation Justice Covenant is only as valuable as the real effort we all put towards sustaining the health and well-being of our natural environment and Mother Earth. We need all of us together, as a congregation and as individuals, to address the issues of climate change; plastic and other toxic substances pollution; clean water, land, and air; solid and other waste disposal; and species extinction through advocacy, action, and speaking out against injustices and suffering of the disenfranchised and most vulnerable neighborhoods and communities who bear the brunt of pollution and climate related disasters.

If we have the will and commitment to do so, LUCC can make a difference in the sustainability of our ecosystem now and for future generations.  As this year of 2022 progresses, may we all make a renewed effort to be part of the solution and to support the call to individual UCC churches nationwide to take action for the Rights of Nature Resolution of our national UCC church. 

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