On March 4, 2022 UCUCC received a letter from the national UCC that our church has been officially designated a Creation Justice Church of the UCC. What does that really mean to us as a congregation? A little history can answer that question.
In 2001, a group of UCUCC members gathered to begin work on issues of environmental justice and climate change, eventually becaome known as the Sacred Earth Matters (SEM) action team. In 2006 we became a “Greening Congregation” through a program offered by Earth Ministry. In 2021 the national UCC developed a program entitled, “Becoming a Creation Justice Church,” designed to assist congregations in “making environmental justice an integral strand in the DNA of their faith community.” The process includes many of the things UCUCC has already done, such as forming a leadership group , including a creation justice phrase in our covenant, adopting one resolution related to racial justice and another related to the sacredness of all creation and our responsibility to care for it.
The process also involves completing an application to document how the congregation has integrated care of creation into their theology, worship, the life and work of its ministry teams, committees, and governing council, advocacy efforts around issues of the intersectionality of racial economic and climate justice, and connection to the broader local, conference, state and ecumenical or secular partners engaged in environmental justice work.
As UCUCC goes forward as a Creation Justice Church we hope to be able to share our experiences with other UCC churches throughout the country that may just be starting out on their journey. It is also incumbent on us to look critically at how we, as a community, can step forward with new and creative ideas for engaging all segments of our congregation in dealing with climate justice. If you want to be involved in this process please contact SacredEarthMatters@universityucc.org.