Justice & Mercy
Climate Change Information
1. As noted earlier on this site, team member Nancy Flader does a wonderful job taking care of the plantings around the church. In addition to the plants featured in the July newsletter she has added some more native grasses to the east side of the building. Be sure to check out those and the other plants around the church. If you have questions about any of the plantings, ask Nancy. She is one of our Master Gardeners.
2.On September 26 from 4:00 to 6:00, Dave Wedin, a UNL professor who is responsible for the management of Nine-Mile Prairie NW of Air Park, will conduct a tour of that prairie for all those interested. If you would like more information contact Lynne Fritz, [email protected]. Registration for the tour should be done during the Homecoming celebration at the church on September 12 or by registering for the event through the church’s normal event registration process.
3.In early August the IPCC (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change) released its latest assessment of that issue. While the full report is over 3000 pages in length, a 41 page “Summary for Policymakers” provides extensive information about the current status of global warming and its causes, a number of scenarios about how quickly or slowly we reduce our greenhouse gas emissions, and what impacts on numerous aspects of our lives can be expected under each of those scenarios. The report has excellent charts and graphs that depict those potential consequences. It can be found at: https://www.ipcc.ch/report/ar6/wg1/downloads/report/IPCC_AR6_WGI_SPM.pdf.
4.The team decided that it was time to highlight some of the energy and resource conservation measures that were on the 2021 Lenten Carbon Fast Calendar. The following suggestions are especially relevant to the upcoming fall and winter seasons.
- When the heating season begins, turn down the thermostat to 68 degrees or lower.
- Check for air gaps around your doors and windows and seal them if possible.
- Learn about and consider subscribing to LES’s Virtual-Net Metering and/or Sunshares programs.
5. Check out the following educational sources found on the EPA’s website.
- For information on the sources and proportions of greenhouses gases in our atmosphere, take a look at: https://www.epa.gov/ghemissions/overview-greenhouse-gases.
- To calculate your own carbon footprint and see which of your activities are causing the most emissions, do the fun activity found at: https://www3.epa.gov/carbon-footprint-calculator.
- To learn about emissions globally, by type of gas being emitted, by economic sector and by country, see: https://www.epa.gov/ghgemissions/global-greenhouse-gas-emissions-data.
6.Arguments are still being made about whether electric vehicles result in fewer greenhouse gas emissions when their manufacture and disposal are also considered. For an excellent article about how much lower emissions are with an EV, read: https://arstechnica.com/cars/2021/07/electric-cars-have-much-lower-life-cycle-emissions-new-study-confirms/
7.A blog about plastic bags and the damage they cause can be seen at: https://blog.padi.com/2017/03/27/7-facts-plastic-bags-will-change-way-use/.
8. An article about divestment in fossil fuels in the New Yorker magazine can be found at: https://www.newyorker.com/news/daily-comment/the-powerful-new-financial-argument-for-fossil-fuel-divestment.
9.Composting of food waste and other organic materials is another way of reducing greenhouse gas emissions. The City of Lincoln’s website has several items of interest about composting including how to do it ourselves and what is available commercially in that regard. It can be easily accessed by going to: https://www.lincoln.ne.gov/home and by searching for “compost.” The UNL Extension Service also has made a lot of helpful information about composting available at: https://extension.unl.edu and by searching for “compost” there as well.
- Decoding the Weather Machine – A documentary outlining what is happening scientifically to our planet because of the addition of greenhouse gases to our atmosphere and what options exist for reducing the increases in global warming.
- “Earthrise” by Amanda Gorman – A poem recited by National Youth Poet Laureate.
Mission and Ministry: Mercy
Advocating, Educating and Promoting a Healthy Life for all God’s people
Songs of Mercy and Justice Hymn Festival
Saint Paul Justice & Mercy Team FAQ
- Presence at the state capital for justice gatherings on topics such as immigration and racial injustice
- Representation on community partnership boards working for justice
- Speakers, classes and forums to educate on justice issues
- Preaching justice
- SP supports (financially and through participation) the Interfaith Peacemaking Coalition yearly workshop.
- We have placed yard signs in member’s homes which address justice issues to let community know we are sharing God’s Love for all in acts of justice.
We have gained new members through our efforts at justice as people have seen our witness with PRIDE festival and our rainbow banners outside the church. Each have told stories of their previous exile from churches due to homophobic or shame-based theology. They have found new life and new connection to God through the welcoming of Saint Paul UMC.
- Saint Paul has undergone a new visioning process with the guidance of the Unstuck Church Group. One of the areas of our focus for growth is in Mercy and Justice. We have formed a strategic planning team which will be leading the congregation into greater justice-centered mission practices.
- We will begin with a foundation of deepening our own understanding of lovingkindness. All justice work must be grounded in love (open hearts).
- Next we will educate ourselves and the congregation around justice and the biblical mandate (open minds).
- Finally, we will go forward into the world beyond our doors to do acts of justice (open doors).
Our strategic planning team has identified three areas for our focus: racial justice, ecological justice, and health care. Each of these areas will be resourced and ministry teams will be formed to engage the congregation in love, education and action. We will schedule our efforts strategically by launching one at a time and building support before adding the next.