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  • Rev. Beth Galbreath

Thank you to all who voted to launch Eco-Net at Annual Conference!

Updated: Jun 8, 2018

Now, the work begins.


After four years of work as the Northern Illinois Conference Eco-Sustainability Task Group, we're moving to an even more "official" structure at Annual Conference this June, as a sub-committee of the Board of Church and Society, with official conference backing for environmental work.


The resolution establishing this also creates a "Green Rainbow" certification, which you can read about on other pages of this site. Through the certification we're able to encourage congregations to take steps that make sense to them to make the world a safer and healthier place.

Here's what passed:

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Resolution to Advance our Care for the Earth

Actions:

The Northern Illinois Conference affirms that God created humans to care for the earth and that to advance our work in environmental justice the Annual Conference will take the following actions:


Encourage each congregation in the Northern Illinois Conference to form a Green Team to plan and monitor creation care improvements within their congregation as outlined in a certification created by the Eco-Sustainability Task Force along with the conference Board of Church and Society, noting seven areas of concern (energy, resource management, transportation, food, toxic chemicals, water, and community outreach) by offering a certification celebrated at the June Annual Conference session; and


Encourage each congregation in the Northern Illinois Conference to conduct an energy audit of their buildings from organizations such as Faith in Place and Elevate Energy to identify sources of energy waste and potential saving of energy-related improvements and to make the needed energy upgrades by adding a question to the Local Church Trustee Report regarding such audits; and


Encourage all congregations in the Northern Illinois Conference to become Styrofoam free and assist their communities in reducing Styrofoam use and recycling when and where available.


Rationale


Our scriptures clearly claim that God, not humanity, is the owner of creation (Lev. 25:23; Psalm 24:1); and that God created humans to care for creation on God’s behalf (Genesis 2:15); and


Our tradition states in the Social Principles of the Book of Discipline of the United Methodist Church 2016 that human developments are driving “misuse and overconsumption of natural and nonrenewable resources” and that “this continued course of action jeopardizes the natural heritage that God has entrusted to all generations;” The Book of Discipline of the United Methodist Church “The Natural World” (¶160), the Social Principles; and


Science explains that climate change is unequivocally happening and primarily human-induced (Climate Change 2014 Synthesis Report 2014 Summary for Policy Makers found at http://ipcc.ch/pdf/assessment-report/ar5/syr/AR5_SYR_FINAL_SPM.pdf); and that Styrofoam (polystyrene) is a product that will never biodegrade, breaks down to small pieces that animals eat, and currently makes up 30% of the landfills; and


It is the experience of the Eco-Sustainability Task Force after four years of surveys and conversations that our congregations are asking for guidance in caring for creation and networking to sustain local actions.


Submitted by the Task Force on Eco-Sustainability, Rev. Nancy Rethford and Mr. Dick Alton co-chairs.


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