Thursday, November 21, 2013

A Historic Moment for the US and Iran - Write a Letter to the Editor Today

Today, history is being made. The United States and Iran are working toward a deal that lays the groundwork for guarding against a nuclear-armed Iran and a devastating war. With your help, we have been advocating PCUSA General Assembly policy that supports negotiations with Iran.

Click here to send a letter to the editor today!

Your senators are under intense pressure to pass new sanctions in the coming weeks, jeopardizing this diplomatic success that we’ve all worked so hard for.

Please ask your senators to speak out in support of a diplomatic resolution to the standoff over Iran's nuclear program and in opposition to new sanctions that could sabotage the diplomatic triumphs that the U.S. and Iran have achieved.

Click here to send a letter to the editor today!

General Assembly Policy 

On Supporting a Peaceful, Diplomatic Solution to the U.S.-Iran Issues — From the Presbytery of Greater Atlanta.

The Presbytery of Greater Atlanta overtures the 220th General Assembly (2012) of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) to:

1.   Reaffirm the church’s support of a peaceful, diplomatic means to resolve the tensions developing as a result of Iran’s nuclear program, between the United States and Iran.

2.   Call for the direct, unconditional negotiations between the United States and Iran with the goal of finding and implementing a peaceful resolution.

3.   Oppose preemptive military action by any nation against Iran.

4.   Call for a renewed effort at all levels – people-to-people, interfaith groups, nongovernmental organizations (NGA’s), and government – to help the United States and Iran eliminate the tensions that have existed between our two nations and to unite the American and Iranian people in a common effort to solve the problems of poverty, illness, and climate change.

5.   Direct the Stated Clerk to communicate this resolution to the church, and to the president of the United States, the Secretary of State of the United States, every member of Congress, the Secretary General of the United Nations, the President of the United Nations General Assembly, and all missions to the United Nations.

For a statement by the Stated Clerk advocating peace not war with Iran go to:

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Washington Report to Presbyterians Fall 2013

The Fall 2013 Washington Report to Presbyterians is here!  


  • Faith Leaders Call for Common Good Budget Deal
  • A Preview of the 2014 Advocacy Training weekend, March 21-24
  • A Feature on our Summer Fellows, both 2013 and our alumni – where are they now?
  • Peacemakers Make a Difference on Syria
  • A short recap of the Presbyterians for Earth Care Conference
  • Action Alert: Boycott the Occupation of Palestine

Food Stamp Challenge and Farm Bill Advocacy

Stated Clerk Gradye Parsons' groceries for the week
This week, hundreds of Presbyterians, including our leaders Stated Clerk Gradye Parsons, Moderator Neal Presa, and Executive Director Linda Valentine are taking the  Food Stamp/SNAP Challenge.  The Stated Clerk reflects on his trip to the grocery store in this article.

While living on a food stamp budget for just a week cannot come close to the struggles encountered by low-income families week after week and month after month, it does offer those who take the Challenge with a new perspective and greater understanding.  For more resources, visit our Food Stamp Challenge page and the Presbyterian Hunger Program.

Authorization of the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP, formerly Food Stamps) is included in the Farm Bill, on which Congress is working to negotiate a final deal right now.

Write to Congress now and urge them to produce a comprehensive, fair, and faithful Farm Bill.

Earlier in the year, serious threats were made to the funding of SNAP and on Nov. 1st, SNAP benefits were cut as a 2009 funding increase ran out.  Far from there being room to cut SNAP, we are finding out this week that they are already inadequate to meet reasonable, nutritional needs.  If anything, we need to invest more in Food Stamp benefits.  SNAP is a designed as a counter-cyclical program that expands to meet needs when the economy is bad and people lose income and become eligible.  When the jobs outlook and economy improve, it contracts as participants cycle off the program.

Members of Congress need to hear loud and wholehearted support for a program that catches people in their moments of need.

With the PC(USA)’s long-held convictions about food justice and fair food and farm policy, our interests in the Farm Bill, while very concerned with the nutrition programs, are also much broader that. In a joint statement with interfaith partners, the PC(USA) called on Congress to pass a Farm Bill that:

  • Protects and strengthens programs that reduce hunger and improve nutrition in the United States.
  • Promotes investments and policies that strengthen rural communities and combat rural poverty.
  • Provides a fair and effective farmer safety net that allows farmers in the U.S. and around the world to earn economically sustainable livelihoods.
  • Strengthens policies and programs that promote conservation and protect creation from environmental degradation.
  • Protects the dignity, health, and safety, of those responsible for working the land.
  • Promotes research related to alternative, clean, and renewable forms of energy that do not negatively impact food prices or the environment.
  • Safeguards and improves international food aid in ways that encourage local food security and improve the nutritional quality of food aid.

In light of our experience this week with the Food Stamp / SNAP Challenge, it is essential that Members of Congress hear from Presbyterians who are concerned about hunger and food justice, at home in the U.S. and around the world.

Write to your Members of Congress here.

To read more about the PC(USA) Office of Public Witness’ advocacy around the Farm Bill and SNAP, visit our blog.

Monday, November 18, 2013

Food Stamp Challenge Reflection from J. Herbert Nelson

The Will to Resolve the Challenge of Hunger
By the Reverend J. Herbert Nelson, II

 “I was hungry and you gave me food.” (Matthew 25:35a)

We engage the SNAP/Food Stamp Challenge as Presbyterians to claim the biblical truth that God has given us enough. Our waste and greed is the source of scarcity for many in our nation and world. More importantly, our neighbors’ plight is connected to our willingness to love our brothers, sisters, and their children enough to become advocates for food justice. I encourage congregational leaders and members to join in with Stated Clerk Gradye Parsons, Moderator Neal Presa, and Executive Director Linda Valentine by raising a consciousness in your own community through participating in the SNAP/Food Stamp Challenge at whatever level is possible for you and your community.

Feeding the Hungry is a Faith Value

The SNAP/Food Stamp Challenge is an opportunity to stress the importance of our biblical mandate as Christians to ensure that hungry people of the world, including those in our own nation, are foremost in our thoughts, our ministry, and our advocacy. Today, we are failing God in our efforts to feed hungry people. Around the globe, 870 million people suffer from chronic hunger, which means they do not have enough food to eat to lead active healthy lives.i  At home in the United States, 14.5 percent of households are “food insecure.” In other words, they have trouble putting food on the table.ii Indeed, with 12 percent of the world’s population facing chronic hunger and 15 percent of the U.S. population living in poverty,iii we are indeed failing our biblical mandate to feed the hungry and care for the “least of these.” (Matthew 25:40).

Our covenant relationship with one another as human beings requires us to care for one another. Indeed, as Jesus explains, we are each called to feed the hungry, give drink to the thirsty, welcome the stranger, clothe the naked, care for the sick, and visit those who are in prison (Matthew 25:35-36). This is a feature of our covenant lives together. But these commandments are not only personal commandments. They are a calling to us as a society. The specific call to provide food for the hungry, which is recorded through the scriptures, is a symbol of both faithful responsibility to God and love for our neighbors.

The Biblical Call to the Church and the Nation

A Nation Plans Ahead for Times of Want. In Genesis 41, we read the story of Egypt setting aside food in the seven “fat” years in order to prepare for the seven “lean” years and the possibility of a famine. Not only does this story describe God’s call to a nation to feed the hungry, but is perhaps the earliest evidence of a nationwide food policy where a surplus is built up and contributed to in times of plenty in order to spend it down in times of want. (Genesis 41:28-57)

A Communal Commitment to Direct Food Aid. Likewise, in Leviticus 19:9, landowning Israelites are instructed to leave the harvest at the edges of their fields as well as the gleanings, so that those who are in need might collect what remains, thereby ensuring adequate food for those who were in need. This was not an individual act of charity, but rather a communal commitment to the common good and a requirement that those who owned land (i.e. wealthy) would contribute to the good of those who were less fortunate. We read in the Book of Ruth how this system worked in practice. Ruth and Naomi had no food and no means of earning a living, as they had no male relative to provide for them, so Ruth went to Boaz’s field to glean enough food for Naomi and herself. This system made it possible for poor and destitute families to put food on the table.

Jesus Feeds People in His Ministry. In all four Gospels, we find the story of Jesus feeding the five thousand. In John, Phillip questions the disciples’ ability to provide for so many and in the other three Gospels, the disciples want to send the crowds away to buy their own food. But Jesus quiets them all, providing amply for the large crowd, so that everyone who ate felt full. This is another response to hunger in the Bible, the very real call to each of us, individually and as a community, to ensure that everyone has enough food to eat (Matthew 14:13-21, Mark 6:30-44, Luke 9:10-17, John 6:1-15). And as discussed above, later in Matthew Jesus names feeding hungry people as a priority of our faith as he outlines practical steps for meeting the mandates of the Kingdom of God (Matthew 25:31-46).

The Early Church Community Alleviates Poverty and Hunger. One of many examples of the early church engaging in anti-hunger ministry is in Acts 11:28-30, where the first Church in Antioch, the place the name “Christians” emerged as a label for those who believed in the Jesus Christ, responded to a famine in Judea by sending relief, each according to his own ability, to alleviate the suffering and hunger. This is an excellent example of the collective commitment of the early church to hold resources in the common for the good of those who are most in need.

Food is a source of sustenance and represents a basic life sustaining provision. More importantly, feeding the hungry represents an ethical approach to God’s desire for forming community among people-kind.

Our Christian Commitment to Address Hunger

Our Christian commitment to addressing and raising awareness regarding the pervasive nature of hunger in the United States and abroad is the basis for the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) engagement in the SNAP/Food Stamp Challenge. Through the efforts of our denominational leaders and others, we are signaling to our nation that hunger is a significant issue that cannot be ignored. God has provided enough for all persons to eat nutritious meals; however, our global food systems -- patterns of food distribution and trade -- are unjust. World agriculture today produces 17 percent more calories per person than it did 30 years ago, despite a 70 percent population increase. So it is not that there is not enough food for the 780 million chronically hungry people around the globe, it is that we do not distribute the food so that it reaches all of the hungry people.iv The same thing is true in the United States – there is plenty of food, but it is either not affordable or accessible to all the people who need it.

As people of faith, our morality as citizens of a divine covenant requires us to focus on fair distribution of the abundance that God gives to us. In so doing, we must acknowledge that food distribution in the United States is unfair in its affordability and accessibility, particularly among the poor.

The Paradox of Hunger in a Land of Plenty

I attended a forum on the 75th Anniversary of the Fair Labor Standards Act held at the White House.v At that event we heard from minimum wage workers ($7.25 per hour or about $15,000 per year) that feeding their families nutritious meals was not a possibility. The reason given was that the cost of primary bills, like housing, transportation, and utilities, whose costs could not be squeezed or negotiated, left little room in the budget for purchasing nutritious foods for their families. These low-wage workers with families spoke of shopping at corner markets that did not provide fresh vegetables and fruit. Instead, they could only afford sale items that are heavy on starch, salt, and sugar. Some presenters spoke of their family having to skip meals while waiting for payday.  Indeed, because of various patterns, including “feast or famine” mindsets, food deserts,vi lack of transportation, and the prevalence of convenience food in low-income neighborhoods, nutritious food is often more expensive to buy for low0income people than for higher income neighbors, both as a percentage of their income and in actual dollars.vii

In a recent workshop, I challenged a group of middle to upper-income Presbyterians to construct a budget on $15,000 per year.  Interestingly, food and healthcare were the items that faced the deepest cuts in order to make ends meet.  One gentleman said, “My greatest learning is that I cannot make it on $25,000 per year.”

In this nation of abundance, we are experiencing poor children going to bed hungry – more than one in five children.viii  Both the health of parents and children are compromised when food choices are limited.  The travesty in each of these instances is that persons can work all day, every day and still not make enough money to meet all essential expenses and still purchase food for their families or eat healthy, nutritious meals.

But the word “poor” is not used in Washington, D.C., political environment, where we most need to be talking about these issues.  Politicians consider use of the word “poor” to be bad messaging.  Instead, we hear collective priorities around supporting the middle class, because the images of middle class people are more respectable and not as badly perceived as poor people.  The term “middle class” suggests some level of achievement while “poor” is often associate with laziness, lack of education, usury and other negative stereotypes.  But Jesus did not say that he came to bring good news to the middle class.  Jesus often spoke of the poor in his attempt ot restore the hopes of those broken by the winds of injustice and demonization.  Indeed, a review of the Gospels shows that he speaks of those who are poor over 400 times.

We, as followers of Jesus, must reclaim the use of the word “poor” in our efforts to free those persons disenfranchised by the political and economic systems of our time.  I believe the Church has to resort its own integrity by challenging the notion that poor people are in this condition by their own fault.  Many poor people are trapped in a cycle of poverty that affects generations of the same family.  Children who grow up poor are more likely to become poor adults than their wealthier or middle class counterparts.ix Still other poor people were middle class before the economic downturn, but have now fallen into an undefined category between middles class and poor.  These personas are living in middle class neighborhoods with their houses underwater, poor credit, high debt, and less than a paycheck away form losing everything.  The SNAP/Food Stamp Challenge is not intended to exclude those members of the middles class who have fallen into the doldrums of despair.  Nor is this effort designed to exploit those living in poverty.  Instead it is a tool to educate and strengthen the recognition that there is a systemic injustice in the use and distribution of God’s resources at various socio-economic levels.  This injustice is morally, spiritually, and ethically wrong, not to mention corrosive to the soul of our nation.

The Reverend J. Herbert Nelson, II, is the Director for Public Witness in the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) Office of Public Witness in Washington, DC.

*to download a PDF of this Reflection, please visit the Presbyterian Mission Agency Website.


i. Food    and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations. REDUCING         POVERTY AND HUNGER: THE        CRITICAL ROLE OF FINANCING FOR FOOD, AGRICULTURE.
ii. USDA Economic Research Service. Household Food Security in the United States in 2012. Published September 2013.
iii. U.S.    Census Bureau. Income, Poverty, and Health Insurance Coverage in the United States: 2013. Published September 2013.
v. The Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) establishes minimum wage, overtime pay, record keeping, and youth employment standards affecting employees in the private sector and in Federal, State, and local governments. The law was originally enacted in 1938, when it banned oppressive child labor, set the minimum hourly wage at 25 cents, and the maximum workweek at 44 hours. Over the years, the FLSA has been modified and updated to include more workers and more protections for those workers. U.S. Department of Labor.
vi. “Food deserts” are defined as urban neighborhoods and rural towns without ready access to fresh, healthy, and affordable food. Instead of supermarkets and grocery stores, these communities may have no food access or are served only by fast food restaurants and convenience stores that offer few healthy, affordable food options. USDA Agricultural Marketing Service.
vii. Food Research and Action Center. Why Low-Income and Food Insecure People are Vulnerable to Overweight and Obesity.
viii Share our Strength. No Kid Hungry Campaign.
ix. National Center for Children in Poverty. Mailman School of Public Health, Columbia University. Child Poverty and Intergenerational Mobility. December 2009.

Thursday, November 14, 2013

COP19 and a Call to Solidarity with the Philippines

From our United Methodist partners who are attending the UN Climate Negotiations in Poland this week and next week:

Greetings from Warsaw, Poland and the COP19 Climate Conference,

We are here as part of an interfaith witness to ensure the global community hears the cries of creation and responds to the urgent realities of a changing climate.

The tone of conversations at this gathering was set on day one when Commissioner Yeb Saño of the Philippines made a heart-felt and impassioned plea on behalf of his people - our Filipino brothers and sisters - devastated by Typhoon Haiyan. As part of his statement he announced that he was beginning a voluntary fast until such time as the global community made significant progress in responding to the global climate crisis.

Commissioner Sano's speech has inspired delegates from around the world to fast in solidarity with the people of the Philippines and for all those devastated by a changing climate. The ecumenical youth presence here has formed a 'fasting chain' until the end of the COP - next Friday, November 22nd - with at least one youth delegate fasting each day.

While the two of us are only here for the first week of the two-week session, we realize it is critical to remain personally connected throughout. We have begun a fasting chain and are inviting you to join us as additional links. Here at COP19, the fasting commitment has taken many forms - some are fasting for a day, others for the week, and some from sun up to sun down (which at this time of the year is quite early here in Warsaw).

The point for us is one of sacrifice and solidarity. Mindful that our two delegations - the US and the EU - remain impediments to progress on such critical issues as mitigation, adaptation, and loss and damage, we felt it important to join in this global witness.

If you feel called to join us or know others who would, please let us know. We are compiling a list of names to ensure we have someone fasting (in whatever form they choose) through next Friday, November 22nd. If you have any questions, don't hesitate to ask and if you are not called to fast, please continue to hold the delegates, these negotiations and our brothers and sisters in the Philippines in your prayers.


Daniel Obergfell
GBCS* Board Member - Germany

John Hill
GBCS* Director Economic and Environmental Justice 


* GBCS - General Board of Church and Society, United Methodist Church

** If you would like to join the fasting chain, please let us know by emailing leslie (dot) woods @ pcusa (dot) org.

Friday, November 8, 2013

Letter from the National Evangelical Synod of Syria and Lebanon

The National Evangelical Synod         الســينـودس الإنجيــلي الوطــنــي                      of Syria and Lebanon                         في سورية ولبـــنان                       

To all the friends of the NESSL                                                                     Rabieh Nov 8, 2013

Dear friends and partners in the service of God,

Greetings to you in the precious name of our Lord. Indeed we address you as part of the family of God, and members of the Body of Christ.

We praise God who in Christ has given us the hope of eternal life. Our prayer is that you all be blessed and guided by the Spirit of God.

Friends, it has been a while since I communicated with you on behalf of the NESSL, due to the fact that I was visiting with churches in the USA since September 7, I would like to express deep gratitude to all the friends and churches that received me and gave me the honor of sharing the ministry of the NESSL among the Syrian refugees.

I know all of you have received the first report of the activities of our new relief program as written by the Rev. Salam Hanna, the director of the program.

Indeed violence continues to drive many Syrians out of the country, and create larger groups of displaced inside the country. And there seems not to have much hope that this tragedy soon comes to an end. And as just been declared by the UN report almost half the Syrians now have either become refugees, displaced,  and/or have lost home, job, or is able to afford living expenses.

 However, the fear of the Christians is growing by the hour as some Christian communities and ancient Christian villages are being targeted with no shame. Christian  communities have nothing to do with violence against anybody, rather they have been advocating peace, reconciliation, and pleading for an end to  this madness going on for almost three years. Yet they have been attacked, their churches attacked and destroyed, some priests and even bishops have been kidnaped or disappeared. Even the Papal embassy in Damascus has received rockets fired by those groups.
This week Beirut witnessed a special meeting by the Christian leaders of all traditions to affirm that the Christian community has been in the Middle East, back to the early church history, a community that experienced much suffering and continued to be grounded in the soil of the Middle East. It will continue to witness to its faith in Christ until Christ comes back in His Glory. This meeting was triggered by the intense attack on Christian villages in Syria in recent months.

Ancient town Maaloula, North of Damascus, was surrounded, and then invaded by armed groups who went into churches, monasteries, and homes, threatened, and broke icons, crosses causing the residents to flee, until the Syrian army drove them out, and in the process much destruction took place.

The town al-Raqqa, near the Turkish boarders, faced similar fate when churches were attacked and destroyed, and its Christian community had to flee. On the other hand two other ancient towns, Sadad, and Hafar were besieged and destroyed, thousands managed to flee, yet thousands,(1500 families) were held hostage and used as human shields 21-28 October when the Syrian army drove them out. During those days children, women, and old people were killed. In an area not far, three armed militant got the statue of the Virgin Mary from a church to the street and said: this cannot be permitted in the land of Islam, only God's religion is allowed. They broke the statue to pieces and stepped on the pieces. This was shown on TV screens. Other criminal stories are told all over as to how those groups express hatred for the Christians and other minority communities.

On the first of November the NESSL committee on Ecclesial and Spiritual Affairs had its regular meeting to discuss the needs of congregations, the following story was told:

"When the Armed groups invaded Maaloula, three armed men went to a home where a man who was crippled was with his sister. It was clear that this is a Christian home with icons.
They asked the man, are you Christian? He said, yes. They said to him if you become a Muslim now you will live. He said, no! I am a Christian and that I will die. They shot him with three shots and killed him. They shot the sister who did not die." The person who told the story ended it by saying: "Like the early Christians who went to death for the sake of Christ with happiness.

During the meeting there was a short report as to what some of our congregations in Syria are experiencing:
Homs, the church is completely destroyed, the congregation worships in several locations. 

Aleppo, church is destroyed; congregation meets in the Pastor's home. Rev. Nsair, shows deep commitment despite the fact that he was threatened.
Qamishly, relatively stable, 20% have immigrated.

Hassake, church and school work normally. However the pastor seems under pressure to immigrate.

Kharaba, the curch is occupied by the displaced.

Ghassanieh, not functioning, 80% have moved to Latakieh, there they hold a worship service on Saturday, and meet on Sunday with the Latakieh church.

Latakieh, relatively stable. Hosting many displaced.

Malkieh, relatively stable, but the pastor has left to Germany.

Oumar, under pressure, partial services

While several of our congregations have lost many of its members, other congregations added members of those who became displaced.

Dear friends, I have shared with you our situation, in order  to urge you for prayers  to God for His mercy, compassion and peace.

Surely, every day the church receives more requests for help and we have to respond. Help us continue our ministry which is yours as well.

Thank you for all you have been to us in this tragic situation.

To God be the glory.

Mary Mikhael, on behalf of the NESSL.

P. O. Box  : 70890 Antelias – Lebanon       E-mail:                ص .ب. 70890 – أنطلياس – لبنان     Phone  : +961 4 525030                              هاتف : 525030 4 961 +                            Fax      : +961 4 411184                                                                                                فاكس : 411184 4 961 + 

Thursday, November 7, 2013

EPA Carbon Hearing Testimony

Prayer and Statement Before the EPA Carbon Rule Hearing
remarks as prepared
November 7, 2013

Rev. J. Herbert Nelson, II

Delivered at the Creation Justice Ministries Rally
Environmental Protection Agency
1200 Pennsylvania Ave. NW, Washington, DC
Opening Prayer

Let us pray. Eternal Creator, author of our dwelling place, we thank you for the blessing of your creation. The beauty of the stars, moon and sun. The power of your wind, rain and fire. The life sustaining sources of water, seed, plants and animals. We are reminded of your provisions each time we see, hear, taste, touch and smell these life sustaining sources that only you can provide.

We are encouraged in your holy books, sermonic exhortations, and faithful accounts of creation stories to respect and honor all of these sources of life that you provide for us. We are called to faithful stewardship in order to protect our environment for future generations.

However, we stand here today in need of repenting for our greed that leads us to choose profiteering over prophesying. We damage your environment for the sake of financial gain and investment. Our leaders fail to govern appropriately to renew a commitment to sustaining your earth.

Photo Credit: Joey Longley, Sojourners
However, we come here today hopeful that this hearing to reduce carbon pollution from power plants - the largest stationary source of carbon pollution in the United States will be a new beginning for our nation and world. Help those who will testify, debate, deliberate and determine the way forward to see a vision that is possible to reverse the damage already done and aspire to a new and sustainable reality for the way ahead.

O’ Gracious God of the ages, our help in ages past and hope for years to come, we need you in this moment of history to make us what you call us to be for your Kingdom sake. In the name of the Sustainer of all human life and guardian of our calling to serve as people of faith in the name of our majestic Creator we pray. Amen


I am J. Herbert Nelson, Director of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) Office of Public Witness in Washington, DC. I am pleased to stand today with faith leaders affiliated with Creation Justice Ministries (formerly the National Council of Churches Eco-Justice Program); Environmentalist; Environmental Activist; and a host of others who are concerned about reducing carbon pollution. The United States historically has produced more greenhouse gasses than any other country in the world. On yesterday the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) announced that the amount of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere reached a new record in 2012. According to the Environmental Protection Agency, forty percent of the U.S. Carbon pollution and 67% of direct emissions reported under the Greenhouse Gasses Reporting Program.

A report approved by the 218th General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) entitled The Power to Change: U.S. Energy Policy And Global Warming states emphatically that we have both a spiritual and moral responsibility to address the issues related to global warming. In order to do this we believe that repentance is required. Repentance in our biblical understanding calls people-kind and nations to stop the actions that are contrary to God’s desires for the sustainability of human life, while turning to a new way of living that promotes life more abundantly. God can give us the power to change.

At the core of this understanding is the belief that the Psalmist was right in the bible when he wrote in Psalm 24:1 “The earth is the Lord’s and all that is in it, the world, and those who live in it. Therefore, we call for the United States Congress and the Obama Administration to support.

  1. Encouraging decentralized and distributed power generation. Decentralized residential and renewable energy systems, and distributed generation from community wind farms can relieve pressure on the power grid, create new jobs, and empower local communities.
  2. A moratorium on all new coal fired and nuclear power plants until related environmental concerns are addressed.
  3. Limit exploration and exploitation of new fossil fuel supplies to parts of the nation where this can be done without adverse damage to people and the environment.

Photo credit: Joey Longley, Sojourners
Today, we believe that this Environmental Protection Agency Carbon Rule Listening Session is a great first step. We believe that all nations should share the burden of restoring creation to our Creators expectations. However, it is important that we who have damaged the environment the most be responsible for the greatest efforts toward restoring Creation. We in the United States must now set standards that lead the governments and peoples of the world to loving God through our love for God’s creation. To this end, let us remember the words of Jesus who spoke of his purpose for his coming into the world so that “all may have life, and have it more abundantly.” (John 10:10)

To this end we stand here today in solidarity with partners on this important issue!