Profile: Rev. Dr. William H. Casto, Jr

More about Bill, Professor Emeritus

Methodist Theological School in Ohio

Bill is a retired United Methodist Minister from Ohio. He spent much of his ministry teaching at MTSO (Methodist Theological School in Ohio). He is a graduate of The Ohio State University (B.S. in Educ. and Ph. D.) and of MTSO (M. Div.)… His involvement with the Climate Justice Movement began in 2014. During that time he has been active on the Creation Care Taskforce of The West Ohio Conference of the United Methodist Church and in Fossil Free UMC… More about Bill bill casto bio-23ut3p8


Engaged Organizations: Be Just. Be Green. The United Methodist Womene

The United Methodist Women logo taken from

The United Methodist Women is the largest denominational faith organization for women. They have approximately 800,000 members whose mission is to protect spiritual growth, develop leaders, and advocate for justice. One of their main principles includes promoting economic and environmental stewardship and sustainability. In addition, The United Methodist Women’s national office has made climate justice one if its four social justice priorities. More specifically, they focus on climate change affecting people differently. Their main claim is that climate change is not an equal opportunity phenomenon. This claim is what led to The United Methodist Women establishing The Women’s Carbon Fund.

The Women’s Carbon Fund is the first organization started by a women’s group that is dedicated to carbon issues. It focuses on women and children, primarily because they make up 70% of the world’s poor, according to Their goals are to take into account gender roles and to incorporate women’s voices because they believe policy makers fail to do so. This organization supports women-led projects that lower CO2 emissions, communities whose lives have been affected by climate change, and climate and energy advocacy initiatives led by women for women.

In order to continue supporting and educating, The United Methodist Women have a phenomenal website. Their website includes tools to aid in sustainable living and advocacy in a theological way, a carbon footprint calculator, articles on climate justice, and a simulation experience to better understand environmentally downgraded communities.  Their focus on environmental justice stems from their theological belief from the United Methodist Book of Discipline, “All creation is the Lord’s, and we are responsible for the ways in which we use and abuse it.  Water, air, soil, minerals, energy resources, plants, animal life, and space are to be valued and conserved because they are God’s creation and not solely because they are useful to human beings.  God has granted us stewardship of creation.  We should meet these stewardship duties through acts of loving care and respect (Social Principles, 160).”

To read more or explore their website, click here.


Earth Keeping Summit: There is a Balm… Eco Justice, Renewal and Hope


The Earth Keeping Summit 2016 was held at the Ohio State University, School of Environment and Natural Resources. The summit went deeper than the importance of recycling, shutting off your lights and using less energy, and addressed questions of ecology, justice, and race. Dr. Melanie Harris was the keynote speaker of the event and also spoke on the importance of sharing stories. She is an Associate Professor of Religion at Texas Christian University in Fort Worth, TX.

Dr. Harris spoke of the importance of diversity in ecology and how social justice relates to the environmental movement. She talked about how sharing our stories and experiences plays a part in taking care of the environment and having a connection to the environment and to each other. In this environmental movement we must listen. We must reflect on our experiences. We must take race, class and gender very seriously. She gave the example of Eric Garner whose life was taken by police but before that he struggled with asthma. Melanie talked about our air and how the earth is barely breathing. When we heal our earth we will then heal ourselves.

Earth connection begins by sitting with difference. Sitting with nature and seeing things in a different kind of lens. You can hear Melanie’s powerful message here.

Engaged Organizations: Caretakers of God’s Creation

Caretakers of God’s Creation is a grassroots community of the United Methodist Church General Board of Global Ministries. Part of their central belief is the scriptural and Wesleyan theology that the earth belongs to God, not us, and we are given the responsibility to be good stewards of it. The caretakers are on a mission to reveal God to others through creation and motivate people to act on behalf of environmental wholeness and justice. Their website shares more of who they are and what they’ve done.

The General Board of Global Ministries recently launched their new Earthkeeper Program (or brochure) where individuals can engage the movement to face ecological challenges in their congregations and communities. The caretakers share their stewardship stories and encourage others to share their story about protecting and caring for God’s creation. They also provide films, books, information about other faith-based environmental organizations and other resources about how to care for the earth on their website.

Caretakers of God’s Creation will be having their Annual Caring for God’s Creation Conference on April 28/29, which will be folded into the People’s Climate Movement March.

Fossil Free UMC

We are United Methodists who believe it is wrong to profit from wrecking God’s creation.

The Fossil Free United Methodist Church is on a mission to get the General Board of Pension and Health Benefits of The United Methodist Church to invest in clean energy companies. Their website highlights what they are doing in their congregations and potentially your congregation.

On their website you will find their strategy to educate, support and converse with individuals, congregations, the General Conference and the General Board of Pension and Health Benefits. They’ve posted blogs of what they’ve done and progress that they have made on their mission to clean energy. You will also find a webinar that you can schedule with your group along with other resources to support the fossil free mission. Fossil Free UMC addresses the effects of fossil fuel divestments but promotes the long term benefits of investing in fossil free energy on their legislation page.

For more information on the Fossil Free UMC movement, email them at You can also join them during the Peoples March April 28/29 in Washington DC. More info coming soon here!

Official Denominational Environmental Webpage – United Methodist

The United Methodist Church addresses environmental issues in a different way. They call their page that focuses on these issues: Social Principles, The Natural World. Through this, you can find information about the Methodists viewpoints on water, energy, animal life, or even space. To check this out, click here.

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Environmental Statement – United Methodist Church

The Bishops of the United Methodist Church released a statement entitled: God’s Renewed Creation: Call to Hope and Action.

Photo Credit: cross-and-flame

In this statement, the Bishops urged people to look at how they see themselves as a part of creation, and adjust it so they stop harming the environment. People need to stop looking out for only themselves, and take on the roles of being stewards for the planet if there is any hope of redeeming earth from destruction. To read the full letter, click here.

To check out how the United Methodist Church is living out this statement, check out this website.

Laudato Si’ adds Catholic voice to diverse spectrum of religious creation care views

Here are some links to the encyclical and related educational materials and statements that have been developed by different religious communities, including a letter of support from over 400 Rabbis, and a new Islamic statement on the environment:

Laudato Si’: Praise Be To You: On Care for Our Common Home: (html) 
Laudato Si’ study guide from the US Conference of Catholic Bishops: (pdf)
National Catholic Reporter Reader’s Guide to Laudato Si: (pdf)
The Shalom Center with its history of ecological practices: (url)
Announcement of the Rabbinic Letter on the Climate Crisis: (url)
Islamic Declaration on Global Climate Change: (url)
United Methodist Bishops Pastoral Letter: God’s Renewed Creation: Call to Hope and Action: (url) 
Lutheran Study Guide to Pope Francis’ Letter on Climate Change: (pdf)
Evangelical Declaration on the Care of Creation: (url)
National Association of Evangelicals 2015 Call to Action on Creation Care: (url)
A Buddhist Declaration on Climate Change: (url)
Buddhist Climate Change Statement to World Leaders 2015: (url)
Black Church Climate Statement: (url)
And a whole host of other denominational and other religious community statements on environment and ecology have been compiled online, such as here or here.