“Pope Tells Oil Executives to Act on Climate: ‘There Is No Time to Lose’”

Image courtesy of NYT and CreditMaurizio Brambatti/EPA, via Shutterstock

Pope Francis continued his efforts to uplift climate change as a focus of global Catholic action with a conference of oil company executives at the Vatican in early June 2018. The pope, who has called for a swift energy transition away from fossil fuels and to more renewable energy sources, praised progress made by big oil companies while pushing for even further change.

In his statements on climate change, Pope Francis argues for our present duty to care for the gift of the earth for ourselves as well as future generations. He also recognizes that the poor will be disproportionately affected by global warming.

The Global Catholic Climate Movement has followed the pope’s directive and removed funding from organizations which support fossil fuel. Catholic universities, like Notre Dame, are working on plans to remove fossil fuels from their own energy production.

For more on Global Catholic Climate Movement click here. To be directed to the article originally published on the New York Times click here.

Catholic Diocese of Columbus: Creation Care Guide

Picture taken from colsdioc.org

The Creation Care Team of the Catholic Diocese of Columbus has created a Creation Care Guide based on the teachings of Laudato Si’. This guide contains information on energy conservation and efficiency, purchasing and recycling, transportation, and water conservation. Additionally, they have a section on making Laudato Si’ relatable for young people. The inspiration for this guide came from the Archdiocese of Atlanta who wrote a document titled, An Action Plan for the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Atlanta. To read the Creation Care Guide from the Catholic Diocese of Columbus, click here. To read the Action Plan for the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Atlanta and see where the inspiration for this guide came from, click here.

Engaged Organizations: Food, Faith, and Farming

Picture courtesy of cclpmidwest.org

Food, Faith, and Farming, previously known as Churches’ Center for Land and People, uses an interfaith collaboration approach to integrate earth stewardship, economic justice, community and spirituality around issues related to agriculture and food. They aim to strengthen rural life and the connection between farmers, their land, and their communities. They do so by offering a prayerful and spiritual perspective in rural communities, raising awareness of rural spirituality in our culture, and providing resources for those in church life and beyond. To check out their website, click here. Additionally, they offer a flyer containing resources for faith communities on the spiritual integrity of rural life and farming. To read the flyer, click here.

GreenSpot and St. Mary School

Picture courtesy columbus.gov/greenspot/

GreenSpot was founded in 2008 by former Columbus Mayor Michael Coleman as a place where people of the city can go to learn how to live, work, and commit to being green. Becoming certified as A GreenSpot is open to anyone from households, to businesses, to community groups. There are a list of commitments that must be made depending on the type of organization, but once they are met the application process can begin.

Recently, on January 30th, Columbus St.Mary School became a GreenSpot. The conversation first started in October of 2016 with Rebecca Mellino and the GreenSpot program. Between October of 2016 and January of 2017, members of GreenSpot, and Jerry Freewalt, head of the Catholic Creation Care team, came and spoke to the students about the program. Once the students became engaged and excited about the program, the school has had no difficulties keeping up with the responsibilities.

The students recycle and compost after breakfast and lunch. They rotate during recess and walk through the halls collecting the recyclables into bigger recycling bins. It is more than just the students that have gotten involved though. Teachers were given information on how to teach the different grade levels on how being green related to each of the students. Additionally, the staff members take turns delivering the recycled materials from the school to a drop off at Kroger about four times a week. Parents play an essential role as well, as they pitched in to buy small recycling bins for the classrooms and bigger bins for the cafeteria. The school also has plans to start a garden next to their building. Once it is built, they will have Boy Scouts, 4-H groups, and Night to Columbus to help care and maintain for the garden.

Christina Hickey is an art teacher at the school who is also in charge of marketing. She spearheaded the GreenSpot program and got staff members and students involved. The school’s student council is comprised of 4th through 8th graders that meet once or twice a month to talk and help out with recycling. Stepheny and Stephen are 6th grade student council members at St.Mary school who both recycle and compost at home. When interviewed, they both stated that they’re excited about the garden that is going to planted next to their school. Rose, a 4th grade student council member, was asked what it means to care for God’s creation and responded by saying “It’s really important. He made this for us. I don’t think we should trash it. I think we should cherish it.” Along with making the school a greener place, this program has made lasting impacts on students as well. Eayual, an 8th grade student council member that helps out every day stated that everyone should “think of the Earth as your life, take care of our life and don’t slowly destroy it.” He plans on attending Bishop Hartley high school where he aims to get students involved in recycling and caring for the Earth there as well.

To learn more about GreenSpot and their goals and purposes, click here. Additionally, Christina Hickey who lead the GreenSpot initiative at St.Mary School can be reached at chickey@cdeducation.org for information on how to implement this program. To keep updated on St.Mary School and GreenSpot, follow their Twitter accounts at @stmaryschoolgv and @greenspotcbus.

Engaged Organizations: Creation Justice Ministries

Picture courtesy of creationjustice.org.


Creation Justice Ministries represents the creation care and environmental justice policies of major Christian denominations throughout the United States. They seek justice for all of God’s creation, including the human beings who live in it. They do so by drawing on the rich heritage of Christian scriptures and traditions which not only say to till and keep the Earth, but also to act for racial, economic, and environmental justice. Their website includes an updated blog and resources to help get involved which can be accessed by clicking here.

Official Denominational Environmental Webpage – Jewish

Photo Credit: http://www.spiritualityandpractice.com/ explorations/topics/climate-change/websites-organizations

The Coalition on the Environment and Jewish Life is the Jewish Resource for environmental health and sustainability. It has everything from success stories to resources, and is a great source of information. To check out the full website, follow this link.

Official Denominational Environmental Webpage – Episcopal

EpEN Logo

Photo Credit: http://www.eenonline.org/

The Episcopal ecological Network is the Eco-based resource for the Episcopal faith. Their home website, found here, contains information on how churches and congregations can become more environmentally friendly and aware. They do this through a three part program involving reflection, education, and action.

Official Denominational Environmental Webpage – Lutheran Church

The Lutherans have their own environmental resource, Lutherans Restoring Creation. This site is full of education, success stories, environmental news, and even resources for preaching. To check out and learn more, click here.

Photo Credit: https://tlgcconnections.wordpress.com/2011/04/04/explore-our-role-as-gods-stewards-in-the-care-of-our-amazing-world-his-creation/