The Mission & Justice Board aspires to lead our church community to deepen our individual and collective commitment to a more sustainable future, and pursue becoming a more “greening congregation.” Since this climate justice call to action would involve Worship, Education, Building & Grounds, Community Engagement, and Advocacy, we sought Church Council support! The Mission & Justice Board has joined Earth Ministry of Seattle and re-engaged with its local Bellingham affiliate, Multi-Faith Network for Climate Justice (MNCJ), both interdenominational and interfaith nonprofits dedicated to caring for creation.
Mission & Justice has identified three specific areas of focus:
- Racial justice
- Economic justice
- Environmental justice
The Mission & Justice Board sees all three as interrelated and intertwined. We cannot address one without addressing the others. With MNCJ on the local and Earth Ministry at the state level, we seek to lead a deepening of our efforts to become a more greening congregation—part of the overall focus of the Mission & Justice Board. Also, we are in the process of creating a “spiritual pantry” for those who advocate for social justice in their personal and/or professional lives in all three areas.
Before joining our board, many of our members first inquired whether we would be just talking about social justice. If so, they were not interested! What they were interested in was becoming, in their own words, an “action board” that would get into what the late Civil Rights leader and Congressman John Lewis called “good trouble.” As a board, we are working toward living into the latter—as catalysts for action in our wider community and in our faith family at First Congregational Church of Bellingham (FCCB).
We believe that if the church is to thrive and be relevant in the future, climate justice, God’s Earth, and its sustainability need to be intertwined with our spiritual practice.
In terms of climate:
Spirituality – Within all creation, we can best hear God’s heartbeat by caring for wild places, our
town, neighborhoods, back yards, and families. In Jesus’ words, loving our neighbors as ourselves.
Justice – Besides our obligation to care for our neighbors, we are called to change societal systems
that cause our neighbors’ poverty, injustice, and environmental damage in the first place.
Sustainability – At the heart of sustainability is meeting our needs in the present without
compromising the ability of future generations to meet theirs. Acquiring more “stuff” has a direct
impact on the sustainability of our planet.
All three, Climate Justice, Spirituality, and Sustainability, lead us to deepen our faith and
commitment to creating a more green congregation as a manifestation of the realm of God, here, to
mitigate climate crisis. We believe it is the work of faith in our time.
With guidance from MNCJ and Earth Ministry, the Mission & Justice Board seeks to lead our
- 1. Acknowledge FCCB’s past commitments to recycling and the environment.
- 2. Form a Congregational Creation Care Group.
- 3. Deepen congregational support and commitment to becoming a more greening congregation.
- 4. Adopt a mission statement to guide our congregation’s vision and ongoing climate justice efforts.
- 5. Seek support and ideas from MNCJ and other climate justice groups in Bellingham.
- 6. Create an annual action plan.
- 7. Consult with all relevant parties and submit this Climate Justice Plan to Earth Ministry.
- 8. Transform our faith into action by supporting appropriate local and state legislative initiatives.
- 9. Share our strategies and actions with other groups in Whatcom County.
- 10. Build bridges with our local faith communities around climate justice.
- 11. Evaluate our own action plan annually.
- 12. Celebrate our annual accomplishments along our journey!
Want to Know More?
- Talk with a Mission & Justice Board member.
- Visit Multi-Faith Network for Climate Justice (MNCJ): mncj.org
- Visit Earth Ministry: earthministry.org
(Click on: “Congregational Support,” then “Congregational Membership;” or click “Greening Congregations”)
Also, click “About Us” for more information on Earth Ministry in general.