One of the Five Marks of Mission for the Episcopal Church is, “to strive to safeguard the integrity of creation and sustain and renew the life of the earth.” We, in the Episcopal Diocese of Louisiana, have made this one of our priorities.
In today’s news we hear so much about the environment and especially climate change and the effect it presents to us. Our water, our food, and our commerce all depend upon natural resources that were once so abundant in our state. But we have been neglectful and sometimes reckless with our resources.
We now find ourselves facing significant challenges. Our climate is changing and this shift is affecting our water, food, and commerce. Our coastline is disappearing and with its wildlife. Extreme rainfalls have caused estuaries to overflow and flood homes and businesses, while also impacting the crab, fish, and oyster industries and the tourism trade. All this is to say we can no longer be complacent. We are being called to sit up and pay attention.
One of the greatest transformations humanity has the potential to experience will be the move from the lifestyle of the industrial period to one of sustainability. By making better choices in our own households, we not only make a substantive, measurable difference in addressing the climate crisis but we align our lives with Jesus’ mission. One tool that has recently been developed to help Episcopalians lead more sustainable lives is the web-based tool, Sustain Island Home (www.sustainislandhome.org). Rebecca and I invite you to join us and explore this new platform which will help you assess your carbon footprint and take action to reduce it.
Our Environmental Commission is in the process of contacting your clergy and plans are being made to invite every member of every church in our diocese to learn about and participate in this great work of personal and corporate transformation, for the love of the earth.
We have been given a gift. Let us use it wisely with good intentions.
The Rt. Rev. Morris K. Thompson, Jr.
Bishop of Louisiana