Friday, January 29, 2010

Another Step To Protect the Health of All Creation

by Beth Anderson, Outreach Associate

Fantastic news for all God's children: Washington state's legislature just voted to pass the Safe Baby Bottle Act, which will ban the chemical bisphenol A (BPA) from baby bottles and other food containers designed for children.

Legislative victories are not easily won, and this is no exception! In 2009 the Safe Baby Bottle Act passed the House but did not make it through the Senate, and Earth Ministry and other supporters were left to wait another year. In 2010 the bill became a Priority of the Environmental Priorities Coalition, passed the House 95-1 earlier this week, and today passed in the Senate by a vote of 36-9.

Once the Safe Baby Bottle Act makes it to Governor Gregoire's desk, Washington will join Canada, Connecticut, Minnesota, Chicago, and three counties in New York state in banning BPA from baby bottles, other children's food containers, and (hopefully) sports water bottles.

Keep alert! People of faith can continue to make a difference during the 2010 legislative session by raising their voices in support of the Environmental Priorities. Stay tuned for legislative updates from the Earth Ministry team...

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Interfaith Climate Preach-In and Carbon-Free Lent Resources

Love the Earth for Valentine's Day by taking part in the national preach-in on climate change the weekend of February 13-14. Many of our partner congregations will be making climate change the subject of their worship services this weekend –

Don’t be left out!
Sign up Here!

If you sign up for the Preach-In, you will receive materials to help educate your congregation on climate change. Both clergy and lay leaders are welcome to sign up for their congregations.

Ideas for participating in the Climate Change Preach-In:
• Preach a sermon
• Lead an adult education class
• Show a climate-related DVD
• Use the day to announce a carbon-fast for Lent
• Send a Valentine to Congress – encourage our Senators to love their neighbors by passing a strong climate bill.

You can sign up through Earth Ministry/Washington Interfaith Power & Light here: IPL Preach-In

The first 35 congregations to register will receive a free DVD, “Preaching for the Planet; Interfaith Messages on Global Warming”. One lucky winner will be drawn to win a cloth bag filled with environmentally-friendly products, books, and DVDs.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

BPA: Why you should join Earth Ministry in Olympia

By Deanna Matzen

If you needed a reason to attend this year's Environmental Lobby Day and Faith Advocacy Day, you now have it. Researchers from Peninsula College of Medicine in Britain have linked levels of BPA in adults to heart disease.

Bisphenol A (BPA) is a chemical found commonly in food and drink containers, including baby bottles.

So why is this a call for you to attend Environmental Lobby Day and Faith Advocacy Day? Because one of our environmental priorities this year is the "Safe Baby Bottle Act."

More and more evidence shows that bisphenol A (BPA) is harmful to children’s health. Laboratory studies have linked BPA to cancer, miscarriage, obesity, reproductive problems, and hyperactivity. Yet manufacturers can still legally use BPA in products such as baby bottles, infant formula cans, and other food containers. The Safe Baby Bottle Act would address this problem by phasing out BPA in baby bottles and other consumer products. We are called by our faith to nurture life and protect the most vulnerable; certainly that means allowing only safe chemicals into baby products.

Now, our ammunition is even greater with concentrations of BPA being linked to heart disease and diabetes in adults. As people of faith, let's take a stand for human health!

Many countries have already forced the removal of BPA from baby bottles and other feeding equipment. However, the US is not one of those nations. This piece of legislation would be a leader in the US and the presence of the faith voice in Olympia is sure to make this an important issue.

Register today and join us!

Environmental Lobby Day - January 26

Faith Advocacy Day - February 16

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

An Epiphany Reflection

By Deanna Matzen

In the Christian church, January 6 is the celebration of Epiphany. In the Christmas story, it is the day that the Magi (wisemen) visited the infant Jesus - his first appearance to the Gentiles. This celebration reminds me of the first few verses of the gospel of John:

"In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things came into being through him, and without him not one thing came into being. What was come into being in him was life, and the life was the light of all people. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness does not overcome it."

To me, these verses describe a great epiphany - Jesus is God and all life flows through Jesus and the darkness can not overtake it. That is a truth that gives me flutters of excitement in my chest. I have to believe that this truth means that our efforts to steward and care for God's creation - advocating for good environmental legislation; cleaning up our waterways; reducing our energy consumption at home and church; reducing, reusing, and recycling - will prevail because we are working for the preservation and restoration of life as expressed in our natural surroundings.

Another way to read the first five verses of John's gospel is: God is life. That life came into being through Christ. Christ is in and through all life and Christ can not be overcome. Therefore since God created the world, Christ is in and through creation. Our efforts to preserve the life of Christ in creation will not be overcome.

That's a message of hope for us today, the day we celebrate of Epiphany.