On March 8, the Green Team hosted a potluck/movie night: “The Majestic Plastic Bag: A Mockumentary,” “The Story of Stuff,” and “The Story of Change.” The first film traces a plastic bag as it flies from a California park to the sea, where it joins a massive plastic “community” larger than the State of Texas swirling in the Pacific Ocean. “The Story of Stuff” traces the linear path of where our “stuff” starts through its sale, use, and disposal. As the amount of our stuff has increased, our happiness index has fallen. In the end, Annie Leonard, the program’s host and creator, describes the possibility of a new circular path for our stuff – think reduce, reuse, recycle – and “calls us together to create a more sustainable and just world.” “The Story of Change,” the new chapter in the “Story of” film series, describes the three components needed for major social change: a vision, a group of people working together to achieve that vision, and a plan for action.
We had a lively discussion about some environmental problems, and we brainstormed specific actions to bring about change. I left the meeting inspired by the insights and energy of a committed group of earth stewards determined to work for a greener earth.
We all have a chance to participate in a UCC initiative that can inspire big change through small steps: Mission 4/1 Earth links together four events — Easter (March 31), Earth Day (April 22), Arbor Day (April 26), and Pentecost (May 19) — for a sustained, aggressive and collective mission opportunity for the entire UCC.
Mission 4/1 Earth is 50 days of “greening up, powering down, and shouting out for the environment!” Starting Easter Monday, April 1, 2013, and continuing through 50 days of Eastertide, United Church of Christ congregations, colleges, seminaries, camps and outdoor ministries, and health and human service agencies will join in a shared mission campaign:
• Collectively offer more than ONE MILLION HOURS of engaged earth care, including clean up, advocacy, education, and behavioral changes;
• Collectively plant more than 100,000 TREES locally and globally in partnership with the National Arbor Day Foundation and the UCC’s global partners;
• Collectively write and send more than 100,000 ADVOCACY LETTERS on environmental concerns to elected officials and local and national newspapers.
Our church will share our small steps in this effort. On Youth Sunday, March 10th, PF encouraged us to share our gifts. Our innovation will spark momentum for the initiative and inspire other UCC people, agencies, schools, and congregations.
As Martin Luther King said, “Faith is taking the first step even though you can’t see the whole staircase.”
Green Events Coming Up:
Earth Day: April 20th: Chasing Ice film and potluck supper – 5:30 supper, 6:15 film; vegetarian dishes encouraged. Free babysitting/kids film provided.
Sunday April 21st: Green worship service; Plant seeds for the Community Garden to grow food for the Food Pantry.
Arbor Day, Friday, April 26th: Plant a tree in your yard, neighborhood, or community. Report back what you do. Take a photograph or two.