Presbyterian Church (USA)
Call to Restore the Creation
from 1990 GA Policy Statement
Creation cries out in this time of ecological crisis:
• Abuse of nature and injustice to people place the future in grave jeopardy.
• Population triples in this century.
• Biological systems suffer diminished capacity to renew themselves.
• Finite minerals are mined and pumped as if inexhaustible
• Peasants are forced onto marginal lands, and soil erodes.
• The rich -- poor gap grows wider.
• Wastes and poisons exceed nature's capacity to absorb them.
• Greenhouse gases pose threat of global warming.Therefore, God calls the Presbyterian Church (USA) to:
• Respond to the cry of creation, human and nonhuman;
• Engage in the effort to make the 1990s the "turnaround decade," not only for reasons of prudence or survival, but because the endangered planet is God's creation; and
• Draw upon all the resources of biblical faith and the Reformed tradition for empowerment and guidance in this adventure.
The church has powerful reason for engagement in restoring God's creation:
• God's works in creation are too wonderful, too ancient, too beautiful, too good to be desecrated.
• Restoring creation is God's own work in our time, in which God comes both to judge and to restore.
• The Creator-Redeemer calls faithful people to become engaged with God in keeping and healing the creation, human and nonhuman.
• Human life and well-being depend upon the flourishing of other life and the integrity of the life-supporting processes that God has ordained.
• The love of neighbor, particularly "the least" of Christ's brothers and sisters, requires action to stop the poisoning, the erosion, the wastefulness that are causing suffering and death.
• The future of our children and their children and all who come after is at stake.
• In this critical time of transition to a new era, God's new doing may be discerned as a call to earth-keeping, to justice, and to community.
We live in a time of wide-spread catastrophic destruction of the natural world and human communities. Our faith compels us to respond.
Empowered by our rich biblical and theological heritage:
• We trust that God -- who created Heaven and earth and pronounced it good -- calls us to sacrificial, loving, and joyful participation in caring for the fullness of that creation.
• We trust that Christ -- whose incarnation reveals God's love and compassion, who suffered death that we might have life -- calls us to carry on the holy work of transforming brokenness into wholeness
• We trust that the Spirit -- whose presence in trial and rejoicing moves us into deeper awareness of God's reign -- calls us to witness boldly as servants and prophets to our age
There is great urgency to the work before us. Our hope rests fully in the One who continues to create, redeem, and sustain us all. May we be faithful to the call.
In 1990, the General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church (USA) adopted the report "Restoring Creation for Ecology and Justice," which called Presbyterians to recognize the urgent need for addressing the environmental/justice crisis which we face, and to adopt Restoring Creation as a new priority of mission of the church. Presbyterians for Restoring Creation is a national organization formed to help Presbyterians and their congregations respond to that call.
We believe that God loves all creation, and that the covenant given by God is for all creatures and their descendants. We believe that we are called to repentance for our irresponsibility in tilling the earth without sustaining the earth, for our destruction of the beauties and bounties of God's creation, and of our failure to recognize that justice and love belong to all beings, that injustice toward one is linked to injustice toward another (Romans 8:19-23).
We believe that we are living in a kairos time... a time of great opportunity and a time of great need... and that we can respond with hope and rejoicing to the challenge before us, to help ourselves and humanity make necessary lifestyle and attitude changes that promote earth keeping, justice, and community. We believe that we must begin to practice radical discipleship to follow Christ without compromise - in the struggle before, us, and that we can do that best with fellowship and support for one another.
We accept, in our work for ecology and justice, the ethical norms of equity, sustainability, frugality and community. "Equity" means justice in the sharing of the world's resources; "sustainability" means living within the bounds of the regenerative, absorptive, and carrying capacity of the creation. "Frugality" means thrift and moderation, so that all may participate in sufficiency, "community means enjoyment and fulfillment through loving, mutual supportive relationships, and dedication to the common good.
Our mission is to gather a grassroots fellowship of Presbyterians to seek support and implementation of Restoring Creation through all agencies of ministry within the church; to foster networks of Presbyterians from all walks of life to learn from Holy Scripture and life experiences in order to share gifts and skills for restoring and preserving creation for future generations; to cooperate with others who are actively involved in living lightly on the earth through ecumenical, national and community organizations, and in all, to be faithful to the call of our Redeemer, Jesus Christ.