Faith and Creation
The 'environment' is only a pale reflection of a much richer word: Creation. Creation is not simply that which happened "in the beginning." It is the world that reflects the glory of the Creator in which we are sustained, enlivened, and encounter our neighbors.
Understanding creation means recognizing that how we encounter, treat, and regard the earth around us is bound up with our relationship to the Divine. At the core of Jewish and Christian ethics are the commandments to love God and love our neighbor. Can we love the Creator without celebrating and caring for the creation? Can we love our neighbor without protecting the environment on which that neighbor’s life and health depend?
In responding to environmental concerns, faith communities draw deeply on the resources of their own traditions. While there are common environmental issues that have commanded the attention of every member of the Partnership, each tradition has its own particular emphases and approach. This diversity powerfully brings together distinct and independent voices to express the religious imperative to seek justice and healing for the whole community of life.
The religious traditions represented in the Partnership do share certain core religious and moral convictions, such as:
- The Earth ultimately belongs to God alone.
- Creation is good and is valued and cared for by God.
- Human beings are to care for the Earth, utilizing it to meet human needs without degrading it.
- Caring for people requires caring for creation.
- Caring for the poor requires caring for creation, since those living in poverty and vulnerable populations, especially children, suffer the most from environmental degradation.
- Religious communities have the responsibility of teaching and practicing the message of creation care and integrating it into the whole of religious life.