Climate justice and human sexuality are complex issues currently impacting our society and are now the subjects of new resources from United Methodist Women designed to help people of faith engage in the discussion.
Climate Justice: A Call to Hope and Action, edited by the Rev. Pat Watkins, features essays by leading faith-based environmental justice advocates. The book invites readers to understand climate justice, to seek the right relationships with one another and the earth, and to identify that the two are key when working toward climate justice for all.
Mr. Watkins, a United Methodist clergyperson and missionary, explains this concept in his introduction to the book:
“Note the focus on climate justice in the title of this book rather than on climate change. Climate justice means setting right our relationships with each other and the earth, and the deeper we dig, the more we realize that we cannot do one without the other.”
Likewise, Joining Voices for Climate Justice: A Study for Youth by Jay Godfrey, a seminar designer at United Methodist Women’s Church Center for the United Nations in New York City, will help youth approach the issue of climate change as both a justice and faith issue. Populations, communities, and countries least responsible for the carbon emissions that drive climate change are disproportionately impacted by it, compounding the injustices surrounding this issue. At the heart of the book are the voices of five individuals from such communities who encounter climate justice issues in a variety of contexts.
God’s Extravagant Garden: A Children’s Study on Climate Justice by Pat Hoerth provides a learning experience for children ages 5-12 in four sessions. Children are encouraged to learn more about God’s creation through firsthand experiences during each of the sessions. Every encounter leads them into a deeper understanding and appreciation of the delicate balance of the environment and how our actions impact others. Children can develop their own action plans for caring for God’s extravagant garden where they live.
The Bible and Human Sexuality by Ellen Brubaker, with a participant’s guide by M. Garlinda. Burton explores the Bible and human sexuality as two essential components of our Christian faith. The book invites readers and study group members to explore the complexity of the biblical text and varied understandings of it in light of human sexuality. It examines the influence of theologians and church leaders throughout thousands of years of Judeo-Christian history. Finally, it considers the influence of family systems, heritage, and changing gender roles, along with the impact of race, class, age, ethnicity, and orientation and how we were raised and instructed in our Christian faith.
The four books will be featured for group study and discussion at Mission u events, United Methodist Women’s transformative education program that convenes in various locations across the country throughout 2016.
Mary Cheng, director of transformative education for United Methodist Women, said the study books will help readers address the complex nature of these topics.
“These studies encourage us to delve deeper beyond vitriolic media sound bites, to engage our understanding of Scripture, to uncover the lived experiences of those most impacted by these issues, and to invite us into a space of respectful conversation with others,” Ms. Cheng said.
United Methodist Women has a nearly 150-year history in educating lay people and communities in the most pressing social issues of our times.
United Methodist Women is the largest denominational faith organization for women, comprised of approximately 800,000 members who have put faith, hope, and love into action on behalf of women, children, and youth for nearly 150 years.