NEWS

Church is an ideal place to engage with climate change

By Rev. Chris Brouillard-Coyle

 

Got a package full of wishes,
a time machine, a magic wand,
a globe made out of gold

No instructions or commandments.
Laws of gravity
or indecisions to uphold.

Printed on the box I see
“Acme’s build a world to be”.
Take a chance, grab a piece
Help me to believe it.

What kind of world do you want?
Think anything.
Let’s start at the start.
Build a masterpiece.
Be careful what you wish for.
History starts now

The lyrics for this 2006 song by Five for Fighting invite us to imagine a fresh start for our world and what we might do to make it the best world possible.

It is an interesting thought experiment. What if we had the opportunity to start again, to recreate the world?  What choices might we make?

  • What would it take to create a world at peace? How would we ensure that all people would have a safe place to call home? That no one would be stigmatised, demeaned or criminalised because of where they were born, what they believe or who they love?
  • How would we ensure that all people had enough? Is it possible to have a world where making sure all workers have access to a living wage is at least as important as maximising profits and salaries for shareholders and CEOs?
  • To what extent would the world we envision celebrate the gifts of all people? Would the pieces of the puzzle include opportunities for everyone to nurture their gifts and find creative ways to share them with the world no matter how different they may be?
  • In what ways would the world we create honour God’s Creation? How might the ‘masterpiece’ we envision bring us closer to life in the Garden of Eden?

What kind of world do you want? Think anything. Let’s start at the start. Build a masterpiece. Be careful what you wish for. History starts now

This doesn’t have to simply be a thought experiment. There are moments and ways in which we can actively seek to transform unjust structures, pursue peace and reconciliation, and sustain and renew the life of the earth.  In fact, this is the work we are called to do as Christians!

One of the ways we can live into this mission is through our participation in the electoral systems available to us. Elections can be an opportunity for this kind of fresh start.  They give us a chance to reflect on what is important and what we would like to see happen in the years to follow.  Elections give us a chance to engage with candidates, asking questions that can reveal the extent to which they too are committed to building a better world that more accurately reflects the ideals of the Gospel.

As we prepare to cast our votes in the Federal election in the next month, what would it be like to consider the ways in which the policies and practices proposed by candidates illustrate a commitment to strive for justice and peace among all people, and respect the dignity of every human being? What questions might we ask that will help to reveal a desire to safeguard the integrity of God’s Creation and sustain and renew the life of the earth?  Are we willing to hold our Federal politicians to the high standard of Gospel values as they seek to lead this county during a time of such populism and division?  (For helpful resources to assist in engaging in the Federal Election process check out: https://cpj.ca/2019-federal-election/)

What about the candidates for Bishop? What questions might we ask of them as we consider how they may lead us in being prophetic in this time?  To what extent do we see the role of Bishop as one who will inspire us to not only dream but act in ways that bring our world closer to the ‘masterpiece’ we envision through the Good News of Jesus Christ?

What kind of world do you want? What kind of Canada do you want?  What kind of Diocese do you want?  Now is the time to consider the possibilities.  Now is the time to ask the hard questions.  Now is the time to dream and then vote.  Be careful what you wish for.  History starts now.

Rev. Chris Brouillard-Coyle is the Social and Ecological Justice Huron chair.

[email protected]

(Featured photo: Markus Spiske/Unsplash)