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Proclamation is embodied in word and deed

Conference Comments by Mike Denton - Conference Minister

God calls us to proclaim love, faith and grace. Those proclamations have to be embodied in word and deed. This is where our Christian commitments to service and social justice are rooted.

Its never really easy, is it? Every day has contradictions and hypocrisy in it.

Many of the electronics I use are made by people who aren’t always being treated well by those that sell the electronics.

MIke Denton

Mike Denton
Conference Minister

I drive and fly a lot for work and the gas I burn contributes to environmental problems. The neighborhood I live in has a lot more restaurants, coffee shops and entertainment venues than it did when I first moved here but that’s only because a lot of poor folks have been moved out over the last few years and those businesses looking to capitalize on the higher salaries here have moved in.

Even doing the right thing sometimes has complications. The debate about increasing the number of coal trains coming through the Pacific and Inland Northwest to export coal to China through coastal ports has been one of those debates where, I admit, my feelings are mixed.

People need work and these increased exports would create some good ones; solid union jobs in port cities up and down the coast as well some good jobs in the coal mines.

Generally speaking, I’m in favor of jobs where the workers are paid and treated fairly.

However, in this case, these good jobs would end up supporting some bad things.

I know some don’t believe in climate change but, anymore, that’s like saying you don’t believe in air and water. Water levels are rising. Ocean acidification is increasing. Insurance companies could tell you that weather related disasters are increasing in severity because their claims and costs have gone up. General air quality is down. Last year’s average global temperatures were the highest on record.

We need industries
that will clean
our water, air
and earth.

The fact that the climate is changing more and more quickly and the likelihood that these changes are as a result if human activity are as real as the increasingly dirty air we breath and polluted water that sustains us.

The expense of some new jobs at the expense of the health of ourselves and those we love is simply too high.

I don’t believe that a God who calls us to proclaim love calls us to support systems that harm others. I don’t think we are faithfully following Jesus when we support systems that cause some to need healing, comfort and shelter. I don’t think we are servants of grace when we serve and create systems that support corporate actions that can best be described as sinful.

Ask me to stand next to a union sister or brother demanding jobs that make the lives of people better and I will be there. Ask me to stand with a union sister or brother calling for jobs that help heal, comfort and shelter and I will be there. Ask me stand with a union sister and brother demanding work is so in line with making the world a better place that we can be a world community of grace and I will be there there.

We need industries that will clean our water, air and earth not more that will pollute or destroy these things and harm all of us who live here.

There is good work to be done and good jobs needed to support this good work.

The jobs that would be created by more coal being shipped out of Pacific ports are just not those jobs...

Copyright © December 2012 - Pacific Northwest United Church of Christ Conference News


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