Photo from Sister Tess

’Sustainable communities’ are communities where people and the rest of nature can live together in harmony and not rob future generations.” (“At Home in the Web of Life: A pastoral message on sustainable communities in Appalachia”)

Sr. Tess’s story calls to mind the importance of just “showing up”. Showing up for ourselves and our communities, as testaments to our faith and our belief in justice, can have an impact on enacting change. Sometimes, issues surrounding climate change and climate injustice can seem too heavy to handle; however, creative solutions do exist, paving the way to a cleaner, more equitable future. Carbon pricing, which Sr. Tess mentions, is a way to discourage large corporations from producing excessive greenhouse gas emissions by charging for these emissions. To reach this goal, Sr. Tess uses her voice to advocate to lawmakers; others may protest, educate, or seek direct solutions to climate injustice.

How can I use my gifts and talents to promote environmental justice? Does my education allow me to engineer creative solutions to the climate crisis? Does my ministry give me access to make my workplace or team “greener” and reduce our carbon footprint? How can I “show up” and provide God’s redeeming love to these injustices in our world, in my community?

God of love, Grant me the courage to show up and the stamina to find hope in a world needing justice. Thank you for the opportunity to keep learning from and with others as we seek to build your reign on Earth. I hear your call to “care for Earth” and I respond, as Mary did, by saying yes! Amen.