Dear members of Mennonite Creation Care Network—
I have thought of you and prayed for you often this month—a time of national political turmoil here in the U.S.
When I woke at 4 a.m. on November 9, 2016, and checked the election results, I wept. I leave it to others to lament what this last year in American politics has meant for race relations, gender issues and civility. My tears were for creation and our urgent need to make progress on climate change.
According to an “America First Energy Plan,” on Donald Trump’s election site, the incoming administration aims to “Unleash America’s $50 trillion in untapped shale, oil, and natural gas reserves, plus hundreds of years in clean coal reserves.” Since the election, a climate change skeptic has been appointed to oversee the Environmental Protection Agency transition and an oil executive is short-listed for Secretary of the Interior.
I feel angry and frightened but also strangely anchored. I am less sure of the future than I have been in a long time, but more confident of the truth of the old Gospel song that rooted itself in my head one day last week and wouldn’t leave:
“My hope is built on nothing less than Jesus’ blood and righteousness…
On Christ the solid rock I stand; all other ground is sinking sand…”
I don’t know what we’re going to do about climate change just yet. But I’m hopeful about who we’re going to be. Recently I attended a webinar on Anabaptism led by Lois Barrett of Anabaptist Mennonite Biblical Seminary. She reminded us that we are a people who interpret all scriptures in light of Jesus; whose priority is love—even love of enemies; who believe that the Holy Spirit really is capable of transforming people; who form communities that care for each other and the world.
Our faith tradition has a 3,500-year history of being at odds with the government. Why should a shake-up in Washington unhinge us now? No matter the weather in the world’s political capitals, we within Mennonite Creation Care Network can be faithful to our watersheds and our understanding of the Gospel. We can refuse to be immobilized by what we can’t change—and do what we can instead.
Most of all, we can walk as resurrection people, acquainted with death and despair but not overcome by them. We can remember that what is good and whole and worthy will ultimately endure, while what is shallow, greedy and wrong will pass away.
I am proud to be working with Mennonite Creation Care Network at a time like this—and proud of you. Carry on, and may your anchor hold.
– by Jennifer Halteman Schrock, Leader, Mennonite Creation Care Network