By Keith Adkins
INDIANAPOLIS - At Church of the Saviour, we have ministry, mission and vision statements. Each year we set a major objective for each part of our identity. For 2007 our major vision objective is to "Fight Global Warming."
Scientists report that by 2050 we need to achieve a 70 percent reduction in carbon-dioxide output globally. While that seems daunting, it can be achieved instantly by selling an SUV and buying a hybrid car. To lead the way at my congregation, I sold my Jeep Grand Cherokee and bought a Toyota Camry hybrid.
In January we posted a chart and asked everyone to calculate their carbon footprint by going to www.fightglobalwarming.com and clicking on their carbon calculator. This was a beginning step of awareness. My family's annual energy needs, which is what releases carbon-dioxide into the atmosphere, takes the equivalent of burning down five acres of trees. That was before I sold the SUV.
In February we changed light bulbs. If every household in America replaced just three 60-watt light bulbs with the new compact fluorescent light bulbs, it would be equivalent to taking 3.5 million cars off the road.
In March we are becoming watch dogs of the best and worst U.S. Senators with respect to climate policy. Politicians can only cast votes for us when we vote them in.
My Tuesday morning book discussion group spent some serious time with Tim Flannery's The Weather Makers, looked at Carol Johnston's booklet And the Leaves of the Tree are for the Healing of the Nations, and our adult discussion Sunday school class is getting ready to move to the topic of global warming.
Al Gore's movie An Inconvenient Truth has been recommended and a flyer from the Interfaith Alliance Indianapolis on caring for creation has been distributed with a Sunday bulletin. It can be found at www.interfaithindy.org/brochure.pdf.
Church of the Saviour has a long and proud history of being at the forefront of change. We are excited about leading this fight and are thankful to the Hoosier United Methodists Together for telling our story. An important part of the battle is getting the message to the media.
Dr. Barry Lively, a member of our congregation, has written "A Brief Introduction to Global Warming" and posted it on our Web site. You can find it by logging on to www.cosum.org and clicking on Global Warming and then clicking on "A Brief Introduction."
As United Methodists together, we can make a difference in fighting global warming and hope you will join us in making God's creation a sacred place for future generations.
Keith Adkins serves as pastor of United Methodist Church of the Saviour in Indianapolis.