Responding to God’s call in Genesis 2 to “till (Heb: serve) the earth and keep (Heb: care for/protect) it,” the EcoFaith Network (EFN), an initiative of the Minneapolis Area Synod of the ELCA, exists to call and equip individuals and faith communities in becoming “watershed disciples” through:
Renewable Energy Standard Sign-on Letter
The EcoFaith Network of the Minneapolis Synod (ELCA), MNIPL, and Isaiah are writing to enlist your help in working toward climate justice. We invite you to sign on to a letter asking policymakers to increase the amount of clean energy produced in Minnesota.
In our new era of political discord and amid continuing racial and economic disparities, the stakes of the climate crisis and the price of injustice are clear and on prominent display every week. However, regardless of events in Washington, the climate justice movement becomes more effective and gains more momentum every day.
The transition to a clean-energy economy is not some blue-sky future event; it is happening now. Already 21 percent of energy produced in Minnesota comes from renewable sources. But given the stakes, we believe bolder action is necessary. Unless we unite behind a vision of universal access to clean energy, many people in Minnesota will not have access to the affordable renewable energy they need and deserve.
That’s why we support a proposal to boost the state’s Renewable Energy Standard to 50 percent by 2030. We’re asking you, as leaders in your communities and in the state, to join our effort by adding your name to this sign-on letter expressing support for an increase in the Renewable Energy Standard. Our goal is to collect signatures from 200 faith leaders. We look forward to working with you to make Minnesota a healthier, more whole place.
Finally, we express deep gratitude and admiration for the commitments you and your faith communities have made on behalf of climate justice. Thank you for your history of collaboration and for your inspiring leadership.
EcoFaith Network Minneapolis Synod Congregational Organizer
To Minnesota Policymakers:
We, the undersigned, represent tens of thousands of people in every corner of Minnesota. We write to you not as Democrats or Republicans but as community leaders whose mission is to unite and inspire people to work for the common good. We do this driven by the belief that all of us are enough to share in God’s abundance and love and are called to act in the world to nurture that abundance and love.
We write to you because we believe there is a critical choice before us. Will we unite behind a vision of universal access to clean energy? Will we champion the systemic changes that are necessary to transform our unsustainable energy economy? Or will we continue to delay a just and complete transition to clean energy, trusting instead that disparate individual choices and the half measures sanctioned by market forces somehow will be adequate?
The people of Minnesota need and deserve clean, reliable and affordable energy. Now. In 2007, a Republican governor and a bipartisan coalition of legislators passed the Next Generation Act, which established the state’s first Renewable Energy Standard. The act has fueled a dramatic increase in our use of renewable sources of energy. An additional 54,000 people have good-paying jobs in communities across the state; 26 percent of these workers are people of color. We have created greater energy independence at the local level, even generating power from our own church rooftops.
We need you to build on this success. We ask that you to raise the Renewable Energy Standard to ensure that 50 percent of electricity in our state comes from sources like wind and solar by 2030. We urge you to do this for reasons that are both theological and practical.
Every faith tradition calls on God’s children to act powerfully as stewards of God’s creation. As stewards, we care for and shepherd an inheritance only God could give us. As stewards, we treasure our inheritance and pledge to pass it on to future generations. Every faith tradition rejects consumption for its own sake and rejects the idea that humans can extract resources without limit or regard for God’s creation.
Practically, we know the bold step of increasing the Renewable Energy Standard will help address racial and economic justice questions we face every day in our communities. It will create 1,500 jobs annually, spur economic development statewide and save money for vital institutions like churches and local businesses. In underdeveloped parts of our state, including low-income communities, communities of color, and rural communities, these benefits carry a compelling promise of economic revitalization.
Many of the people we pray with every week worry about the future of God’s creation, locally and globally. What’s more, they worry that a deeply divided Legislature will not act boldly to address their concerns, feeding a cycle of cynicism and a disheartening sense of powerlessness that is not of God.
We believe in a God of possibility and hope. We believe in a God of renewal and healing. That belief inspires us to engage the members of our faith communities and to engage you in meaningful and spiritual dialogue about the choice before us. We look forward to working with you to make our state a healthier, more whole place.