A message from Chris Andersen, InFaith Community Foundation's President & Executive Director on the 2018 President's Grant.
Since 2008, InFaith Community Foundation has been working on behalf of donors to reduce our carbon footprint through InFaith’s Creation Care Initiative. And while remarkable work has been achieved through church communities and broader church efforts, global warming continues and the loss of natural resources including plant life, animal life, breathable air and drinkable water continues at an accelerating pace. Only those driven by the consumption of resources and self-serving, short-term economic gain deny the crisis that we face, and increasingly we face the reality that the most economically disadvantaged will be most affected by environmental damage. And as we are taught in Matthew 25:40, ‘Truly, I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these my brothers, you did it to me.’
With today’s heightened awareness of serious environmental challenges, the question is not whether to act, but how we continue to come together as a faith community in ways that align with our responsibility to care for God’s creation to build partnerships with other communities and inspire catalytic change. This approach is rooted in our Christian heritage:
The change we pursue is systemic and sustainable.
The processes are leading edge, bringing about effective and efficient delivery.
Our role is facilitator, catalyst and connector.
Our approach centers on increasing the capacity of others.
The results we pursue are measurable and meaningful.
This year’s InFaith President’s grant is directed to two organizations pursuing the priorities of InFaith’s Creation Care Initiative. Grants of $10,000 to each organization support ongoing work to 1) build coalitions among faith communities; and 2) focus on clean and accessible water, which makes all life possible.
Interfaith Power & Light (IPL) is committed to be faithful stewards of Creation by responding to global warming through the promotion of energy conservation, energy efficiency, and renewable energy. This campaign intends to protect the earth’s ecosystems, safeguard the health of all Creation, and ensure sufficient, sustainable energy for all. For two decades, IPL has been helping congregations address global warming by being better stewards of energy. The campaign has a track record of tangible results: shrinking carbon footprints and educating hundreds of thousands of people in the pews about the important role of people of faith in addressing this most challenging issue.
Creation Justice Ministries (CJM) Started in 1983 by the National Council of Churches, CJM represents a broad coalition of ecumenical members (38 denominations) in the work of educating and mobilizing Christian denominations, churches and individuals to protect, restore and rightly share God’s creation. CJM has responded on the front lines of water crises, such as Flint, Detroit and Appalachia. This grant will deepen Christian engagement on water issues on a national level, with specific focus on Appalachia and Michigan.
As people of faith, InFaith’s mission includes being advocates for vulnerable people and communities most heavily impacted by climate change. We are committed to living lives modeled after Christ’s example. It is with this commitment and our trust in God that we at InFaith support the work of Interfaith Power & Light and Creation Justice Ministries.
InFaith President & Executive Director