Aug 1 2010

The Alverna Covenant

WA-Mt-Rainier-NP-Paradise-MeadowsA couple of days ago I read a chapter in a book that detailed how many Christians feel that environmental issues are not important.  One reason given is the belief that Christ is coming back soon and will establish a new heaven and a new earth.  As a result, they argue, why waste time and money caring for that which will shortly be replaced?  It was also pointed out that some Christians feel that the material world is evil.  Due to this belief some say the earth doesn’t need saving, we need to be saved from the earth.

I cannot express how frustrating it is to me that many who take the name “Christian” fail to see environmental stewardship as an important aspect of our faith.  Thankfully, not all Christians have such a truncated view of Creation and our role as caretakers.  The denomination to which I belong—the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ)—encourages its members to affirm “the Alverna Covenant.” It reads as follows.


 *God has created the world with finite resources

*God has given to us the stewardship of the earth

*God has established order through many natural cycles

And it is evident that:

*We are consuming resources at a rate that cannot be maintained

*We are interrupting many natural cycles

*We are irresponsibly modifying the environment through consumption and pollution

*We are populating the earth at a rate that cannot be maintained

As a member of the human family and a follower of Jesus Christ, I hereby covenant that:

*I will change my lifestyle to reduce my contribution to pollution

*I will support recycling efforts

*I will search for sustainable lifestyles

*I will work for public policies which lead to a just and sustainable society

*I will share these concerns with others and urge them to make this Covenant.

Since I support the Alverna Covenant I would like to do what the last line says and encourage you to make this Covenant too.  I realize that there are lots of other things we need to do to be better stewards of God’s Creation but the Alverna Covenant seems to me to be a good place to start.


(The image above was taken at Paradise Meadows in Mount Rainier National Park.  I’ll be heading back there tomorrow.)