CCK Blog, June 25, 2018, by Carol Devine
In 2007, members of Midway Christian Church, along with many other Disciples from all across Kentucky, founded what is now called Green Chalice. Midway has remained central to the faith and climate movement denominationally (they earned GC Certification in 2015) and geographically (hosting Ecumenical and Interfaith workshops), and their commitment and passion have only increased through the years.
The 2017 General Assembly in Indianapolis showed a short video which highlighted Midway CC’s creation care work. https://www.discipleshomemissions.org/faith-in-action-caring-for-community-and-creation/ and then passed the Resolution Concerning Carbon Neutrality 1723 https://www.discipleshomemissions.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/04/1723-Resolution-Regarding-Carbon-Neutrality-.pdf
It did not take Midway CC long to decide to be the first DOC church to commit to going Carbon Neutral by 2030. Their first steps were to invite Lexington Theological Seminary Assistant Professor Rev. Dr. Leah Schade to help them visualize and plan their next steps. On Earth Day Sunday Dr. Schade taught Sunday School and preached challenging the congregation to be bold in their commitment by focusing more time on Advocacy and Activism. http://www.patheos.com/blogs/ecopreacher/2018/04/beyond-earth-day-10-ideas-church-advocacy-activism/
In the sermon on Earth Day, Dr. Schade told the creation story from the perspective of the Earth. It was powerful to imagine how the Earth celebrated the gift of new life which then turned to pain and suffering through extraction and pollution. Imagine how Earth mourns the loss of God’s gift of wholeness.
This became a visual form of prayer for the congregation. God heard this prayer and answered it through an invitation from Kentucky Interfaith Power and Light to purchase one array of solar panels at a reduced rate. They remembered Earth’s joy and pain and took a leap of faith. And to their surprise, the church raised the money for two arrays of solar panels. But this was just the beginning of God’s answer to our prayer, for now, Midway is working with Green Chalice to take courageous steps to go Carbon Neutral by 2030 and through their journey to encourage and empower other congregations to do the same. As always happens when we follow God’s lead, the pieces are falling into place. Midway’s pastor, Rev. Heather McColl said, “We are not sure what this journey will bring or how it will go, but we know God’s Spirit is responding to our prayer, enabling us to create ripple effects beyond our congregation to bring forth life once more.”