Update from Bishop Park: "God's Renewed Creation: Call to Hope and Action"

Update from Bishop Park: "God's Renewed Creation: Call to Hope and Action"

2/9/2010

February 9, 2010

Dear Pastors of the New York Annual Conference:
 
Greetings in the name of Jesus Christ our Lord and Savior, Prince of Shalom, Healer of our brokenness, and Hope of the world!
 
Two months ago, I wrote to encourage you to read to your congregation the pastoral letter from the Council of Bishops, “God’s Renewed Creation: Call to Hope and Action.”   If you haven’t, I urge you to share this pastoral letter with your congregation soon. Both the letter and the foundation document are available through the links below.
 
When I wrote earlier I told you that a study guide would soon be available, and now it is. You can download copies at www.hopeandaction.org. It is ideally suited to a Lenten study for adults and youth (6 sessions) and for children (3 activities). If you’d prefer, you can order an all-in-one resource from Cokesbury that includes the pastoral letter, foundation document and both study guides for $7.50 ($5 if you order soon). Delivery is promised in time for the beginning of Lenten study groups. You can place your order at www.cokesbury.com (and search for “God’s Renewed Creation: Call to Hope and Action” or by numbers: ISBN-13: 9781426710391; ISBN-13: 9781426711473; ISBN-13: 9781426711473 (paperback, e-book or pdf). 
 
We have all been challenged by recent economic stresses and institutional concerns. We must never, however, ignore our calling to be disciples of Jesus Christ striving to love all that God has made as God loves it. I quote again a sentence from the pastoral letter: “We must begin the work of renewing creation by being renewed in our own hearts and minds. We cannot help the world until we change our way of being in it.”
 
May God continue to richly bless and honor you and your ministry and witness.
 
In Christ,
Jeremiah J. Park
 

Original post from November 23, 2009

"More than 20 years ago (May 1986) after two years of prayerful study and consultation with specialists in many related fields, the United Methodist Council of Bishops offered a Pastoral Letter and study document called, 'In Defense of Creation: The Nuclear Crisis and A Just Peace.'  It was an urgent message to all United Methodists and the Church at large on the growing threat of nuclear war and of the extinction of life on the planet through a 'nuclear winter.' It was an urgent reminder that this world belongs to God, 'precious precisely because it is not our creation.' And it declared a 'clear and unconditioned ‘No’ to nuclear war and to any use of nuclear weapons.' The documents received wide attention in the media, were translated into several languages and debated among leaders in the nuclear establishment. The pastoral letter was read aloud or published in newsletters in an estimated 90% of our congregations, supported by the foundation document and the guide for study and action. The following General Conference affirmed the document as the policy of The United Methodist Church.

"In 2004, the General Conference of The United Methodist Church authorized the Council of Bishops to revisit these documents by 'educating and encouraging the church, citizens and governments to seek things which lead to peace.' The documents received wide attention in the media, were translated into several languages and debated among leaders in the nuclear establishment. The pastoral letter was read aloud or published in newsletters in an estimated 90% of our congregations, supported by the foundation document and the guide for study and action. The following General Conference affirmed the document as the policy of The United Methodist Church. T

he result of this process is a new Pastoral Letter and Foundation Document, 'God’s Renewed Creation,” which are supplemented by study guides and a variety of web-based materials. 'God’s Renewed Creation' maintains the firm commitment of the 1986 Council, namely that “nuclear deterrence is a position that cannot receive the church’s blessing.” These documents, generated in 2009, also build on the observations of the earlier Council, that the nuclear crisis threatens 'planet earth itself,' that the arms race 'destroys millions of lives in conventional wars, repressive violence, and massive poverty,' and that the 'arms race is a social justice issue, not only a war and peace issue.' After many decades and millions of dollars, we are no more secure or peaceful in our world with a larger number of nations in the 'nuclear club.' "

Please click here to download the full foundational document (from which this excerpt was taken) >>

Please click here to download the Pastoral Letter >>

Please click here to download the Pastoral Letter within a litany >>

Please click here to dowload the Study Guide>>

These documents are in pdf format; you will need Adobe Reader to open them. Please click here to download this free program>>