“Take action, for it is your duty, and we are with you; be strong, and do it.”
– Ezra 10:4
In “The Book of Hope,” the famous naturalist Jane Goodall (Celadon Books, co-written with Douglas Abrams) contemplates the question, “What is the relationship between hope and action?”
It’s an undeniable fact that we face many significant parallel challenges in our present world: the remnants of a global pandemic; wars internationally and violence domestically; climate change and environmental degradation. It’s easy to become overwhelmed, and equally difficult to maintain a perspective of hope.
One key insight that Dr. Goodall highlights is through her definition of “hope,” which she says “is what enables us to keep going in the face of adversity. It is what we desire to happen, but we must be prepared to work hard to make it so” (emphasis added). She further points out that by being active, we become more hopeful: “You need hope to get you going, but then by taking action, you generate more hope. It’s a circular thing.”
Jane Goodall is certainly a living example of this circular energy between hope and action. At 88 years old, she has experienced nearly every imaginable wonder – and horror – of the natural world and our relationship to it. And yet, she continues to circumnavigate the globe (both physical and recently virtual due to COVID), delivering a message a hope and inspiring others to take action through her own works.
We may not all be able to rise to the level of influence of Jane Goodall, who has established numerous nature preserves, foundations and youth education programs, and advocated for far-reaching policy initiatives that have fundamentally altered our ecological and social trajectories. However, we all can commit to taking actions large and small within our own spheres of influence.
So, in this season of renewal, we encourage each of our fellow congregants to reflect on what impacts each of us can make, and then to put our faith into action, whether through a direct service opportunity, calling or writing a legislator, or even reaching out to a friend or family member to start a conversation. In so doing, we not only play our part in making the world a more perfect place for our children and theirs, but also renew our own sense of hope triumphant over adversity.
As examples, please be on the lookout to participate in volunteer opportunities and events we are currently planning over the summer, including an upcoming service project with our local mission partner New Jersey Farmers Against Hunger, as well as a “meatless” cookout at the church.
If you are further called to action as a steward of God’s creation, you are welcome to volunteer with our Ministry and join us at one of our virtual monthly meetings, held the first Monday of the month (Ministry night). If you are interested, please contact me at: email@example.com. Also check out our website and follow the SMLC Facebook page.
We’d like to thank for Property Committee for contributing to our sustainability through its purchase of an electric lawnmower.
Water Ways Project
We are also excited to have rescheduled our special guest speaker Meg Lemieur from the Water Ways Project for adult education time on Sunday, June 5.
Meg will be leading us in a workshop exploring the Water Ways series of highly detailed illustrations, telling the story of water and the impacts of the natural gas industry on people, communities and native species in the Mid-Atlantic region. For more information on this thought-provoking Project, visit thewaterways.org.