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One community, one earth

“But ask the beasts, and they will teach you; the birds of the heavens, and they will tell you; or the bushes of the earth, and they will teach you; and the fish of the sea will declare to you. Who among all these does not know that the hand of the Lord has done this? In his hand is the life of every living thing and the breath of all mankind.”

Job 12:7-10

The crowd surprised me with a loud cheer when I spoke the words, “Henceforth, Temple Lutheran Church will no longer emit greenhouse gases, or any other air pollutant in providing electricity for its operations.” It was at that moment I felt that this truly was a big deal.

Humanity has grown at an accelerated pace due to the relative stability and predictability of the environment, allowing widespread agriculture and development of large cities near the oceans. We are witnessing daily an increase in temperatures across the globe, fires raging out of control, and floods that are devastating communities. We are witnessing the unwinding of the stability of our environment. Resources will become constrained, and people will become displaced resulting in conflict and human suffering. This is not the world I envisioned for my grandchildren.

I first dealt with this reality through action. On a personal level I reduced my own footprint, yet I soon realized this was not enough. I recognized that we all need to make change as a community to eliminate greenhouse gas emissions and quickly. I proposed solar as a cost-effective solution at Temple Lutheran and together, we made it happen. This is a step in the right direction that will certainly help in the immediate future, and offers hope that we can leave a healthier world for future generations.

If you would like to get more information or discuss what you can do, feel free to contact me at

written by Noel Smyth

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