Faith leaders: Clean energy bill will help us fulfill our role as earth's stewards
Our faith traditions teach us to work together for the common good. The people of Minnesota must come together to do our part, joining a movement that will encompass all of us.
As clergy and faith leaders representing the Rochester area, we urge our state elected officials to pass the 100% clean energy bill currently making its way through the Minnesota Legislature.
We have been assigned the role of God’s stewards on earth. It is our duty to protect this earth for all its inhabitants, and for future generations. So far, we have not lived up to this tremendous responsibility. The 100% bill gives us an opportunity to take things in the right direction.
Our job, as faith leaders, is to listen to the hearts of our people. We hear their grief and anxiety over escalating climate impacts — dangerous weather, droughts, famines, species loss, migration, escalating conflicts over resources. We hear their helplessness and cynicism as they imagine continuing down our current path of complacency. And we hear the fear and frustration of our children, teens, and young adults as they look ahead, wondering if they have any future at all.
We know our people. We know most Minnesotans across skin color and faith traditions whole-heartedly support the bold change needed to address the climate crisis. We know they are yearning, in their souls, to act to protect everyone and everything that we love.
Ironically, while many Minnesotans would and do choose to honor their duty of stewardship even when it is hard, in this case no sacrifice is necessary. Our scientists and experts are telling us that by harnessing the bounty of the wind and the sun we can protect the Earth and its inhabitants while also reaping many other benefits. But a small few hope to lead us away from this path to satisfy their own greed. Fossil fuel companies, big polluters, and the politicians they’ve bought continue to put their own profits over the care and well-being of our families, planet, and future. This is wrong and unacceptable.
As people of faith, our deep moral grounding compels us to adopt the practices outlined in the 100% bill — to care for land, air and water, to green electricity generation, to electrify homes and transportation, to lower energy costs, to create new climate-friendly jobs and businesses, and to make racial and economic equity a priority as we do all of this.
Our faith traditions teach us to work together for the common good. In this moment of crisis, we need each other. No person, no household, no city, no religious institution, no state or nation can address climate change alone. The people of Minnesota must come together to do our part, joining a movement that will encompass all of us, collaborating at all levels of life and government.
You, our elected leaders, are in a position to do something incredible, something transformational, something that will fill us all with hope. Your support for the 100% Clean Energy bill is the single most important gift you can give us, our children, and all future generations. We are counting on you.
Rev. Jenny Cannon is lead pastor at Christ United Methodist Church in Rochester. Rev. Kirkland Reynolds is executive pastor at CUMC. Imam Salah Mohamed lives and serves in Rochester.