Why aren’t churches talking about the environment?

by | Dec 12, 2018

“The first sermon I heard on climate change and greenhouse gases was in the 1970s and it was 25 years before I heard another one.”
Dr. Robert Baker, retired scientist and member of Downey Avenue Christian Church in Indianapolis.

Bob believes in faith and climate science, so does his wife Jennie Beth.

Bob Baker heard his first environmental sermon in the early 70s given by Dr. Robert Lancaster at Meridian St. United Methodist Church in Indianapolis, talking about greenhouse gases. Ever since he’s wondered why churches haven’t been more involved in the environment. The next time he heard an environmental sermon was over 25 years.  Bob and his wife Jennie Beth would like to see more congregations in involved in environmental issues including having green tams and reducing their carbon footprints.  Together they chair the Eastside Creation Care Network, an affiliate of H-IPL. Bob and his wife Jennie Beth are head of the Green Team at Downey Avenue Christian Church, one of Indiana’s 50 solar congregations.

We became involved in the Green Team at Downey Avenue Christian Church in 2012.  Wyatt Watkins, chairman of the Hoosier Interfaith Power and Light Board,  organized the Eastside Creation Care Network (ECCN) and we joined up.  We like the interfaith system working together.

We don’t think people realize the seriousness and urgency of the situation.  We now have three great-grandchildren and our passion is based on our concern for future generations.

Bob has a Ph. D. in biochemistry and is a past president of the Amos Butler Society.  Jennie Beth is an avid reader and collector of environmental movies. Just ask Jenny Beth what environmental recent movie she has most recently watched! She became vegan after watching Conspiracy 2 1/2 years ago. While reading Thomas Berry,  Jennie Beth found herself riveted by the question, “Why aren’t churches talking about the environment?”  So she and Bob decided to get involved.

Downy Avenue Christian Church

As of October 14th Downy Avenue Christian Chruch added 8 more solar panels so Downey Avenue Christian church has 36 solar panels – the new ones are more efficient.

Their denomination Disciples of Christ passed a resolution that all DOC congregations are to be carbon neutral by 2030.