In that vein, Rev. Booker Vance, gave a recent talk at Ecumenical Roundtable on Science, Technology and the Church recently held in Chicago.

Rev. Vance is the manager for policy and research at Elevate Energy, a Chicago-based non-profit that is active in about 40 cities seeks to create a just and equitable world in which everyone has clean and affordable heat, power and water in their homes and communities. He served as Pastor of St. Stephens Evangelical Lutheran Church on the South Side of Chicago for over 25 years before entering into the intersection of community organizing and the environmental justice discipline. He currently lives on the South Side of Chicago.

His talk, “What’s Love Got to Do with It? A Call for the Application of Love in Keeping it Simple: Proclamation in Problematic Contexts,” explored practical ways of engagement in communities to promote clean energy.

“We must change the tune, we must talk about the lyrics, we must deal with some of the problematic contexts we live in and talk about a proclamation that forces us out of comfortable spots and into conversations we are called to,” he said.

The discussion that followed explored ideas on ways to interact with communities to educate those in the pews and beyond about practical approaches on leading the change we would like to see in the world. He used the example of using the churchyard as a place of community gardens and a place where young people can plant seeds and learn about caring for creation and community.

He also spoke of the challenges we may face within ourselves as well as in our relationships as we advocate for equity in our world and added that sometimes we need to “wait on the Lord,” as the Biblical passage in Isaiah reminds us.

In answering his question in the title of the talk, he said, “The love of God for neighbor and self, the love of the creator, all things great and small, and the love of Jesus Christ has got everything to do with it.”

Susan Barreto
Susan Barreto

Susan is an author with a long-time interest in religion and science. She currently edits Covalence, the Lutheran Alliance for Faith, Science and Technology’s online magazine. She has written articles in The Lutheran and the Zygon Center for Religion and Science newsletter. Susan is a board member for the Center for Advanced Study of Religion and Science, the supporting organization for the Zygon Center and the Zygon Journal. She also co-wrote Our Bodies Are Selves with Dr. Philip Hefner and Dr. Ann Pederson.

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