Voting your Values – It’s a Matter of Faith!

Voting your Values – It’s a Matter of Faith!

by The Rev. Victoria Alford Guest, co-chair of the Environmental Ministries Team
Whenever you did one of these things for someone overlooked or ignored, you did it for me. ~ Matthew 25:40

Extreme weather events keep making headlines. Pakistan, Puerto Rico and Florida are just a few more recent examples of the devastating impact of the climate crisis, particularly on vulnerable communities.  All around the globe, climate emergencies are impacting those who can least protect themselves against a changing climate and who have done the least to create the crisis. 
The climate crisis fuels so much injustice.  Corporate interests site sacrifice zones in black and brown neighborhoods.  Droughts and superstorms set climate migration and political instability in motion.  Wildfires destroy lives and livelihoods.  Carbon pollution from burning fossil fuels increases the rate of asthma, cancer, and heart disease, especially in vulnerable communities.  Habitat loss accelerates the risk that novel viruses like Covid 19 will spread from wildlife reservoirs to the human population threatening lives and causing economic volatility.  Sooner or later, every justice issue intersects with the disruption that arises from the climate emergency.
As people of faith, we are called to see Christ in those too often ignored or disregarded.  How we live out our faith matters. Voting is one of the ways that we can respond to the crisis and work to create a just world for all.
That is why we hope you will take a moment to explore the Faith Matters Voting Challenge and these two brief videos on the intersection of faith and voting from the Rev. Dr. Jim Antal, UCC Special Advisor or Climate Justice:; and Dr. Mary Evelyn Tucker and Dr. John Grim, co-directors and co-founders of the Forum on Religion and Ecology at Yale You can also check here for links to the text and video of a recent webinar with Jim Antal and Margaret Bullitt-Jonas on Preaching Climate Justice: A Conversation with Jim Antal and Margaret Bullitt-Jonas
Our vote matters, not just in the big national election years, but in all the local and state elections in between, because politicians pay attention to the priorities of people who vote
Non-voters can send emails, write letters to the editor, go to protests, and put out campaign signs, but if they don’t vote their priorities, they don’t make it onto politicians’ radar. To get elected, candidates use the public record to contact the people who actually show up and vote. Voters’ priorities are the ones that matter to candidates, and the candidates who win are the ones who will end up implementing legislation. 
There are not nearly enough voters in this country for whom the climate crisis is a priority.  That is why the Environmental Ministries Team has partnered with the Environmental Voter Project (EVP) to promote the SNEUCC Creation Care Voter Pledge. The Environmental Voter Project is a non-partisan, nonprofit organization whose mission is to get more environmental supporters to vote in every election. The Environmental Voter Project does not endorse candidates or tell people how to vote. They follow up with each pledger, reminding them to vote in each of their upcoming elections - local, state, and national - because reminding someone of their pledge to vote can dramatically increase that person’s likelihood of voting.
The SNEUCC Environmental Ministries Team also developed resources to mobilize your congregation as part of the Faith Matters Voting Challenge. You can download the brochure here.
Persuading your congregation that voting is a matter of faith and mobilizing them to take the Creation Care Voter Pledge is the first step. But in the weeks and months and years ahead, we have more to do.  We’ve got to get the word out to our communities and wider networks.  You can even involve your children and youth in the effort by joining the national UCC Climate Hope Cards Art Contest which runs from October 4th to November 29th. For more information, reach out to Andy Wells-Bean at Or register here.

Join the Faith Matters Voting Challenge and explore ways that you can make the connection between faith and voting to elect legislators from all political perspectives at all levels who will act to reverse the climate crisis.  Together we can make the climate crisis a priority, and only when it is a priority to voters will it become a priority to legislators. Every election matters.


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Vicky A. Guest

The Rev. Victoria Alford Guest is co-chair of the SNEUCC Environmental Ministries Team and former pastor of the First Congregational Church in Natick, MA.

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