Lyndsay Moseley, 29
Associate Representative for Faith Partnerships, Sierra Club
-How would you describe your job/leadership role (one phrase)?
Bridge-builder, educator, organizer, and advocate for God’s creation;
-What one or two things most motivated you to get involved?
I am motivated by the sense that God is at work, calling our generation to reclaim our identity as stewards of all that God has made. Responding to this call means renewing a fundamental commitment to the two most important commands of our faith—to love God, and to love our neighbors as ourselves.
I am also motivated by a sense of urgency. If we take seriously our calling to be stewards of the Earth, with special care for vulnerable populations—the poor, elderly, children and non-human creatures—we must act quickly to address the threats of global climate change which will disproportionately impact these communities.
-As you think about your work and/or your participation in the body of Christ, what’s your biggest passion?
We live in the age of political polarization, religious caricatures, and superficial spin where pundits pander to ratings rather than promote the common good. People of all faiths need to challenge these forces with unity and clarity. My biggest passion is bringing people together from different political and religious backgrounds, promoting reconciliation and inviting us to see how much we have in common—especially as it relates to our dependence upon clean air, water, and a stable climate. As John Muir, founder of Sierra Club, said, "Everyone needs beauty as well as bread; places to play in and pray in, where nature may heal body and soul alike."
-What’s the biggest challenge you see facing young Christians/the church now? In the years to come?
Environmental problems are often described as failures of technology, policy, management or planning. But at their root, environmental problems are matters of the heart. We need to respond with moral and spiritual strength to confront the greed, pride, fear, and endless consumerism that drive us to collectively destroy God’s creation at alarming rates.
In a 1954 sermon, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. made a profound statement that rings true today: “Through our scientific and technological genius, we have made of the world a neighborhood, but through our moral and spiritual genius, we have failed to make it a brotherhood.” The biggest challenge facing the church today, in my mind, is closing this gap.
-We hear often that young Christians’—particularly evangelicals’—perceptions of Christianity are changing, that their concerns are broadening to encompass more social justice issues. Do you see this happening in your own experience? Or, if you would describe your experience of young Christians differently, how would you describe it?
Despite cultural forces that have attempted to erode the teachings of Jesus and reduce them to a truncated political or economic agenda, growing numbers of young evangelical Christians intuitively understand that following the teachings of Jesus can and should bring about both personal and social change. Young Christians want to see how our faith is relevant to the world around us. I think there is a deep longing to embody the ‘good news’ of the kingdom of God in all its fullness. So we are drawn to communities that are reclaiming a more holistic approach to discipleship that demands spiritual growth, as well as social transformation, through working for justice, peace and care for God’s creation far beyond the walls of the traditional church.
-What one thing would you most like to tell Christians?
Church of the Saviour founder Gordon Cosby speaks of the following markers of God’s call: it’s simple and clear, impossible to undertake alone, and persistent despite our reluctance to say ‘yes.’ The call to caring for God’s creation may seem challenging, but with God, all things are possible!
As we work together to repair the damages caused by years of disregarding the impacts of our actions and decisions on the planet, we will need to make important—sometimes significant—lifestyle changes and advocate for earth-friendly community practices. But it’s not a journey of despair. I truly believe that in embracing this call to live in harmony with the planet, we will discover a deep joy that comes from loving what God’s loves and caring for all that God declared ‘very good’ from the beginning.
-What’s your biggest challenge?
I believe strongly that protecting the environment should not be a divisive issue, but rather an opportunity for joyful collaboration among people and organizations of all types of backgrounds and beliefs—for the sake of our common future together. Small-mindedness, stereotypes and political associations often get in the way of the simple message that God calls us to care for creation. I imagine this will change as increasing numbers of pastors, priests, rabbis, etc., convey the message of creation care to their congregations.
-What gives you hope?
Ultimately, I see the work of creation care as contributing to a greater movement toward peace, justice and reconciliation. So I find great hope when people and organizations from all backgrounds, traditions, and belief systems—who would previously have very little to do with each other—recognize the shared values of stewardship, justice, love, and concern for future generations and join together in the movement to put these values into action for the sake of the planet.