Day of Common Learning speaker A.J. Swoboda links care for creation and care for God

The Seattle Pacific community gathered to discuss creation care at this year’s Day of Common Learning, a campuswide daylong event to discuss important topics.

a.j. swoboda speaks at The Day of Common Learning
A.J. Swoboda speaks at The Day of Common Learning. Photo by Quinton Cline.

Caring for the created world is an important part of being a compassionate Christian and human in today’s world, said keynote speaker A.J. Swoboda, who has written several books about the environment and theology, and is lead pastor at Theophilus Church in Portland, Oregon.

Swoboda said that everyday decisions and lifestyle choices can have a big impact on others and are worth doing, even when the bigger problems of the world feel overwhelming.

“My actions and my life do affect everybody else,” he said. “In Genesis 1 and 2, I find in the text a deep sense of interconnectivity between the created realm and humanity.”

Caring for creation is a way Christians can live out the biblical mandate to care for the poor and vulnerable

Caring for creation is a way Christians can live out the biblical mandate to care for the poor and vulnerable, Swoboda said. Even in the U.S., rising global temperatures are likely to have the biggest impact on the poorest third of counties in the country, in the South and lower Midwest, while wealthier counties in the North and West are likely to experience less long-term damage, according to a 2017 study published in the journal Science.

Globally, increasing cases of extreme weather have the most harmful impact on communities that are already overcrowded with few resources, and droughts reduce crop yields for farmers, who are often poor, according to One Day’s Wages, a Seattle-based organization aimed at reducing poverty.

“I don’t think that we have fully grasped how much the environmental conversation and the environmental realities that are taking place are affecting the poor,” Swoboda said. “At the end of the day, anything that affects the poor should be something we take very seriously.”

Discover what afternoon breakout sessions were available to the community.

This article originally appeared on page 51 of the autumn 2018 issue of Response with the headline, “Serving God through care for earth and others.” 

The Day of Common Learning. Photo by Quinton Cline

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