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1999 NCC News Archives

NCC Earth Day Mailing on Consumerism
Goes to 85,000 Congregations

NEW YORK, Jan. 20, 1999 ---- A National Council of Churches (NCC) mailing on consumerism, which encourages people of faith to live more simply by reducing their consumption of resources and manufactured goods, has been sent to 85,000 congregations in preparation for Earth Day (April 22, 1999).

"For Christians, consumerism is a religious issue for a number of reasons having to do both with justice for the world's poor and justice for all creation," said the Rev. Richard Killmer, Director of the NCC's Environmental Justice Office. "We in the United States consume a disproportionate amount of the world's resources while the poor of the world, including those in the United States, consume less than they need. But human beings did not create nor do we own the earth. So we need to use the resources of creation carefully to witness that we care about creation and about justice and fairness for all people."

"Consumerism is also important in terms of what it does to us," Rev. Killmer added. "When we define ourselves by what we buy and by what we consume, this is a very different idea of humanity than the one defined by God and our faith. Jesus taught us that our first task is to seek God's kingdom."

Suggestions for ways to cut consumption include giving gifts of time or skills instead of expensive things for Christmas; saving energy in the home, and choosing public transportation, walking or bicycling instead of driving a car.

The 1999 Earth Day mailing includes:

Copies of the Earth Day mailing are available for 50 cents. Ask for EJ9935 at 800-762-0968. The contents will also be accessible on


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