Week of December 8, 2019

Every year during Advent, your Environmental stewardship Team (TEST) focuses on several charities to receive your contributions through offering an easy way to honor someone with a very meaningful gift at Christmas.  (Please stop by our table between services or after 10:30 service to participate). This year, we wanted to especially choose charities that help women in developing countries through Episcopal Relief and Development or Heifer International.  Each organization is making many efforts to encourage women to become educated leaders in their communities and improve the health and lives of their families. Our Team has become convinced of the value of helping developing counties educate their women through effort of world leaders such as Malala Yousafzai, of Pakistan.  She became the youngest person to receive the Nobel Peace Prize for her work advocating for a safe and readily available education for girls through high school and beyond. She has been quoted as saying, “one child, one teacher and one pen, can change the world”. The book, “Drawdown”, ranks and calculates the potential benefits of activities that will draw down the root causes of Global Warming, especially as it is scaled on a global stage.  This book ranks women’s education as very high on their comprehensive lists. The large coalition of scientists and environmental advocates that are contributors to this book (www.drawdown.org) all agree that an educated woman has healthier families consisting of less children than her poorly educated sisters.  They have found that, on average, these educated women have 4 to 5 less children in their families. Given these statistics, the world might have 843 million less people on earth by 2050 with a possible reduction of 5 to almost 6 gigatons of emissions that lead to global warming.  Also, better educated girls and women lead to better family and community resilience to the effects of a changing climate. Heifer International provides families with animals and instructions on caring for these animals. Many Heifer community projects build long lasting co-ops to help with on going issues.  Animals are chosen locally and each family who receives a gift promises to give the “first-born” to another family—helping to grow a healthy community. Many women end up guiding their families out of poverty through learning to manage and increase their wealth one cow, pig, goat, etc, at a time.
EARTH STEWARD ACTION:  Please make a contribution to the alternative Christmas Market.  Always encourage the women and girls in your families to be the best they can through a good education that emphasizes good choices.