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Tuesday, August 16, 2011

The Words Come Back

We recycle everything. This even includes the foil packets that some tea bags come in. (There’s a special way we have to turn them in to our collector.) There’s no doubt in my mind that recycling is the right thing to do. (Although we discovered in Germany this summer that re-use is the first option and recycling is second.) I’m maxing out on parentheses! 

My theology is my foundation.  I imagine God loving creation into existence and caring deeply about what God made. Not every Christian believes this but I for one insist that it’s our duty and responsibility to love and care for this planet as best we can.  It takes time and sometimes costs more.

This brings me logically to something I told my investment broker over a year ago.  I was harping about the fact that my holdings were subject to the whims of strangers in a strange world that I don’t understand too well and whose values I sometimes challenge. In this discussion, I noted that my church purchases foam cups for coffee fellowship because they are less costly than paper. The paper disposables slowly degrade in the landfill but the ones I used as a new member in 1970 are still there and will be always. Talk about eternal life!

I told Steve it would be worth it for the church to pay more for paper disposables because it’s the right thing to do.  In the same way I have consistently instructed him to find me socially responsible investments – which don’t necessarily drive the Dow up but I feel are the right way to go. More parentheses. (The latest terminology is ESG  investing - Environmental, Social, Governance.)

The last time we met with Steve I felt like an environmental evangelist. He indicated he had signed up for an ESG investment seminar because of what I’d said – the comment about the church’s coffee cup selection. He was inspired by what he heard there and is now a new, true-believer and sends me every article about the topic the comes across his desk or screen.

It’s not very often that the very words I say come back so directly and I am so pleased with the outcome. In this case I think God might be smiling too. 

*Our church hasn’t used foam cups on Sundays for over 3 years.  Thanks to my friend, Dwayne, we started a rotation of cup washers. 

by Tom Pappas

1 comment:

  1. Tom, I LOVE that you valued the person enough to have a CONVERSATION about your values... which in turn informed his values... and look, now you have a whole inbox full of resources on cups!

    and of course, I LOVE that Dwayne began the bucket brigade... so... when ARE you two wise goobers going to host a retreat for men?

    :) with hope for the journey - Tiffany