Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has.                – Margaret Mead


by Ed Horstmann

When I was in sixth grade, I was a student at Iroquois Middle School in Niskayuna, New York. Along with my classmates I received a memorable introduction to the damage that human beings were inflicting on the environment. Through films and field trips and class presentations I was ushered into an awareness of my role as a steward of the earth and its resources. Every student in our school was given a copy of the book The Environmental Handbook, full of densely argued articles that told a grim history of human interaction with the planet and warned of worse to come.

Over the years I have dipped into The Environmental Handbook only occasionally, and its pages have yellowed in the place where it rests on a bookshelf in my home. But that initial message of my response-ability with respect to the future of planet earth has never waned, and its presence has prompted me to seek other voices of wisdom in my search for ways to leave a legacy of hope for future generations. In more recent years I have become even more engaged by the issue of environmental justice and have been inspired by members of our congregation for whom this issue is now a primary focus of attention.

Perhaps you, too, are thinking about how to make decisions and establish priorities that can bring good news to the creation and to those who will follow us. Perhaps you are already feeling called to live in a way or to take an action that will help you to become a greater force for good; not just to develop a green thumb but a green faith. You may also be feeling uncertain about the future and even more uncertain about how to engage such a vast challenge as climate change, or even whether changes in human behavior are possible. I am quite sure that if you are having any of these feelings, or all of them at once, you are not alone. I, too, am finding my own way through this thicket of thoughts and feelings.

I would welcome your thoughts or dreams, your ideas and your concerns as you contemplate the question of our response-ability on behalf of mother earth. Please write to me at And I believe we can create the space together where a small group of committed citizens can be part of the change that the world needs most.

Leave a Reply