Greetings WAC Community,
Who is wise and understanding among you? Let them show it by their good lives, by deeds done in the humility that comes from wisdom. – James 3:13
My church held a membership meeting last week during the Broncos game. Some were keeping an eye on their smart phones so as to occasionally report the score.
People talked about staying up late on November 8th to hear about the election results. Whether sports or politics, we are always intrigued by the score and tallying up the wins and losses. We are happy when our team wins and sad when we lose. We want to believe God is on our side and that our team has the winning strategy.
I pray for the winning strategy for justice during these uncertain times. I pray for a winning strategy for justice to protect God’s creation against greed. I pray for a winning strategy to help the poor and oppressed. The last couple of weeks have been both wins and losses for the Wyoming Association of Churches.
First, our wins:
Starting this week begins a substantial reduction in the leaking, venting, and flaring of methane into the air on federal public and tribal lands. The ruling by the U.S. Bureau of Land Management will reduce pollution and improve community health. It will reduce waste; the recovery of the losses nationwide is said to be enough to power all of Wyoming annually. Tax revenues from the previously lost methane will benefit Wyoming’s schools at a time important to Wyoming. We worked on this issue in partnership with Creation Justice Ministries, www.creationjustice.org.
Ten church leaders met in Casper and participated in an inter-religious dialogue with guest leader, Rob McNamara, Integral Dharma Holder and Buddhist Zen Monk, as we continue to move forward in our shared desired for deeper spiritual lives and for understanding, wisdom and peace.
The Wyoming Legislature’s Select Committee on Tribal Relations met in Lander this past week and is cooperating with the Wind River Native Advocacy Center’s plan to pave the way for economic development for the Wind River Reservation.
A bill to provide for Indian Education for All (meaning at public schools statewide) was approved for sponsorship unanimously by the Select Committee on Tribal Relations. Montana’s schools already do this.
Some disappointments include:
The state is considering ending the tribal liaison positions for the Eastern Shoshone and Northern Arapaho with the governor’s office, what could be a key in relationship building.
A proposed Wyoming constitutional amendment allowing state control of federal public lands is moving forward, despite the recommendation of the $75,000 study about the state managing such lands not being cost effective. The constitutional amendment could lead to the sale of those lands for private use and/or increased development without environmental protections.
The federal government not approving the 1115 Medicaid waiver for the Wind River Reservation. The state and the tribes are going to try again. This effort began 3 years ago.
With humility and wisdom, let’s not give up. Strategies for justice in Wyoming must continue.
Fear not. Be bold. Do justice.