This week, I was inspired by the actions of the Rev. Louis R. Tillman, IV at St. Philip’s Lutheran Church, the oldest African American Lutheran Church in North America. Reverend Tillman serves as the 16th senior pastor at the historic East Baltimore church. Their mission is to help all people to aspire to inspire before they expire. St. Philip’s is the only Lutheran congregation of color to partner with Baltimore Gas and Electric in efforts to reduce their carbon footprint.
In addition to completing a massive LED lighting upgrade at his church, Pastor Tillman endorsed the Energy Innovation and Carbon Dividend Act. The proposal pending before Congress would drive down America’s carbon pollution and bring climate change under control while unleashing American technology innovation and ingenuity. The St. Philip’s community is facing the multitude of today’s challenges head on. Since June, they have disseminated over 50,000 COVID-19 care kits with protective supplies along with food deliveries for those struggling with food insecurity.
They have supported each other as they mourn the tragic death of Dante Barksdale. And they are leading the way to a brighter future by prioritizing climate action at a local and federal level. I hope Rep. Kweisi Mfume will echo the leadership of Pastor Tillman and his congregation by supporting the EICDA and ambitious federal action on climate change while he addresses the many needs of our nation today.
Ren Englum, Timonium
The writer is group leader for Baltimore chapter of Citizens’ Climate Lobby.