Let’s Make Lanterns!
Churches from the PNW are creating beautiful lanterns in support of the General Conference Climate Vigil – happening May 12 at the Oregon Convention Center in Portland, Ore.
Use the hashtag #umclimate and share how your church is supporting climate justice!
Here are just a few stories from local churches participating in this fun and easy way to participate in climate justice!
Our first climate justice experience
By the Rev. Shirley DeLarme
Our church, Port Orchard UMC, put out a call for crafters and climate lovers.
Throughout April 17-20, adults, our volunteer from Easter Seals, teens who attend our tutoring program – Sammy’s Place, and members of our Youth Group joined together to create lanterns here at the church’s fellowship hall. Ages ranged between 13-75, with much of our group were within their 30s & 50s.
We shared our finished projects and placed them on display for Sunday Worship in celebration of Earth Day. We also prayed for God’s creation – it’s preservation and restoration.
Officially, this was the first time our church participated in a climate justice event. Though, I did have a conversation with a small group about Fossil Free UMC, per Annual Conference legislation. It was a curious conversation since several people were retired from the oil industry.
They had a lot of fun, some were stymied about what to DO as images, and all kinds of conversation took place about the need to do better caring for our environment.
The worshiping congregation was deeply moved by the visual and very grateful for the opportunity to name the need and pray over it.
The Rev. Shirley DeLarme serves as pastor of Port Orchard UMC.
Prayers for ecological balance
By Pastor Emma Donohew
We celebrated earth day at Green Lake United Methodist Church by crafting for creation!
We created paper lanterns to be taken to the UMC General Conference Climate Vigil as visual prayers of the way climate change is affecting our planet and all those who inhabit it.
We read earth prayers from many traditions, reflected on our interconnectedness and made art together. We can’t fix anything in a day, but community has and always will be a powerful force for change.
I created these rainbow jellies as a reminder of how resilient these creatures are in the face of rising sea temperatures and over fishing. Their resilience however, is leading to an increased jelly population, which in turn pushes other species out.
My prayer is for a balanced Eco-system where all can live in harmony together (humans too!). May it be so!
Pastor Emma Donohew serves as pastor at Seattle: Green Lake UMC.
Yakima: Wesley’s Green Team supports climate justice
By Scott Klepach, Jr.
The youth group of Yakima Wesley and Selah United Methodist Churches created paper lanterns ahead of Earth Day on April 18.
Adult leaders helped them construct the lanterns as the group learned about Creation Care and Yakima Wesley’s Green Team efforts to be good stewards of the earth. The lanterns were included in the “Camp and Creation Sunday” worship service at Yakima Wesley on April 24.
Some lanterns will be sent to General Conference alongside others to be used in the Climate Vigil in May.
Scott Klepach, Jr. serves as a communicator and director of youth ministries at Yakima: Wesley UMC.