Your New Year’s Resolution:
Raise Your Voice on Climate Change!
By the Rev. Jenny Phillips
Raise your voice on climate change in 2015!
In December of this year, world leaders will join together to agree–for the first time–on a binding and universal agreement on climate from all nations of the world. Nothing less is at stake than the future of God’s creation – the earth from which God shaped us, and the creatures and resources God calls us to steward. That’s why United Methodists worldwide are joining together to call for a strong treaty. We need everyone to make this happen.
We know that our churches are on the front lines of climate change from the Philippines to the Ivory Coast to New Orleans, to Oso, Wash. Our United Methodist Committee on Relief and other mission groups within the church are responding to increasingly frequent and intense extreme weather events. We experience the consequences of climate-related impacts on agriculture when the price of grocery basics increase and our communities need more food support. We feel the changes in our souls as well – it can unsettle one’s spirit to experience a weirdly warm spell in December or a hail storm in May. While it is too late to reverse these early effects of climate change, a deep, global commitment to the future of life on earth can stop catastrophic change.
We’ll be letting you know about specific advocacy opportunities as the year progresses. In the meantime, here are some things you can do to get engaged on climate issues right now.
Engage your congregation in the study on fossil fuel divestment we agreed to complete at Annual Conference 2014. Resources are available at http://bit.ly/creation-care-resources. Once you have done a study, preached a sermon, shared an article, or something else, let us know what you did by emailing email@example.com.
Sign up for the PNW Creation Care newsletter to receive updates on opportunities for learning and advocacy, including district training event workshops, webinars, and more. Sign up by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
Become a Greening Congregation with our creation care partner, Earth Ministry. In doing so, you’ll “green” every aspect of your ministry, from worship to hospitality to facilities to mission to advocacy, and deepen your understanding of the issues at stake in the process. Visit www.earthministry.org to learn more.
Deepen your understanding of the scientific, political, economic and social aspects of climate change. Start a book group at your church to read Naomi Klein’s This Changes Everything or Elizabeth Kolbert’s The Sixth Extinction. “Like” the Facebook pages of Creation-Care 365, Earth Ministry, GreenFaith, Caretakers of God’s Creation, Interfaith Power and Light, 350.org, and Andrew Revkin (Dot Earth writer at the New York Times) for news and information on climate change, policy, and action.
Add your voice to the call for action at www.ourvoices.net. This is the most comprehensive faith-based effort to engage the world leaders who will be at the climate talks in 2015.
To change everything, we need everyone. Creation is counting on us.