Have you heard? The Preach-In on Global Warming is going to be better than ever this year! Expanded and re-named Faith Climate Action Week, it will encompass nine days in April surrounding Earth Day. The theme is “Paris And Beyond” and will focus on how achieving the climate protection goals in the Paris Agreement require action from all of us.
In addition to our usual sample sermons on caring for Creation and the climate, we’ll have resources and links for outdoor activities, films, music, service projects, postcards for policy makers, and more to help involve and educate your congregation on how to protect the climate.
You can make an even bigger difference by reaching out to others in your community and encouraging them to participate. If we all do that, we’ll reach countless new people in faith communities across the country, which will build our capacity and our collective power to reduce pollution and protect creation.
Please click here to reserve a copy of your 2016 Faith Climate Action Week kit today. Thank you for showing your love for Creation during Earth Week.
With interfaith hope,
The Rev. Sally G. Bingham
Global Moderator of Metropolitan Community Churches, Rev. Elder Dr. Nancy Wilson, has been invited to the White House on September 23rd, with other religious leaders, as well U.S. President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama, to greet Pope Francis, who will address the U.S. Congress, and the United Nations later that week, about climate change. In honor of his visit and his leadership on addressing environmental issues, there will be be many activities and events in Washington, D.C. and in New York City. This is indeed a monumental and historic occasion!
In anticipation of these events, Rev. Nancy will preach at MCC Tampa on 6 September 2015 on the topic: “Abundant Life and Care of Creation.”
Rev. Nancy invites all of the Elders and all of MCC to preach on care of creation as well and dedicate at least one Sunday in September to climate change and related environmental issues.
As people of faith, the nature of human response to climate change, how we can be good stewards of the Earth that God has entrusted to us, is a moral and spiritual issue.
Climate change is real, the science is undeniable. The use of fossil fuels are warming the earth in unprecedented ways that endanger our planet, our seas, our coastlines, all wildlife, and human life. The planet is warming and only very consistent, faithful sustained action can thwart more climate disasters. The world has to unify around this goal.
In MCC, we have a proud tradition of being on the edge of prophetic, social change. We have tackled huge social issues – human rights for LGBT people, justice for those with HIV/AIDS, marriage equality. We know a lot about what it takes to change hearts and minds, to galvanize, to put ourselves on the line. The same bad science that proposed “conversion therapy,” that denied the variety in creation around sexuality, is the same bad science that denies climate change. We have been here before.
Climate change is about justice. It impacts poor people the most–people who have fewer options to get out of the way of flooding and droughts. People of color, in so many places, have seen their air, water, and land poisoned, or disappearing, causing damage to health and quality of life. Women and children are also disproportionately impacted.
Justice for all creation, all life, demands our action. What good are human rights, when our home is being destroyed? Environmental justice demands that we see the interconnections. Justice demands that we hold accountable governments, corporations, and climate deniers in this fight for the planet. Some nations are way ahead of the U.S. in getting to carbon neutrality. Some of us have more work to do than others in our countries.
Our voices are important, it is part of our healing, as MCC, to understand that we have something to say, to offer, to the wider community. We are citizens of this globe. Our theology, influenced by liberation theologies and the lived experience of our communities, has a lot to contribute to this conversation and challenge.
Our example is important. The Council of Elders has signed onto the Paris Pledge to reduce our congregations’ carbon footprint and/or our use of fossil fuel by 50% by 2050. For more information and resources about this extremely significant United Nations Climate Change Conference taking place in Paris this December, see this newsletter from the MCC Creation Care Team.
As we claim our birthright as citizens of the globe, it will strengthen us, our churches, as we partner with others.
Genesis 1: The Creation story from the first chapter of Genesis is teeming with abundance. Creation is the active love of God, a gift we are asked to be in awe of, to care for with integrity and joy. We are partners with God, made in the image of a God who is always creating. When we care for creation, we are living into our God-ness. When we cut ourselves off from creation, when we put something in place of our wholeness, our connection to God and creation, we become lost and destructive.
Psalms: There are many Psalms that exemplify this theme, especially Psalm 8 and Psalm 100. Psalm 104 is beautifully descriptive of abundant life and creation, and appreciation of the beauty therein.
John 10:10: Jesus summarizes his ministry with the words, “abundant life.”
Jesus’ purpose is to connect us with our own humanity and divinity, for us to live in the abundance God provided, and in an abundance of love and justice in our relationships. The opposite of this abundance is the kind of greed and thoughtless, empty profiteering that has created our current climate crisis. As MCC, we have known what it means to have our lives threatened, and demeaned – and we have claimed abundant life as our God-given right! The Jesus who loved the outcast, who challenged religious authorities, who healed the leper, who raised the dead, wants all people to live in harmony, right relationship (justice) and abundance.
Rev. Elder Dr. Nancy Wilson
Rev. Elder Ines-Paul Baumann, MCC Cologne, Germany
“Salvation for Creation” from Rev. Elder Cecilia Eggleston, Northern Lights MCC, United Kingdom
Elder Nancy Maxwell, Sarasota, Florida, USA
(Elder Nancy invites you to listen to John Prine singing his song “Paradise”)
“The Beauty of… All Creation” from Rev. Lisa Heilig, Our Hope MCC, USA
‘Care of the Earth: Abundant Life and Care of Creation” from Rev. Dusty Pruitt, MCC Rehoboth, USA
“Miracle On the Way to Miracles” from Rev. Rich Hendricks, MCC of the Quad Cities, USA
“The Intersection of Faith, Climate Change and Weather” Rev. DeWayne Davis, All God’s Children MCC, USA
In addition to the Blessed Tomorrow website, and the resources on the Paris Pledge put out by the MCC Creation Care Team, here are some additional resources that may be useful.
Some resources will need some adaptation for use in MCC congregations:
https://www.ecen.org/ (A resource from Europe)
Throughout our history, Metropolitan Community Church has made a stand and courageously led on issues of our times, in particular those around social justice. It is that time again.
Climate change has already had a devastating impact on communities around the world, with dire effects on nature and creation, our siblings and neighbor. It is time to be the ‘good stewards’ that God has called us to be and to care for that which God has entrusted to our care. It is time.