So many people don’t think about climate change, and this is a huge problem if we want our politicians to act. That’s why we’re backing Earth Hour this year.
Earth Hour takes climate, an incredibly complex issue, and makes it simple in one expressive moment involving millions of people all over the world. Amazing. It’s fun and a beautiful and symbolic event.
Just last week we were reminded how vital it is to stop runaway climate change. The small island nation of Vanuatu was ravaged by Cyclone Pam. They’re used to storms but not like this one. Decades of development was swept away in just a few hours. If we want to stop this extreme weather increasing, destroying the livelihoods of vulnerable communities – we need to take a stand.
So this year, as well as the fun of turning lights off, we’ve made space for reflection too. We’ve put together a set of prayers and resources for everyone to use and share. We hope they’ll act as a catalyst to other readings you want to share, or to you writing your own.
Our faith and values can guide us in times like this, and steel our resolve to act. It can also help us show leadership to those around us. Take this Earth Hour to talk about climate change with family and friends and see what ideas you come up with. As people of faith we need to make our voices heard, lifting up the moral, just, call for climate action. For the sake of our children, and for the sake of Vanuatu.
P.S. Be sure to share any photos you take with us on social media. Use the hashtag #YourPower and tag @ourvoices2015 to make sure we see them, and can share them on!
World leaders are gathering again to develop next steps in addressing the global climate change crisis. Earlier this year, Rev. Elder Dr. Nancy Wilson, Presiding Moderator of Metropolitan Community Churches, helped lead a diverse coalition of faith groups participating in the People’s Climate March. The march called on world leaders gathered for the UN Summit on Climate Change to take an aggressive stand against air pollution. These leaders will assemble again in Lima, Peru (1-12 December 2014) for the Framework Convention on Climate Change. As part of the 20th Convening of the Parties, they will identify the broad areas of international agreement around carbon emmissions caps, financial support for clean energy production, and workforce development for “green” economies.
Faith groups will be present to ensure they produce a framework that reflects our core values of justice, broad enviornmental stewardship, jobs for all, protection for the vulnerable, and relief from poverty. We must be bold.
Because of the work and advocacy of activists the world over, Global leaders ARE LISTENING. This week, China and the United States of America, two of the world’s largest air polluters, announced a new program to reduce carbon emissions over the next twenty years. We must keep up the pressure so that these nations fully implement the plan and that other nations join in the effort.
Here are some actions you can take, wherever you live in the world, to maintain the momentum leading up to the Lima conference:
Reflecting our sacred duty to exercise stewardship over all of God’s creation, MCC stands in solidarity with environmental justice advocates around the world.
For more information, contact the Public Policy Team at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Support the People’s Climate March
Activists have organized the largest-ever gathering of people marching for climate justice, to take place on Sunday, September 21, 2014 in New York City. This march is being held in advance of the September 23rd UN Summit on Climate Change. The UN summit seeks to build international agreement ways to reduce global warming. If you are in the DC area, groups are providing transportation to the march:
On Friday, September 19th at the Metropolitan Community Church of New York, MCC Presiding Moderator Rev. Elder Dr. Nancy Wilson will give an address on why LGBTQI people of faith care about climate change, “A Queer Response to Climate Change.” She will be joined by activist and queer performance artist Peterson Toscano.
If you cannot participate in person in the march or hear Moderator Wilson’s address, here are actions you can take:
. The plan would cut carbon pollution produced by power plants by requiring operators to identify and utilize utilize the best and cheapest ways to reduce pollution, especially from fossil fuels. While some states have taken aggressive action to curb power plant emissions, the EPA proposal would create new national standards that elevate all states to the same level. Under the plan, the EPA estimates that by 2030, the country’s power operators would emit 30% less carbon pollution than it did in 2005. .
This action alert was prepared by the Public Policy Team of
Metropolitan Community Churches and the Global Justice Institute.
For more information, contact the Public Policy Team at email@example.com.
The Rev. Dr. Nancy Wilson is the Moderator of Metropolitan Community Churches (MCC), which has ministries in over 40 countries. Dr. Wilson was part of the first LGBT faith delegation to meet with U.S. White House staff in 1979, and she served as a member of President Obama’s Advisory Council on Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships.
As the U.S. government rolled out its historic report on global climate change, it was announced that the Moderator of Metropolitan Community Churches, the Rev. Dr. Nancy Wilson, would be part of a team of twenty-one top ecumenical and interfaith leaders to spearhead an effort to mobilize religious communities to address environmental concerns and to provide “how to” guidance and an extensive array of free resources to their networks.
The team launched Blessed Tomorrow (http://www.blessedtomorrow.
“I believe it is time that we look at our actions. God’s love will never change, but we have an eternal mandate to be in relationship to our natural environment and this paradise we call Earth,” said the Rev. Dr. Nancy Wilson. “We hold the future of our children in our hands and can come together to bring in an era of cooperation never seen in the history of humankind to embody a blessed tomorrow.”
“Metropolitan Community Churches was founded in 1968 and made history as the first church to perform same-gender marriages,” said Dr. Wilson. “MCC is known as ‘The Human Rights Church’ internationally and works worldwide to challenge discrimination based on race, gender, class, and sexual orientation. Many MCC congregations around the globe are supporting a sustainable climate through their practices. The Blessed Tomorrow partnership will provide a rich interaction across lines of faith and tradition that will help everyone grow.”
Blessed Tomorrow emerged out of EcoAmerica MomentUs efforts to connect with business, health, faith, and other constituencies with mutually beneficial strategies to reduce the effects of climate change. Faith communities will expand the use of climate change solutions that align with their faith tradition and values. Blessed Tomorrow provides simple, proven resources faith leaders can use right away to empower their members and communities.
Central to this initiative is helping congregations create a Path to Positive plan, which will provide free resources to guide them to be better stewards of God’s creation, for the sake of the most vulnerable populations and future generations. Each congregation or ministry is encouraged and empowered to create their own Path to Positive: http://blessedtomorrow.org/
Founded in 1968, Metropolitan Community Churches (MCC) has been at the vanguard of civil and human rights movements by addressing issues of race, gender, sexual orientation, economics, climate change, aging, and global human rights. MCC was the first to perform same-gender marriages and has been on the forefront of the struggle towards marriage equality in the U.S. and other countries worldwide.
gases have increased.” Further, the IPCC concludes that the warming trend is unequivocal, reporting that “each of the last three decades have been successively warmer at the Earth’s surface than any preceding decade since 1850.” Now more than ever, citizens and policymakers need to act to make possible a sustainable future for generations to come.
In the face of the reality of rapid ecological crises and degradation, we believe that as people of faith we are called to tend to God’s good creation, seek justice for the vulnerable and oppressed among us, and be good stewards of the bounty and beauty of the Earth.
This year, the focus for Earth Day is on Green Cities, an effort to encourage lawmakers, businesses, and citizens to make sustainable investments in clean energy and advocate for public policies that promote energy efficiency and limit greenhouse gas emissions. The IPCC has concluded that efforts to eradicate poverty and achieve sustainable development and equity can be improved by limiting the effects of climate change. The Moderator’s Public Policy Team agrees and calls on our elected officials and concerned people of faith to advocate for policies and practices that help us create a healthier environment for a sustainable future for all.
On Earth Day, April 22, we can all do our part to act as good stewards and advocates for the environment, ensuring that later generations will be able to benefit from all the beauty and bounties of the Earth. You can reaffirm your commitment to protecting the environment by volunteering, letting your representatives know that you support sound environmental policies, or making a small lifestyle change to reduce any negative impact on the environment. If everyone chooses to do something small, together, we can create a better world for future generations.
To help you further reflect on God’s earth as gift, we are please to share the following resources:
This statement was prepared by the Public Policy Team of
Metropolitan Community Churches/The Global Justice Institute, Rev. Pat Bumgardner, Chair.
For more information, contact the Public Policy Team at firstname.lastname@example.org.