See also Presbyterians March for Climate Justice from the PC(USA) Office of Public Witness!
God has called us to be good stewards of the Earth and care for all of God’s creation, but carbon pollution from our favorite form of energy is fundamentally altering our climate. Together with our ecumenical and interreligious partners, the PC(USA) is calling on political leaders in the U.S. to address issue of climate change and to engage with the international community in coming up with a sustainable response. Join your voice with others as we call on U.S. leaders to take on leadership in helping to craft a moral global framework for the UN climate negotiations.
There are three important UN climate meetings in our sights, with the final negotiation for a new international treaty taking place in 2015 in Paris, France. But the next meeting will be next month in September 2014, in New York at the United Nations. The faith community is mobilizing around this event – the first major international climate meeting on U.S. soil. See below to find out how to get involved.
U.S. policymakers need to take a lead role during the United Nations climate treaty negotiations. Reducing carbon emissions is vital to preventing devastating impacts of climate change and to providing meaningful support for vulnerable communities. With the UN Climate Summit taking place next week in New York, now is the time to let both President Obama and Congress know that we need a strong treaty that requires all nations to take steps to control greenhouse gas emissions.
In addition to the petition for lawmakers, we affirm our own ability to make a difference through our own choices and actions. We are joining with ecumenical partners to collect individual pledges for action as a way to demonstrate our commitment to address climate change to our political leaders. Pledges for action can range from changing a light bulb to installing solar panels on your church roof, from hosting a climate vigil to preaching a sermon. Pledges for action will be highlighted during several faith events in New York in September.
As people of faith, we care for all of God’s creation with a special concern for vulnerable populations. Presbyterians have acknowledged the burden of climate change and environmental injustice, which first and foremost falls on those who are least equipped to handle it. The 218th General Assembly (2008) presented a policy recommendation on climate change that emphasized a commitment to stand with “the least of these.” The 219th General Assembly (2010) also approved an overture that affirmed “concern for God’s creation is, for every Christian, an essential way of living faithfully.”
Together, let us respond to the challenge of climate change with compassion; standing in solidarity with our neighbors living in or near poverty who are most severely affected by the changing climate, and striving to preserve God’s “good” Creation.
The People’s Climate March
Be a part of the People’s Climate March this Sunday, September 21, at 11:30 am in Manhattan, NY, NY!
Check out the Facebook event page for Presbyterians at the climate march – and post any extra information you might have for one another on this page! For those using social media during the event, use the hashtag #presbyPCM.
People will gather around 10:30am-11am for interfaith music and worship. The whole march starts at 11:30 from Columbus Circle, but it’s been suggested that faith groups go last, so folks going to services could possibly arrive in time. Gather at 58th Street between 8th and 9th Avenue, trying to enter at the 9th Avenue end of 58th St. PC(USA) Environmental Ministries staff person Rebecca Barnes, will be there with Presbyterians who are marching and will try to have a PC(USA) sign post around which to gather. Check out the march route here.
A Muslim group will be holding their Dhuhr prayer from 12:50-1:00 pm – right during the March. At 1:00 pm, houses of worship around NYC will ring bells, sound shofars, chant mantras, and make other outdoor spiritual sounds in a sign of solidarity with the March – as part of a Global Climate Chorus.
After the March, join people from across a range of faiths and traditions in a ritual of covenant and commission for the future of our Earth. Hosted by Religions for the Earth in conjunction with partners at the World Council of Churches and Religions for Peace. This event is open to the public and passes may be requested at religionsfortheearth.org.
Rutgers Presbyterian Church will serve as a meeting place for all Presbyterians attending the Climate March in NYC on Sunday, September 21, with a special welcome to Presbyterians for Earth Care members and followers. Rutgers Church is at 236 West 73rd Street, between Broadway and West End Avenue. Worship begins at 11:00 am and will finish shortly after noon. Then Rutgers Church members plan to travel to the starting point of the March in Columbus Circle, only 7 minutes travel by subway #1. If the subway should be crowded or impossible to ride, marchers will walk to Columbus Circle, about a 15 minute walk. September 21 also happens to be the last Sunday of a two-month series of environmentally focused worship services at Rutgers inspired by a book by Norman Habel: Rainbow of Mysteries – Meeting the Sacred in Nature.
Can’t come in person? There are plenty of ways to be involved…
- Participate from your local congregation in the Global Climate Chorus, making a prayerful noise outdoors, ringing bells, chimes, offering a call to prayer, or other outdoor spiritual observance on September 21 at 1pm. Let Rebecca Barnes know, and participating congregations will be recognized on the Environmental Ministries website.
- Support EPA regulation of carbon emissions.
- Sign the petition urging President Obama and the Senate to work towards a strong UN climate treaty.
- Make a pledge to reduce carbon in your own household or faith community.
- Host a prayer vigil or feature a prayer on climate in your church on the days preceding and following the UN Climate Summit. The ecumenical advocacy community in DC, for instance, held a worship service focused on climate change on Sept. 17 at 12:10pm, at the Methodist Building in Washington, DC. Click here to let folks know about your prayer service or event.
- Check out this list of other actions you can take!
Read more articles in this series!