Connecting With Pope Francis' Call for Climate Action

Connecting With Pope Francis' Call for Climate Action

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Thursday, June 18, 2015
 
Dear sisters and brothers and siblings in Christ,
 
Future generations will look back upon this day as a hinge moment on which creation’s future turned – so long as people of faith the world over affirm God’s call to our generation to join together in common witness to save the Eden into which we were born.
 
Earlier today, Pope Francis issued his much anticipated Encyclical - “Praised Be: On the Care of the Common Home” - a milestone moment for people of faith the world over, uniting our voices in the call to protect God’s great gift - our home – the earth.  By making climate action a pillar of his Encyclical on ecology, Pope Francis is declaring that climate change IS A MORAL ISSUE.  Indeed, acting on climate change and its impacts on communities around the globe – especially the poor and the marginalized - is a moral obligation.  You can read the English translation of the Encyclical (available Thursday morning) and find resources that will help you interpret the Encyclical here. 
 
Additional resources will be added as they become available.
 
Other faith leaders are joining Pope Francis’ call for climate action.  Last month emergent church leader and author Brian McClaren called for “a national religious uprising on behalf of the planet.”  Climate leader Rabbi Arthur Waskow is calling this a moment of “deep ecumenism” when many traditions lift up the profound wisdom and truth they share with other traditions.  This is an opportunity to join in common witness to address a shared challenge.  Read the Rabbinic Letter signed by 300 Rabbis calling for vigorous climate action here
 
Today, Thursday June 18, 2015, is the first day of Ramadan.  Leading American Muslim organizations and teachers have this year called for “Green Ramadan,” focusing on the spiritual meaning of Ramadan and its fast that turns away from material obsessions, by acting with care for all Creation. For information on Green Ramadan, here.
 
Here’s a first-step response:
Ask your pastor to preach on climate change sometime in the fall.  And if you’re clergy, just make a commitment to do so—even if you’ve already preached on the climate crisis.  Protestant climate leaders throughout New England are calling for a “New Awakening – A Season of Prophetic Preaching, Prayer and Practice.”  The hope is to get at least 70% of all pastors to preach on climate change immediately following the Pope’s address to Congress (September 24, 2015) as the world awaits the Paris climate talks in early December.  Here is the link for more information and to commit to preach on climate.
 
Pope Francis, the moral leader of more than one billion people worldwide, is calling for action on climate change.  Now is the time for all people of faith to rally behind the core tenets of our faith, which include a covenant with all creatures alive and yet to be born and a moral obligation to care for all Creation - #OurCommonHome.
Faithfully,
The Rev. Dr. Jim Antal,
Conference Minister and President

Author

Jim Antal
Jim Antal

Jim Antal is a denominational leader, activist and public theologian.  He led the 360 churches of the Massachusetts Conference United Church of Christ from 2006 to his retirement in 2018.  An environmental activist from the first Earth Day in 1970, ...

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