August 2, 2011
Dear Colleagues and Friends,
We, all of us, are being called to do something unprecedented. We are being called to think about “everything that is”… This suggests a “planetary agenda” for all the religions... This is not a vocation for theologians or any other group of professionals alone... It is the universal vocation for all people.
-Sallie McFague: “A Square in the Quilt” (1992)
Grace and peace to you amidst the complexities and challenges of our life-together.
As more and more congregations are deepening their commitment to care for God’s earth, here are THREE important opportunities I urge you to engage.
FIRST: On Saturday, September 24 participate in MOVING PLANET – A WORLDWIDE RALLY TO DEMAND SOLUTIONS TO THE CLIMATE CRISIS. Communities all over the world will proclaim together one great hopeful vision of life beyond fossil fuels (see attachment – our efforts are part of a worldwide interfaith movement which includes the World Council of Churches and other supporters!)
I'm writing to invite you and your congregation to be part of this incredibly important event. Find out what’s already planned in your community or initiate your own action by going here: http://www.moving-planet.org/ A huge action is planned for Boston (see attached), including an Interfaith Worship Service. Information is available at the above link about other actions throughout Massachusetts. Actions can be as simple as a blessing of bicycles (see http://www.theblessingofthebikes.com/ for more info.)
Please put Moving Planet on your congregation's calendar, and add it to your September newsletter & weekly announcements. Encourage people to participate using as little fossil fuel as possible (bike, boat, walk, commuter rail, bus, T, stuff 5 people into a Prius…). Tell your congregation that you plan to participate and invite them to join you by standing with the earth, standing with people around the world who already are feeling the effects of climate change, and standing with our friends and neighbors who are boldly witnessing for climate action. If you are clergy, consider wearing your favorite clergy attire on September 24, with green stoles or accessories. Encourage others in your congregation to wear your congregation’s T-Shirt; carry or bring your congregation’s banner to the event. What a great opportunity to let the wider community know your congregation cares about creation!
SECOND: Bill McKibben will be available on a conference call for religious leaders on Monday, August 15 at 4pm Eastern Daylight Time. Join the call by dialing 201.793.9022 x 9465206 (note: this is not a free call; long distance charges will apply).
THIRD: From August 20th – September 3rd climate activists will engage in a peaceful protest in Washington DC to defuse the largest “carbon bomb” in North America -- the Keystone XL pipeline to the Canadian tar sands. You can join this action in these ways:
Please forward this invitation to others in your congregation. And let’s hope that people of every faith perspective will act on the call God has issued to this generation to recognize creation as God’s great gift – a call that prompts us to adopt new behaviors, commitments and laws that reflect our covenant with God and with all creation.
Minister and President
Massachusetts Conference, United Church of Christ