1,000 sermons: Clergy Invoke Kids' Case from the Pulpit

1,000 sermons: Clergy Invoke Kids' Case from the Pulpit

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The Rev. Jim Antal (right) has given about 200 sermons on climate change. He's pictured with Bartholomew, the ecumenical patriarch of the Eastern Orthodox Church. Antal/Twitter
When the Rev. Peter Sawtell gets to the part of his sermon on what older generations owe to the youth, the audience exhales.
"There's usually an audible 'ooooof' out of the congregation," said Sawtell, director of Eco-Justice Ministries in Denver. It's an acknowledgment that past generations have saddled young people with a massive problem.

In the sermon, Sawtell talks of climate change and ecological stability, focusing significant time on what Earth will resemble in the future. He also talks about a group of young people fighting to protect the planet — the plaintiffs of a federal climate lawsuit against the U.S. government.

"I am delighted that the case is going to trial, and I lift up fervent prayers of hope that the courts will address the injustice that is being inflicted on future generations," Sawtell told a congregation in Wheat Ridge, Colo., last October. "I promise that if the case is not all over the headlines when it makes it to trial, that I'll keep you informed."  
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