‘Connecting the dots’ between faith and climate change

Religion News Service | 9/13/2018 | Staff
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LOS ANGELES (RNS) —Tackling issues like climate change or protecting the environment often requires a lot of boring, behind-the-scenes work, far from the spotlight.

But sometimes you have to let your light shine, said the Rev. Susan Hendershot Guy, president of Interfaith Power & Light.

California - Faith - Communities - Role - Global

For California faith communities, that means taking a public role in the Global Climate Action Summit in San Francisco this week (Sept. 12-14), offering an interfaith service and faith-based workshops among other events.

The three-day summit, co-chaired by Gov. Jerry Brown and former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, has drawn international and local government, business, science and nonprofit leaders. Hendershot Guy said it is important for the faith community to show up as well.

Faith - Tradition - Earth - Faith - Tradition

“Every major faith tradition calls us to care for the Earth,” she said. “And every major faith tradition calls us to care for our neighbors and those who are most vulnerable. And climate change impacts both of those.”

The summit has been a chance for these congregations to raise the profile of their faith efforts. At the multifaith service, at the Episcopal Grace Cathedral in San Francisco, the Dalai Lama is expected to speak via video, and Christiana Figueres, who served as executive secretary of the U.N. Framework Convention on Climate Change, will speak in person.

Lot - People - Dots - Faith - Environment

“There are a lot of people beginning to connect the dots between faith, the environment, climate change,” said the Rev. Ambrose Carroll, co-founder of Green the Church, a campaign to motivate environmental action in the African-American church community.

For many congregations, the environmental focus is nothing new. Many local houses of worship have community gardens or encourage members to write letters to the editor of their local newspaper. An Interfaith Power & Light program called Cool Congregations helps congregations reduce their carbon footprint while saving money.

Faith - Leaders - Time

Some faith leaders have taken time...
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