By Jessica Maudlin, PHP
Dear Friends of Creation,
This Monday morning’s news is the most important environmental news in years. The United Nations’ Intergovernmental Panel of Climate Change (IPCC) sixth assessment report provides clear scientific documentation that our world is truly in crisis.
Along with our friends at PEC, we have reviewed the reporting in a variety of sources and suggest your reading and sharing the following along with ideas for acting individually, in your church and our nation.
LEARN: BEST READING ON TODAY’S NEWS
- The Guardian has an excellent, short accurate summary. The Guardian also provides the best coverage in their two articles:
- One article provides more details on IPCC science .
- While a dramatic headline (“IPCC Reports on Climate Crimes of Humanity: Guilty as Hell”), this second article, and even the headline, are dead on. It also has a nice biblical ring to it.
- The unmistakable conclusions and attribution extrapolated from the science in USA Today is also quite good. The statement “code red for humanity” is not in the report itself but comes from United Nations Secretary General Antonio Guterres.
WHAT TO DO
- The 2018 edition of the Presbyterian Book of Common Worship has a section on Creation and Ecology, pages 559-590.
- Presbyterians for Earth Care has lots of worship-related resources on its website.
Creation Care in Glory to God is a helpful article by David Gambrell.
- 18 New Hymns on Creation Care by Carolyn Winfrey Gillette, includes her new hymn on Climate Crisis, “Through Devastating Storms” (hymn text and music video), written for the PEC conference which is also on the Presbyterian Outlook and Sojourners websites. It also includes the other creation care hymn sung at the conference (“God, You Made Your Good Creation” hymn text and music video). Carolyn gives permission for free use of her hymns for creation care.
Today’s news is a perfect time to help people learn more, connecting faith to news of the day and preparing to act.
Christianity and Climate Crisis is a new series of nine online videos by Christians in Scotland featuring Katharine Hayhoe, the internationally renowned Christian climate scientist from Texas. The videos are only six minutes long with excellent content covering important topics:
- What the Bible says about the natural world
- Climate change is a poverty issue
- How to persuade others to care about climate change
- What we can do as a church
- Speaking to other Christians about climate change
- Grateful for fossil fuels but time to move on
- Climate change is a threat multiplier
- There can be a better future and
- It is not too late.
What day this week can you show one or more of these at your church (in person or online or both?)? If not this week, how about next week? Can you invite the public? Others in your Presbytery? Let the press know about it? You will benefit from the news coverage if you move quickly NOW. See also the PBS short videos Global Weirding with Katherine Hayhoe.
Presbyterians for Earth Care Conference will be online this Sunday, August 15, starting at 4:30 p.m. EDT with worship, Bible study and four workshops. Please plan to attend and invite others to join us.
ACT – Today, Tomorrow, This Week and Coming Weeks
- Contact your senators and congressional representatives while they are on break. MomentUs Summer Campaign – ecoAmerica | The Path to Climate Action
- The Moment Is Now to Take Faithful Action for Climate Solutions (Blessed Tomorrow, supported by PCUSA)
- Take Action this August! – CREATION JUSTICE MINISTRIES
- Eco-Justice Journey Climate Care Challenge – Eco-Justice Journey (presbyterianmission.org)
- Demand Climate Action by the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) has a variety of ideas from local community to national.
Please give financially to the ongoing work of organizations that fight Climate Change. Consider donating to the Restoring Creation Fund.
We offer this Prayer for our Earth from Pope Francis below for this moment and note that the 2018 edition (pages 559-590) of the Presbyterian Book of Common Worship has a section on Creation and Ecology, for planning worship services with a Climate focus.
A prayer for our earth
All-powerful God, you are present in the whole universe and in the smallest of your creatures.
You embrace with your tenderness all that exists.
Pour out upon us the power of your love,
that we may protect life and beauty.
Fill us with peace, that we may live
as siblings, harming no one.
O God of the poor,
help us to rescue the abandoned and forgotten of this earth, so precious in your eyes.
Bring healing to our lives,
that we may protect the world and not prey on it,
that we may sow beauty, not pollution and destruction. Touch the hearts
of those who look only for gain
at the expense of the poor and the earth.
Teach us to discover the worth of each thing,
to be filled with awe and contemplation,
to recognize that we are profoundly united
with every creature as we journey towards your infinite light.
We thank you for being with us each day.
Encourage us, we pray, in our struggle
for justice, love and peace.
The work of the Presbyterian Hunger Program is possible thanks to your gifts to One Great Hour of Sharing.