Climate change at Lent

Amid disasters and dramatic environmental changes, we’re still called to be ‘repairers of the breach’

by Jon Reinink | Mission Crossroads

LOUISVILLE — As Christians, our response to climate change and its impact on our world is multifaceted. The Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) is committed to working diligently and creatively to support people experiencing the impacts of climate change around the corner and around the world, both today and in the future. The stories that arise from the work of the Presbyterian Mission Agency are heart-wrenching, yet uplifting; deeply disturbing, yet inspiring. The efforts made possible by your prayers and your giving represent a few of the many lives touched and transformed because you have participated in Presbyterian Mission.

Soon we will enter the season of Lent, and with it, One Great Hour of Sharing (OGHS). Much of the work done by the programs supported by this offering — Presbyterian Disaster Assistance (PDA), Presbyterian Hunger Program (PHP) and Self-Development of People (SDOP) — serves people in disasters influenced by climate change. From disaster relief and hunger alleviation for those who are suffering, to advocacy and support for those addressing the causes, the impact of OGHS is seen in all areas of the PC(USA)’s response.

The mission of PHP, for example, is “to alleviate hunger and eliminate its causes.” Where hunger is rampant, climate change is often a culprit, changing ecosystems and upending traditional food sources. And when climate change is the primary problem, advocacy, education and sustainable development are the primary solutions. Therefore, the work of PHP is intimately entwined with climate justice.

As we consider how the PC(USA) has ministered in Puerto Rico since 2017, when Hurricane Maria laid waste to vast parts of the region, we see another model of how these responses coalesce. Your gifts to OGHS enabled homes and infrastructure to be rebuilt using methods that will enable them to better withstand future storms. As infrastructure was rebuilt, neighborhoods once unattractive for landowners became safer and more desirable for homes and businesses. OGHS also enabled our partners to resist displacement and advocate for their rights, eventually acquiring deeds and community land trusts to protect their communities.

Although our planet is experiencing devastating change, our calling to serve it remains the same. Amid disasters and dramatic environmental changes, the words of Isaiah 58:12 continue to call us to respond: “You shall be called the repairer of the breach.”

The Rev. Dr. Jon Reinink

Join us in praying and giving during the OGHS season. As hundreds of thousands of Presbyterians join together to give in gratitude and obedience to God through this Offering, your participation is one way we can work toward justice for our world.

Learn more about One Great Hour of Sharing (Feb. 26–April 12), the programs it supports and some of the resources developed to help pastors, leaders, educators and children understand this season. Each gift helps improve the lives of people in challenging situations.

Consider joining the single largest way Presbyterians come together to show God’s love with our neighbors in need: pcusa.org/OGHS


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