Build up the body of Christ. Support the Pentecost Offering.

How to live holy lives amidst threats of destruction

Virtual journey offers a theological framing of the climate crisis

by Kathy Melvin | Presbyterian News Service

LOUISVILLE — In honor of Earth Week, global partner CEDEPCA (the Protestant Center for Pastoral Studies in Central America) is hosting an upcoming virtual journey to Guatemala which will offer a theological framing of the climate crisis.

“Confronting Climate Change with Actions of Hope,” a virtual journey to Guatemala, will broadcast on Wednesday, April 20. It’ll air via Zoom at 4:30 p.m. Pacific Time, 5:30 p.m. Mountain Time, 6:30 p.m. Central Time and 7:30 p.m. Eastern Time. Pre-registration is required. You can register here. After registering, participants will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the meeting.

This virtual travel opportunity, designed for an English-speaking audience, will include breakout room discussions.

The webinar’s three main objectives are:

  • To challenge a theology that declares the world is going to end despite our efforts.
  • To show participants inspiring Earth-care actions being done in Guatemala.
  • To encourage people to live with hope and take action where they are.

The Rev. Dr. Karla Koll

Mission co-worker the Rev. Dr. Karla Koll, Professor of Mission at the Latin American Biblical University (UAB) in Costa Rica, will talk with participants about what it means to live holy lives in the midst of the threat of destruction. As a longtime seminary professor at the UAB, she has studied and taught on the theology of Creation and eschatology in the Latin American context.

“You’ll be inspired by the stories of ordinary people in Central America whose actions in relationship with creation reflect extraordinary hope,” said the Rev. Betsey Moe, serving with CEDEPCA in Guatemala.

In the brief video clip below, Felisa Muralles of El Carrizal village in El Salvador talks about the impacts of climate change — too much rain or too little rain — which has destroyed crops.

“There is so much to say about climate change, and we won’t be able to say it all,” said Moe. “We hear about how the most vulnerable populations in the world are being affected, and here in Guatemala that has played out with seasons of extreme drought as well as the double hurricanes that hit in late 2020.”

The Rev. Betsey Moe

“Through CEDEPCA’s Disaster Ministry, we have contacts in these hardest-hit areas and wanted to give them a voice,” Moe said. “As part of this virtual journey, we will watch video testimonies from Guatemalan farmers. Participants will get a firsthand look at the crisis through the eyes of these farmers.”

The topic is more critical than ever before.

Just last week the United Nations’ Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) called for a revolution against the dangers of global warming. The report said that it is critical that temperatures peak within the next three years and drop dramatically after that to avoid irreparable harm.

The report offered five key ideas that the report’s researchers say are critical to keeping the world safe and shrinking carbon emissions by 43% by the end of the decade. Read more about the report here.

“We are not painting a picture of Central Americans as victims,” said Moe. “People living in agricultural areas are suffering, but there are many people who are taking action — in small ways and in big ways. Sometimes the most innovative and hopeful actions come out of these suffering communities, and we want to show those stories in our journey together.”

Creative_Commons-BYNCNDYou may freely reuse and distribute this article in its entirety for non-commercial purposes in any medium. Please include author attribution, photography credits, and a link to the original article. This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDeratives 4.0 International License.

  • Subscribe to the PC(USA) News

  • Interested in receiving either of the PC(USA) newsletters in your inbox?

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.