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‘Jesus Calls Us’ video addresses climate crisis

 

Presbyterian Hunger Program and Blessed Tomorrow produce video calling for better care of Planet Earth

by Tammy Warren | Presbyterian News Service

LOUISVILLE — In mid-August, a video crew supported by Blessed Tomorrow, a Presbyterian Hunger Program partner, filmed chapel service at the Presbyterian Center in Louisville. Portions of the service, as well as an interview with the Rev. Dr. Diane Moffett, Presbyterian Mission Agency president and executive director, are featured in a new climate action video, “Jesus Calls Us.”

“People, animals and all parts of the natural world are loved by God,” Moffett says in the video. “Our changing climate impacts all of us, but the least privileged and the most vulnerable communities amongst us suffer the most.” Presbyterians, she said, are making a difference by conserving energy, recycling, composting waste, teaching children to grow and harvest food, and teaching and preaching about Creation care in worship and educational settings.

The climate action video produced by Blessed Tomorrow, “Jesus Calls Us,” includes an interview with the Rev. Dr. Diane Moffett, president and executive director of the Presbyterian Mission Agency. (Photo by Jessica Maudlin)

Presbyterian congregations are caring for Creation in the broader world, Moffett said, yet there is much more to be done. She hopes the new video, which is under four minutes, and other climate action resources available at pcusa.org/climate can be shared widely to promote collaboration and effective climate solutions.

The Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) has a long history and continues to lead on issues of environmental stewardship and justice. As expressed by the PC(USA) Collaborative Agenda on Environmental Stewardship endorsed by the 222nd General Assembly (2016), the six agencies of the PC(USA) affirmed a call to prayer, education, advocacy and other forms of direct action to glorify God in our care of Creation.

The 223rd General Assembly (2018) approved policy for the whole church to raise a prophetic voice throughout the denomination regarding the urgency of healing the Earth. The policy states our communities of faith must be “bold and courageous” as we address one of the greatest moral challenges the world has ever faced.

In the summer of 2018, the PC(USA) launched an ecumenical partnership with Blessed Tomorrow, the faith arm of denominational partner ecoAmerica, to provide theological and pragmatic tools and resources created by people of faith for people of faith to help sustain a livable world for future generations.

“Blessed Tomorrow and ecoAmerica are excited to support the leadership of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) on climate action, said Ani Fête Crews, program director for Blessed Tomorrow. “It is truly time for bold and courageous action. Presbyterians can lead the way in caring for God’s Creation within and through their congregations, their communities and at the national level. Now is the time for a bolder witness, and we hope ‘Jesus Calls Us’ will inspire Presbyterians around the country to become involved in this important work.”

A video crew contracted by Blessed Tomorrow documented chapel service at the Presbyterian Center in August. The Rev. Dr. J. Herbert Nelson, II, Stated Clerk of the General Assembly, and other staff presented ways that congregations, communities and individuals can make a difference in redeeming Creation. (Photo by Tammy Warren)

“The PC(USA) has been involved for decades in caring for God’s Creation,” said Rebecca Barnes, coordinator of the Presbyterian Hunger Program. “We have passed General Assembly policies on environmental subjects including climate change, participated in the United Nations climate talks, gathered in national conferences with Presbyterians for Earth Care and much more. However, in this particularly urgent time of climate change — as schoolchildren are striking from school because they are concerned about the climate and with scientific consensus that we have only a little over a decade to transform our trajectory — we have a role as Christians to spread the word even more, so that we can make a difference while it matters. As Christians who follow a Savior who came so that all might have life abundantly and who was incarnate because God so loved the world — we are called by this Savior to do our part. We must act now!”

“As people of faith, we believe that God created this world, called it good and told humans to care for it. We are blessed to have this sacred task,” said Jessica Maudlin, associate for sustainable living and Earth care concerns, Presbyterian Hunger Program. “Unfortunately, our daily lives often find us at odds with that task, but we also have the knowledge, skills and resources to reduce the behavior that harms the environment.”

Maudlin said one thing is certain: Everyone wants to live in a safe and healthy world with clean air and clean water.

“Prompt action and leadership,” she said, “can keep global climate change from causing its worst impacts.”

EcoAmerica convenes several national events each year, such as the American Climate Leadership Summit, the nation’s largest and most diverse gathering of leaders dedicated to broadening and catalyzing action and advocacy for effective climate solutions. Climate change affects every person, leaders say. The next summit will be held in Washington, D.C., March 24–26, 2020.

In addition to being instrumental in the creation of this new video, over the course of the last year, staff of Blessed Tomorrow have made presentations at PC(USA) trainings and Presbyterian events, including Compassion, Peace & Justice training, held during Ecumenical Advocacy Days in Washington, D.C., and the Presbyterians for Earth Care Conference in Stony Point, New York.

“We have so valued the tools, passion and knowledge Blessed Tomorrow has brought to Presbyterians,” Maudlin said.

The work of the Presbyterian Hunger Program is possible thanks to your gifts to One Great Hour of Sharing.

The Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) is a partner of Blessed Tomorrow, a coalition of faith leaders committed to serve as faithful stewards of creation. Founded by ecoAmerica, Blessed Tomorrow offers tools, resources, and communications to demonstrate visible climate leadership, inspiring and empowering faith leaders to speak about, act on and advocate for climate solutions. Learn more about our partnership and the resources available to you at pcusa.org/climate.

 


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