Day 3 – Global Climate Action Summit Faith-Based Affiliate Event

Last evening I wrapped up the day by sitting in Grace Cathedral’s choir area (the area up front) for Evensong.  This Anglican tradition is beautifully sublime and peaceful.  Grace live-streams its Evensong services (as do many Episcopal cathedrals) and it can be a lovely ending to the day.  They are usually on Sunday evenings, but this was a special time of song and prayer for the Summit.

My first workshop on Day 3 discussed the divide between progressive and conservative Christians (specifically, those who identify as “Evangelical”) and how we might have productive and respectful discussions around climate change.  One point that was made has really stuck with me from an ethical point of view: when someone says they “don’t believe” in climate change, it carries far less of a moral failure than to say they “don’t care” about climate change.

Climate change isn’t a belief system, but rather the conclusions of 97% of the scientists studying it around the world.  The workshop looked at both Scripture and science as we brainstormed ways to engage folks in exploring a faithful response to climate change.  I’m hoping to get the presenter’s PowerPoint slides; this would be really effective in a number of places.

After lunch I attended a session of “Religion’s Role in Addressing Climate Change” which gave us lots of pointers and ideas on forming alliances and partnerships to impact climate change policy.  It’s critical that we remember that churches definitely can have a place at the secular table – we don’t get to set the agenda, but we have a right to have our voice heard.  When we work with others to build a better world, it helps to deconstruct the assumptions and prejudices about who we are as people of faith.

There were other workshops I would have loved to attend – as well as sessions at the main gathering – but this was a great opportunity to drench myself in the good things happening at many levels.  I’ll be blogging next about how our worship and climate concerns intersect.

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