By Bob Faithful
The Bible shares faith, hope and prayers in response to earthly fires, earthquakes, floods, famine and drought. Sometimes it was the individual that made a difference but often it was neighbors joining for solutions. Communities of faith must today continue to ask God to guide us through climate change challenges. As an individual how do I move beyond fear to action and strength with others?
In 2013, I attended a symposium on climate change hosted by the Episcopal Church and the Lutheran Church of Sweden. The theme “Sustaining Hope in the Face of Climate Change: Faith Communities Gather” changed my view on solutions as an individual and Christian. Our bishop spoke to me at that event and started a new path in my retirement years.
The Virginia Diocese had established a Stewardship of Creation Committee (SOCC) that explored the role of faith on farm, water and environmental issues. Their mission lifted my faith and I gratefully accepted appointment by the bishop. This opened doors of interfaith discussion on solar energy, water for farms and the Chesapeake Bay, environmental justice and interfaith communications. The SOCC Facebook page shared topical updates and ways to link to other Episcopal and interfaith activities as Interfaith Power and Light, Faith Alliance for Climate Solutions, Interfaith Partners for the Chesapeake and Choose Clean Water Coalition.
With the sponsorship of SOCC, a key opening for national and international faith connections occurred with GreenFaith Fellows Program. Diverse people and faiths discuss environmental justice, perspectives on earth and spirituality and sustainability.
Climate change can appear impossible to address until we see our children or grandchildren. Paul Harken wrote a book “Blessed Unrest” describing many hundred of thousands of faith and justice organizations who will pray and act with you. Seek hope.
For more information on the Stewardship of Creation Committee:
Rectors/Vicars/Priests-in-Charge: Please take this survey to help the SoCC assess and refine their resources for helping congregations become better stewards.