Pastors can help their congregations navigate through many important and difficult challenges, including climate change.
“I think everyone, no matter what you do, you need to be thinking about how you can address climate change. It’s not something we can leave to scientists and certainly not something we can leave to politicians,” says Doug Kaufman, a Mennonite pastor in Goshen, Indiana.
Kaufman works with the Center for Sustainable Climate Solutions to lead retreats with other Mennonite pastors and leaders.
Participants reflect on how global warming threatens God’s creation. They learn about local impacts, discuss climate justice, and identify actions they can take.
Some attendees have gone on to advocate for climate policies or install solar panels at their churches.
“One congregation … helped the members of the congregation to discern the fossil fuel investments of their banks and decide which bank they want to invest in. And they’re thinking of doing that now with retirement funds and other investments as well,” Kaufman says.
Other participants have never talked about climate change with their congregants before, so the retreat teaches them how to start.
“They’re more likely to talk about climate change and they’re more hopeful about climate change than they were before they attended the retreat,” Kaufman says.
Reporting credit: Sarah Kennedy/ChavoBart Digital Media