Faith communities are an arena in which personal climate actions can expand to have a greater impact.
These inspiring examples of what faith leaders (and groups of the faithful) are doing about the climate may be of particular interest to pastors – or others with current or potential leadership positions among parishioners.
For a great introduction to the (mixed) overall situation, start here:
- “These clergy are bridging the gap between religion and climate,” James Bruggers, Inside Climate News
Then read “Faith for Earth,” an excellent three-part series by Ayurella Horn-Muller and Amber Strong of Climate Central, Southerly, and Newsy.
- “‘A moral imperative’: Monastic sisters in rural Midwest make faith-based case for climate action”
- “As flooding amplifies along the East Coast, Buddhist and Jewish faith leaders join the climate fight”
- “‘Preach now or mourn in the future’: How Key West faith leaders are confronting climate change”
Here are several stories about particular people, places, and actions:
- “‘Within minutes I was weeping’: the US pastor using scripture to mobilize climate action,” Melissa Godin, The Guardian
- “To fight climate despair, this Christian ecologist says science isn’t enough,” Sarah Pulliam Bailey, The Washington Post.
- “In Baltimore, helping congregations prepare for a stormier future,” Agya K. Aning, Inside Climate News.
One action has been gaining notable ground in faith groups: divestment of funds from fossil fuels. See here, here, and here for specifics.
The Catholic Church has continued to develop ways of responding concretely to Pope Francis’s 2015 encyclical, Laudato si’, which called for swift action on global warming. The website of the Catholic Climate Covenant offers a rich collection of resources.
Other such gathering sites offer more troves of information. The most thorough is probably that of the Yale Forum on Religion and Ecology. See, for instance, its extensive collection of articles on religion and climate change and its long list of links. Other lists of active organizations are from the United Kingdom-based Operation Noah and the coalition Blessed Tomorrow.
Finally, it is important to note that while the resources above focus mostly on practical actions in U.S. and U.K. Christianity, leaders of other religions have issued strong statements of care for the creation.
- The Islamic Declaration on Climate Change
- A Rabbinic Letter on the Climate Crisis
- Buddhist Climate Change Statement to World Leaders
- Hindu Declaration on Climate Change
This series is curated and written by retired Colorado State University English professor and close climate change watcher SueEllen Campbell of Colorado. To flag works you think warrant attention, send an e-mail to her any time. Let us hear from you.