Experiencing a hurricane or wildfire can be traumatic. And seeing a landscape damaged by drought or other climate impacts can create a profound sense of loss.
“The church can provide a kind of spiritual support for that and a spiritual network,” says Avery Davis Lamb of Creation Justice Ministries.
His group created a guide called “Faithful Resilience” that helps church communities prepare for and respond to climate change.
It includes Biblical references, questions to prompt group discussions or sermons, and suggested actions.
Lamb says in addition to spiritual guidance, churches often have physical resources to offer the community during a crisis.
“Maybe they have some cots, maybe they have showers,” he says. “They have industrial kitchens, usually big refrigerators. Sometimes they have good solar potential and battery storage.”
If so, they can provide a sanctuary for people who are displaced by a natural disaster.
And long term, churches can manage their land in a way that helps lessen climate impacts. For example, installing permeable pavers or rain gardens can help reduce stormwater runoff.
“Fundamentally, it’s about caring for God’s planet and caring for God’s people, and seeing the two as intertwined,” Lamb says.
Reporting credit: ChavoBart Digital Media