Conference To Help Bridge Climate Divide

Regrettably, climate change has become an issue of contention and division along partisan lines.  Yet as a Sojourner’s bumper sticker notes, “God is neither Republican or Democrat” and  in like manner God’s creation, as revealed by science, is neither Republican or Democrat.

Yet, the picture of our world and its climate that science reveals is clear.  Climate change is really happening, really serious, and we can still really do something about it.  The picture of our moral and faith imperative is also clear.  If we love God, love others and care about God’s creation – we should act for the climate and against climate change.

In this photo provided by the Vatican newspaper L'Osservatore Romano, Pope Francis frees a dove during his weekly general audience in St. Peter Square at the Vatican, Wednesday, May 15, 2013. As Francis toured the square in his open-topped popemobile at his Wednesday audience with the public, someone at the edge of the crowd thrust a white bird cage at him. Looking puzzled, his security detail took the cage, containing a pair of white doves, and handed it to Francis. Without hesitation, the pope opened the cage door, thrust a hand inside and extracted one dove, and with a flick of his hand, sent the bird flying over the square.
Pope Francis. Retrieved from http://bit.ly/2afNHe7

Pope Francis visited the United States in September 2015.  He  called, among other things, for us to care for our common home and to act to control climate change for the sake of us all – especially the poor.

Wisconsin Interfaith Power and Light convenes its 2016 conference this month.  People of faith from across the state will gather to find ways to bridge the climate divide, to reflect on climate change, and consider the Pope’s historic call to action.

You too can still join people of faith and goodwill from across Wisconsin for “Earth Care: A Faith Imperative” at First Congregational United Church of Christ, 724 E. South River Street, Appleton, WI, 1-5 pm Sunday September 18.

Dr. Steven Bouma-Prediger, Professor of Religion, Hope College (Holland, Mich.), author of For the Beauty of the Earth and a national Evangelical leader in creation care.
Dr. Steven Bouma-Prediger, Professor of Religion, Hope College (Holland, Mich.), author of For the Beauty of the Earth and a national Evangelical leader in creation care. Retrieved from http://bit.ly/2afNHe7

Workshops, presentations, exhibits and conversation will explore the continuing challenge of climate change across a variety of faith perspectives.  Dr. Steven Bouma-Prediger, Professor of Religion at Hope College and Evangelical leader on creation care, will address how Pope Francis’ historic call to care for our “common home” inspires us all. Prof. Jonathan Patz, UW-Madison Global Health Initiative Director and internationally known expert on climate change health impacts will present a workshop.

Others will discuss “care for creation” committee best practices, interfaith policy advocacy, greening houses of worship and communicating climate issues effectively. Individual registrations are $15 and congregational teams of 4 or more can register as a group for $50 until the day of the event. Registrations at the door will be $20 and $60, respectively. More information is at http://bit.ly/2afNHe7 and you can register on-line at http://bit.ly/2a6GRdz or by calling 608-837-3108.

If you can, join us  from Care of Creation, and those from other faith groups and traditions, at this conference to learn and dialogue.  Together we can  find common ground,  bridge the climate divide and express God’s love through care of creation.  As Christ followers in particular, we carry on the ministry of reconciliation, of bridging divides, through faithful presence, participation, persistence and prayer.