Tag Archives: Hope

Join millions praying tomorrow for God’s creation

banner 1.0_smallFrom the Lausanne/WEA Creation Care Network “Global Day of Prayer 2016” guide.  Read and share the full flyer here.

Every year on September 1st the Catholic Church, Orthodox Church, and Protestants of all stripes come together in unity to pray for God’s good creation.

A Bit of History

The vision for this day started in 1989 when the late Patriarch Demetrios II installed September 1st as a Day of Prayer for Creation for the Orthodox Church. Then in response to Pope Francis’ 2015 encyclical on creation care, Patriarch Bartholomäus invited the Catholic Church to be united in prayer for creation with the Orthodox Church on September 1st. This led to Pope Francis’ announcing the annual Global Day of Prayer for the Care of Creation for the Roman Catholic Church, and invited other Christians to adopt this day too. Therefore, we, the Lausanne/WEA Creation Care Network, pray in the company of many faithful Christians and invite you to do the same.

Join Us In Prayer

We encourage you to personally pray for the care of creation on September 1st. Organize a prayer meeting focused on creation care at your church, in your small group, or just among a few friends.   If you are not able to lead a group or join a group, share specific creation care needs and concerns with your Christian friends on social media and invite them to pray for those issues with you.  

Be creative and have fun! Go outside for a prayer walk at a local park, beach, riverbank, community garden, or in your own backyard.  If it is evening, step outside and look up at the stars as you pray, or pray around a campfire.  Perhaps enjoy a wonderful meal and gratefully enjoy the fruits of creation. Continue reading

Just water.

Photo credit: Erik NessFreshwater can cause entire nations to celebrate or mourn; water can transform a desert overnight into a cacophonous shout of color and life; a steady stream of water can become the anchor of commerce and community for centuries.  Water isn’t just the rain that falls or the lakes, marshes and rivers that define our geographical regions; but the groundwater, the aquifers, the glaciers, and polar ice caps.  Water means life.

Freshwater, though a seemingly abundant resource for those of us in the Midwestern United States, is quite precious and rare.  Do you know how much of the world’s water is freshwater? Less than 4%! Of that tiny bit, over 65% is trapped in glaciers and snow caps.  That leaves only 0.76% of the world’s water available to humans in rivers, lakes and underground aquifers. Think of the world’s total water (fresh and salty) as a gallon jug.  About ⅔  cup of it would be all the freshwater, but people can only drink, irrigate crops, and manufacture with ⅛ cup. Continue reading

Connecting Missions with Climate Action and Creation Care

Originally posted on yecaction.org. 

Read our previous post about Urbana Here.

Brittany Urbana 2015 booth_smallIt might be too early to tell what God is doing in and through the hearts and minds of over 16,000 college students who participated in the Urbana Missions Conference in St. Louis a few weeks ago. However, I left the conference hopeful for the Church’s participation in the restoration of creation, specifically in addressing climate change. I had the opportunity to exhibit at the conference through my work with Care of Creation and was able to support a range of conversations on creation care and climate action among conference participants.  Continue reading

Folks are already testifying…

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I am clearly excited for the conference to begin. Photo by Amy Brown.

As many of you know, we just successfully completed the Canada and United States Creation Care and the Gospel conference in  collaboration with the Lausanne Creation Care Network, Care of Creation, and A Rocha International.

A number of conference-goers are already making known the impact of this gathering through op-eds, reflections, and articles: Continue reading

Good News, Major Insurance Companies Recognize Climate Change is Happening…But will that make a difference?

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How will insurance companies handle increased risk of disasters, like flooding?

During the Q&A session I asked speakers at a March 19, 2015 Weston Sustainability Round Table about insurance and climate change.  Did insurance companies have the clout, perspective and willingness to advocate strategies that reduce the magnitude of climate change?  Would such businesses support a carbon tax?  For the record, “murky” seemed to characterize the situation as they described it.  Their answer parallels comments made by an Insurance industry expert who spoke on a Citizen’s Climate Lobby monthly conference call in 2014.  According to both presentations, insurance companies, and reinsurance companies in particular, recognize the reality of climate change and its human causes.  Unfortunately they have not, and likely will not, advocate for mitigation strategies (policies and techniques that dramatically reduce carbon pollution) to reduce the size of climate change.  Instead they will continue to modify their business models so they continue to make money.

That seems to mean they will assess and adapt to changing risks with tactics like higher premiums, higher deductibles, more exclusions and more property owner precautions.  More likely than not, they will at best advocate for adaptation strategies (e.g. better sewers and other flood control infrastructure).  Practically speaking, mitigation strategies such as Revenue Neutral Carbon Fee and Dividend, while good for humanity overall in the long run, won’t likely save the companies any insurance claims payouts in the next 10-30 years .   Steps today to  reduce green house gas emissions and carbon pollution won’t eliminate the impacts of climate & weather changes already happening due to current  levels  in the atmosphere.  Lobbying for mitigation, for cures to climate change, instead plunges them into a political firefight without improving next quarter’s, next year’s or even next decade’s profits. Lobbying for adaptation, on the other hand,  avoids politically contentious questions of human cause and responsibility while keeping them profitable for the time being.  It reduces the amount of damage and associated insured costs from the inevitable climate change induced extreme weather events.

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After winter, spring… After despair, hope: An Easter Devotional

Tulip tip in springtime
An early sign of spring.

I’ve just come in from a walk around our office’s neighborhood.  Even though winter is technically over, the landscape is brown and dead.  There are no leaves on the trees.  There are no leaves on the bushes.  Flower beds are empty, some still covered with winter mulch.  If you dropped in from, say, Florida, your reaction might well be, “Why do you guys live in a place like this?  It feels so… dead!”

But it isn’t winter any more.  The air is warm.  Those bare branches are teeming with birds whose songs seem even louder in the stark, brown landscape.  And if you know where to look, you can see buds on trees and bushes getting ready to explode with new green leaves, and pointed green sprouts in otherwise dead flower beds.  It isn’t quite spring, but it isn’t winter any more – and we, having lived through another long, cold Wisconsin winter, breathe deep and rejoice.
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