Climate Justice Ministries December report

December 08, 2022 | by Sharon Delgado

Climate Justice Ministries December report


Creation Care resources for Advent and Christmas
As we move through Advent and Christmas, there are many resources available to help incorporate ways to honor creation and raise awareness about climate justice in worship and in other church activities. These include The United Methodist Climate Justice Movement’s Advent and Christmas Worship and Devotional Resources, the Pacific Northwest Annual Conference’s All Earth is Waiting: Creation Care Advent Resources, Presbyterians for Earth Care’s Advent Devotionals, Interfaith Creation Care’s Planning Advent 2022 for You and Your Congregation, and the Catholic Climate Covenant’s Advent Resources. There are many more Advent and Christmas resources, including in the December newsletter of the United Methodist Creation Justice Movement.
 
Follow up to COP 27
Listen to representatives of United Methodist Agencies--Global Ministry, Church and Society, Westpath, and United Women in Faith--share their perspectives on events at COP 27.
Part I, November 10: United Methodist Agency Perspectives at UN Climate Talks.
Part II, November 17: United Methodist Agency Perspectives at UN Climate Talks.
 
Following COP 27, United Methodist Insight published the following article by Sharon Delgado that frames the climate conference in biblical terms: The Climate Crisis and COP 27: Conflicting Worldviews.
 
Education
If you are looking for a curriculum to help educate your congregation about the climate crisis, check out www.wakeupworld.earth. Here is an article about the United Methodist couple who've written this climate study aimed at touching the hearts of local congregations and helping Planet Earth recover from the climate crisis.
 
Upcoming events
December 8, 1 p.m. Pacific Standard Time: Federal Funding Briefing
 
A Briefing about Federal Funding Resources for Nonprofits and Houses of Worship, sponsored by Interfaith Power and Light, United Women in Faith, and the United Church of Christ. This is a new program that will provide grants of up to $200,000 to nonprofits to improve the energy efficiency of their facilities.
 
Register for the briefing here.  This briefing will provide an overview of what benefits were included in the Inflation Reduction Act for nonprofits and houses of worship, with a deep dive into the new Department of Energy Resources and Energy Efficiency Materials Pilot Program, and when we can expect to see them become available. If you can’t make it but would like to be sent the recording and materials, please register and we’ll send them after the briefing.  As people of faith and conscience, reducing the climate impact of our houses of worship is an opportunity to care for one another and for our common home.
 
Advocacy
From Church and Society: Tell your Senators to fund the U.S. fair share for Climate Finance, Global Health and Political Stability. “Now is the time to raise our voices calling for robust funding for critical international priorities.”
 
Action
The World Council of Churches initiative, “Climate-Responsible Finance: A Moral Imperative towards Children,” links the impacts of climate change on the world’s children with the strategy of engagement with banks that are invested in fossil fuels. At the launch of this initiative in May 2022, UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said, “It is now time for financial service providers to accelerate the shift to renewables. They have the power – and the responsibility. The scientific and moral imperative is clear: there must be no new investment in fossil fuel expansion, including production, infrastructure, and exploration.” 
 
In the spirit of this initiative, some members of the Climate Justice Ministries Task Force are planning to engage with banks that fund fossil fuel projects, including the top four fossil fuel funders: Bank of America, Wells Fargo, Chase, and Citibank. We will work in coalition with other campaigns, including Stop the Money Pipeline and Third Act’s Banking on Our Future. Such campaigns offer action opportunities, ideas, and resources for people at varied levels of commitment, including letter writing, pledging to divest if a bank continues funding fossil fuel projects, engaging with bank managers, or participating in public demonstrations. See the article, How to Close a Bank, on the Rev. Margaret Bullitt-Jonas’ website, Reviving Creation, Restoring Our Souls, about an interfaith prayer vigil she participated in at one of these banks.
 
Connect with our Task Force
If you are concerned about God’s creation or interested in faith-inspired education and action on climate change, join our climate justice email network at climatejustice@cnumc.org. You can also “Follow” and “Share” our Climate Justice Ministries Facebook page.
 
Inspiration
Hope United Methodist Church in South San Francisco has equipped itself to be a Resiliency Hub, equipped with solar, battery back-up, and an air filtration system, so that it can be an island of clean energy even when the electrical grid is down. This is a model for creating resiliency for communities in a time of advancing climate change. On Sunday, December 11 at 12 noon there will be a grand opening and ribbon cutting celebration.  Hope United Methodist Church is at 115 Del Campo Drive in South San Francisco, 94080.

Some congregations are working to create resiliency hubs in churches that are already community gathering places. Architect David Johnson said. “There will be times of blackout, and so those people that need some security, safety…will be able to come here.” Read about another such hub in the article, Faith Baptist Church Opens as Oakland’s First Resiliency Hub.

 
Climate Change, Making A Way Where There is No Way
By Judith Stone
 
Another monsoon of flames
In eerie light.
Hard now to separate the
Blaze of sunset sky from the
ghosts of trees
Swallowed in fire colors.
 
I miss the familiar leafed out trees the yearly shelter and comfort.
 
How will we learn to live
With yearly storms of fire
expected like wind, like drought
like thunderclaps, floods and the
great staircases of lightning
that descend in their season
to earth? How will we survive the vast decline of creatures, so many species and birds? How will we learn to expect evacuation, home conflagration, all the loss?
 
I think of Rev Brown, who I knew, way before this current catastrophe, an old black man, almost ninety, gathering friends to sing knee to knee,  old spirituals, clapping out rhythms on their thighs. Others nearby could not join that circle, some paralyzed, some confined to beds, or screaming to get away or in the halls tied to wheelchairs or padding down those dim corridors, in a Berkeley Convalescent Hospital.
 
Rev Brown sometimes paused during his breakfast to baptize his soft white toast in black coffee. And as I tended him, I felt he was baptizing me. Then when I asked him in the pause, how he, and this circle of church, maintained while many others around him declined he said, “like most Black folks I learned and long ago too, to make fun where there is no fun, a way where there is no way.”
 
Judith Stone 
 
 
 
 


Rev. Sharon Elizabeth Delgado is a retired elder and serves as chair of the Climate Justice committee within the Advocacy and Justice Mission Focus Area.