Care for Creation is very important to me, as a Christian, a Catholic and a member of the Secular Franciscan Order, established by the patron saint of ecology, St. Francis of Assisi. And as father of three young children I am compelled to be courageous in pursuing environmental justice, clean air, water and earth, for their benefit and generations to follow. And as with other justice work, interfaith efforts are critical. Iowa Interfaith Power & Light allows us to connect with people of many faiths to work on these very important environmental issues.
Through Foods Resource Bank I’ve worked to build solidarity between U.S. congregations and small farmers in areas where hunger is chronic. I have been inspired by these global farmers who, with some training, some simple, targeted resources, and lots of hard work and creativity, are working their way out of extreme poverty. All that is threatened by climate change. Those who have done nothing to cause climate change are being most impacted by it.
Faith calls us to reflect and then to change our ways when we bump into places where we are out of sync with the goodness of creation. Climate is the place where everything is connected; for people of faith it is a matter of faith, of justice, of responsiveness to the gift of life within a fabric which joins us with all beings. Faith will not let us off the hook; it calls us to accountability. We need its language and its ethical underpinnings as we face the greatest challenge in human history. I am very grateful for the leadership of Iowa Interfaith Power and Light in bringing the voice, the insight and the compassion of faith to climate change.
I think my vocation as a Christian involves the care and redemption of all that God has made. Global climate change is affecting creation in many negative ways. My concern for both present and future generations of human beings and all of God’s creatures is rooted deeply in my faith.
People of faith are at their best when they work together supported by common values and focused on common concerns. Iowa Interfaith Power and Light brings distinctively religious voices and values to discussions about climate change that all too often focus only scientific, political, or economic values.
I am compelled to work on issues of climate change because growing up on a farm I was able to experience the beauty and power of nature first hand. As I grew older I realized that I wanted to be able to be a voice of change for the planet, humans, and other creatures who are most affected by the decisions of others, but who are largely voiceless and powerless to fight for their continued health, safety, and survival.
Iowa Interfaith Power and Light is a great organization to work with on issues of climate change because they are dedicated to providing inclusive opportunities for sustainability education as well as opportunities to take action on a local, national, and global scale.
I believe that we were given life and a place to live, this beautiful although threatened planet, Earth. Along with this gift, we were given the responsibility to care for the Earth and for all creatures living on it. The threats to our continued existence on Earth are real and we are charged to respond.
I feel that the benefits of working on this issue with and through IIPL are 1. I believe that there is momentum and greater impact when working through an organization and a dedicated group of people. And 2. The support a group can give to one another is important as the work is difficult and the challenges legion.
I believe too many people think of the issue as political vs. moral. Intergenerational responsibility IS a moral issue, and the science behind climate change is true and compelling. We must listen to our hearts and care for the planet that God has blessed us with…not only today, but for our children’s children and beyond.
IIPL pulls us together as a single body of believers for the common cause of reducing the negative impact that humans are having on the planet. I believe it makes people stop and think about climate change as a moral, ethical dilemma…not just a question of how it affects our current energy prices. We have the opportunity to correct our present course in order to protect the future of mankind. This is our Father’s world.
As a person of faith, I feel that God has called me to speak up about climate change. After reading “Storms of my Grandchildren”, I got a glimpse of the hardship that humanity and other creatures will suffer if we do not do anything about climate change. That pain in my heart forced me to step out of my comfort zone and overcome my fear of public speaking. After a temple talk for one of Interfaith Power and Light’s Preach-Ins, my daughter asked me if I liked public speaking. I said, “No”. She asked why I did it then. I said “Because, I am doing it for you”.
One of the big missions of the Christian faith is to take care of the poor. The poor will be the most affected by climate change and will have the least resources to be able to deal with it. Hundreds of millions of people live within a few feet of elevation of the rising sea level. Most of these people are poor. Is it really fair and right for us to burn a fossil fuel to keep ourselves comfortable when it is already causing hardship for millions of people?
Interfaith Power and Light has been a great resource for me in my quest to do something about climate change. At first I felt like I was spinning my wheels, because I didn’t know where to start or how one person could make a difference. Iowa Interfaith Power and Light was the first group I found that was doing something “locally” about climate change. Interfaith Power and Light has provided great opportunities for networking and meeting other people who feel the same way that I do. Just knowing that there are other like-minded people out there is a huge support. I had the great opportunity to meet Senator Rob Hogg at an Interfaith Power and Light conference and he provided the initial “prod” that said “Yes, I could do something”. His passion in this fight has been a great encouragement for me.
Interfaith Power and Light provided my first opportunity to speak up about climate change by sponsoring the Preach-In and providing materials for me to be able to give a temple talk at my church. They provided thoughts on how to relate the scriptures to climate change, which made it easier to write a speech. Then the only thing I had to do was conquer my fear of public speaking! The first time I spoke I could barely get any words out! But each time it gets just a tiny bit easier! I have also realized that my fear of public speaking is less than the fear in my heart for the future of life on earth as we know it and for the future of my two girls.
I believe that reaching out to people as a person of faith is a great way to reach some people that do not believe that climate change is really happening or that humans are causing it. I had a couple of people talk to me after church, who don’t believe it, but I could see that the faith issue was causing them to at least think about it.