By Rev. Kathy Neary
A few weeks ago, I wrote about the climate emergency we are facing and the need for the entire United Methodist denomination to pivot toward making a response to this emergency a priority. The two reasons I gave for this call to repentance/change are that it is an emergency (our lives depend on responding), and The United Methodist Church needs to live into a new, relevant relationship to all creation. Making such a significant shift in focus sounds like a daunting, almost impossible task. Becoming climate activists and working on a global scale is so intimidating to most of us that we sometimes recoil from the task, or at best, focus on individual actions that mitigate only our personal impact on the environment (Recycle, Reduce, Reuse!). While personal actions to live in a more earth-friendly way are important, we can’t let those actions become our only means of saving the earth.
The first step toward this pivot is to educate ourselves about the climate emergency and possible responses. I am thrilled that the General Board of Church and Society is hosting a series of webinars from December 6th to 9th on “Climate and Community: Faithful Action for Climate Justice.” This is a series of six webinars on topics like “Climate Justice as a Global Movement” and “Theological Reflection on Climate Justice.” I hope you register for all six webinars even if you can’t listen to them live because you will be able to listen to the recordings at your convenience.
And yes, you must register for each webinar individually!
Here is my plea: I would like to connect with all our Greater NW folks who plan to attend these webinars. Together we can take what we learn and plan our next steps toward becoming climate activists. I’m especially interested in hearing from younger clergy and laity because whatever we plan will take long lifetimes to achieve! My email address is firstname.lastname@example.org. May God sustain us in this vital work.
Rev. Kathy Neary serves as Transitional Ministry Developer for the Pacific Northwest Conference of The United Methodist Church.