By Sarah King
“The crisis facing God’s earth is clear. We, as stewards have failed to live into our responsibility for creating and have instead abused it in ways that now threaten life around the planet. As a matter of stewardship and justice, Christians must take action now to reduce global warming pollution and stand in solidarity with our brothers and sisters around the world whose land, livelihood and lives are threatened by the global climate crisis.” -United Methodist Church statement on climate change.
There are no better reminders of just how critical it is for Christians to take action than two recent and devastating climate-related weather events: Superstorm Sandy and Typhoon Haiyan. At the November, 2013 UN Framework Convention on Climate Change in Warsaw, Philippines Commissioner Yeb Sano announced that he was commencing a voluntary fast “until such time as the global community made significant progress in responding to the global climate crisis.”
The Care for the Earth sub-group of The Desert Southwest Conference Board of Church and Society will be highlighting the need for immediate action to control worldwide carbon emissions by co-hosting pulpit and lecture appearances of author and eco-theologian Michael Dowd and his wife, Connie Barlow, as they travel across the country in advance of the Great March for Climate Action.
Dowd, an evangelical minister, has published a number of works on the relationship between religion and science, most notably “Earthspirit,” and “Thank God for Evolution.” He often shares the podium with his biologist wife, Connie Barlow. Together they explain how religion and science enjoy a complementary rather than combative relationship with each other. They urge Christians to explore a new cosmology, one that promotes a more ecological view of creation.
Dowd and Barlow will be preaching and lecturing at faith communities all over the state and are currently scheduled to speak at two UM churches, Flagstaff Federated on April 13, 2014, and Via De Cristo in Scottsdale on March 23, 2014. Both presentations will take place during regular worship times. All available Sundays are booked for their month-and-a-half-long visit to Arizona, but churches may still book them for a mid-week lecture.
How can your church get involved?
United Methodist churches from The Desert Southwest Conference interested in supporting the volunteers who are walking across the country as part of the Great March for Climate Action can get involved by hosting an educational or meet-and-greet event.
Contact Sarah King at firstname.lastname@example.org or 602-576-6054 for information on Dowd/Barlow presentations, or the Climate March.
Find them on Facebook at www.facebook.com/ClimateMarch
Follow them on Twitter @climatemarch