Monthly Archives: September 2015

This Not That

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We have created a guide that helps you change over a few of your everyday habits and consumption, into more ‘earth-friendly’ resources. Whether you ‘believe’ in climate change or not, you should believe that as a Christian you are mandated to take care of the planet (if doubting, check out Genesis 1:26). So here are a few quick facts on why YOU should change:

We need trees for oxygen, air-filtering, climate regulating and providing habitats for over 90% of land dwellers. Each year 18 million acres (think 20 football fields every minute) is chopped down. This deforestation is made possible by our paper usage (17% off all trees go to paper making). Which the loss of forest contributes to 12-17% of greenhouse gas emissions.

We need clean water. Water keeps everyone living, no surprise there. Unfortunately many products that get flushed or washed into our waterways, like bleach, are carcinogenic which is harmful to humans. Chemicals like ammonia, phosphorus and petroleum are key ingredients in most cleaning products, so when you do laundry or wash your dishes, you are shooting them right into the local water system.

We need clean air. Since WW2 over 85,000 chemicals have been produced and are commonly used in homes, and have not had significant testing or approval by the EPA. When we spray aerosol cleans or fresheners we make our indoor air quality 200-1000 times more volatile to our health and to the environment

We need healthy bodies. Experts say there are around 60 toxic chemicals in your home that come from commonly used products. These chemicals can also be found in body embalming fluids and other products that are consistently damaging to the body.

After all these facts you still might not be convinced. So then I say, take the approach of treading very lightly on Gods good earth. His very first command to Adam and Eve was to cultivate his creation. I ask you are your products you use everyday…are they cultivating, or harming the planet?

Interested in learning more: download the guide by click here.

Global Companies Commit to Carbon-Free Future

By | Climate Caretakers, Climate Change | No Comments

Climate campaigners are used to failure and frustration. Most mornings, it feels like we’re once again putting our shoulder to the boulder and struggling a few feet up the hill, only to be sent sprawling by a finger-flick from the overwhelming moneyed interests arrayed against us.

But not [today]! Because this [week], a group straight out of the Who’s Who of multinational corporate giants has pledged to source 100% of their electricity from renewable sources to reduce CO2 emissions. Goldman Sachs, Johnson & Johnson, NIKE, Procter & Gamble, Starbucks, Steelcase, and Walmart have added their names to the RE100, an alliance of companies committed to carbon-neutral operations.

 

The RE100 was founded last year by a group of environmentally-conscious companies including retailers IKEA and H&M, insurer Swiss Re, tech giants Philips and Unilever, and consumer products leaders Nestle and Mars. They have attracted 36 signatories over the year, including Infosys, Salesforce, SAP, DSM and banking giant UBS. But today’s announcement of nine giant signatories looks to turn the trickle into a flood.

And it’s not just the companies. We began the week with leaders of American and Chinese governments, from Obama and Xi Jinping down to the mayors of Beijing, Washington, Guangzhou, New York and Los Angeles agreeing to accelerate their carbon reduction plans.

And last evening, Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton ended a five-year flirtation with the Canadian Keystone XL tar sands oil pipeline. “I think it is imperative that we look at the Keystone pipeline as what I believe it is — a distraction from important work we have to do on climate change,” Clinton said.

What’s more … Pope Francis, pastor to one-fifth of the people on this planet, [addressed]the US Congress with his message of love, justice and stewardship for all God’s creation, including our injured climatic systems, and the poor who suffer most of the consequences.

Can the news get any better? Well, yes. 115 church congregations have now added their names to the list of those committing to reduce their carbon footprints 50% by 2030, and achieve carbon neutrality by 2050. They’ve taken the Paris Pledge, available to churches and individuals who want to join these cities, countries and corporations with personal pledges to act in love for God’s creation.

So we may have seen many discouraging days in these last years. But today, I’ve got a song in my heart. The long Narnian winter is beginning to thaw. The log jam is just beginning to break. People know what they need to do. And they’re finally taking the stand to care for God’s creation and its most vulnerable children.

“Now I’ve been smiling lately, thinking about the good things to come
And I believe it could be, something good has begun…” -Cat Stevens/Yusuf Islam

 

-J Elwood

*This article was used with permission from John Elwoods’ website the belovedplanet.com*

Prayer Update: Pope for Planet

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On June 18th of this year, Pope Francis released his encyclical, “Laudato Si” (“Praise Be To You”), calling for swift action on climate change. In the 184-page document, Pope Francis appealed to the Church and beyond to set aside greed and apathy to focus on how climate change is affecting the world’s most impoverished rather than our bottom lines. He called for urgent action to protect God’s creation and with that, all of humanity.

This week, the Pope will be visiting the United States, speaking to hundreds of leaders from hundreds of countries (including U.S. Congress and the United Nations). While here we expect him to discuss climate change and the impact it is having on the most vulnerable populations.

As Pope Francis speaks to Congress Thursday and the United Nations on Friday, let us be in prayer for him and all of our local and global leaders. Join with your communities as well as those from other denominations and seek out any events that may be in your area. This is a very important moment in the history of combating climate change and seeking to eradicate extreme poverty, and as a Christian community we need to be a part of it.

Matthew 25

Creator God,

We come before you in awe of your ability to speak prophetically through your followers. We are so thankful that a truly humble man who cares for those living in the most desperate and marginalized situations has been raised up as leader of the Catholic Church and is willing to use his position of authority to help the impoverished around the world.

We pray that you speak through Pope Francis today and the rest of the week as he has the ears of not only our nation, but the world. Open the hearts of all those in power and positions of authority to absorb the love for humanity that you share through Pope Francis, and be inspired to take action to protect the most vulnerable among us.

Amen.

The Pope is Sweeping the Nation(s)

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Pope Francis is sweeping the nations, literally and figuratively. This month on September 25th, the Pope is planning to attend and speak at the United Nations General Assembly held in New York City.

By the way, this is the Pope’s FIRST visit to the USA, and you can track his trip here.

The Pope will be speaking to 100s of leaders from over 100 countries. It is the UN’s 70th anniversary so attendance will be even higher than normal. Plus the Pope will be there, I would assume no one would want to miss out.

There has been a lot of buzz around the subject and though his speech has not been released, it has been announced he will speak not only on Climate Change, but also address the need for collaboration on the Sustainable Development Goals.

There a huge issues of inequality, poverty, degradation of our planet, and violence going on in the world each day. Pope Francis will give tough love to the leaders and I personally cannot wait to see what he will say.

You can watch it live at webtv.un.org/live on September 25th at 8:30am EST/5:30am PST

 

-Ashley Walker

Audacious Prayer

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We have created an audacious prayer guide for the SDG’s! Don’t know what the SDG’s are? Please follow along…

WHAT ARE THEY?

The SDGs, Sustainable Development Goals, are series of 17 goals the international community has created that address significant issues facing the world and the most impoverished among us. They are a follow up from the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) which were established in 2000 and are a big part of the reason that extreme poverty has been halved, the rate of HIV/AIDS spread has diminished, and approximately 90 percent of children in developing nations were enrolled in primary school in 2010.

The SDGs intend to build upon the success of the MDGs, but do even more. Now that we’ve seen that organizations, nations, and people can all work together toward achieving major goals, our goals must become greater and reach further. The goals will be officially signed into action on September 25th-27th.

WHAT DOES THIS HAVE TO DO WITH CLIMATE CHANGE?

This time around there have been 3 specific goals made to help end Climate Change.

Goal 13-Take Urgent Action to Combat Climate Change

Goal 14-Conserve and Sustainably Use the Oceans, Seas, and Marine Resources for Sustainable Development

Goal 15-Protect, Restore, and Promote Sustainable Use of Terrestrial Ecosystems

WHAT CAN I DO?

Please open our newest prayer guide and join thousands of Christians around the world praying through each of these goals. We know our God is a BIG God and we cry out to him on behalf of the worlds most vulnerable.

Sign our Climate Caretakers Commitment to get our updates, resources and invitations to address political and structural systems.

 

-Ashley Walker

Prayer Update: Climate Change and Mass Migration

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We live in an age of human migration.

Drought and resource conflicts have driven poor people in Africa and the Middle East from their homes. The genocide of Rwanda followed several years of failed harvests. Drought drove Sudan’s Arab pastoralists into Darfur a decade ago, resulting in unspeakable tragedies. Four million Syrians are now displaced by a war that was preceded by an epic drought lasting five years.

Researchers and military leaders tell us that climate change plays a major role in driving people to seek refuge, by exacerbating conflicts, extreme weather events, and destruction of ecosystems – and that by mid-century, that role will become dominant.

Deauteronomy

 

Loving God,

Please grant us the grace to welcome sojourners, refugees and migrants. And give us and our leaders the resolve to act justly toward those who are suffering the effects of the pollution that destabilizes the systems you have created to govern your world’s climates and ecosystems.

And may you find delight in our care for everything — and everyone — that you have made.

For the sake of your Beloved Son,

Amen.

 

Prayer Update: Climate Change and Africa

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The whole of Africa emits less metric tonnage of carbon than some single countries, including the United States, yet the effects of climate change are most worrying for many African nations. This disparity highlights the injustice of climate change.

Meanwhile, deserts are growing, droughts and floods are ravaging croplands, and heatwaves are testing the limits of the most vulnerable communities in Africa. Food, clean water, and health securities are a serious concern for a majority of the continent, all made worse by a changing climate.

Many are working to find sustainable solutions to ensure those living in the most devastated areas will be able to have enough nutritious food to eat and clean water to drink. These adaptation measures provide hope for those dealing with climate related challenges in Africa, but much more progress needs to be made.

1 John 3, 17-18

Creator God,

Thank you for being a comfort and a guide when problems arise that seem insurmountable. Thank you for continually being a presence that’s both affirming and challenging.

Please come alongside researchers and developers to bring useful data and innovative ideas on how we can assist those most adversely affected by climate change. Open the minds of the leaders of nations and give them a will and desire to bring about positive change that helps the most impoverished.

Help us to see the needs of our brothers and sisters around the world, and give us open hearts that we might love through word and deed. Continually guide us to seek truth in our actions.

Amen.