Monthly Archives: January 2018

Falsehood entices us from sober reality

By | Climate Caretakers, Climate Change | No Comments

A Sweltering Year Veiled In Tweet Storms

Once again, we see a lie’s allure when matched with the abrasive truth.

The harsh reality: Newly-released NASA and NOAA reports say 2017 was one of recorded history’s three hottest – and the most stifling without an El Nino (NASA ranked it the second warmest while the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration rated it third; the agencies analyze global temperatures differently). This news comes as Cape Town, South Africa, braces for an impending “Day Zero” in April – when a three-year drought may nix the city’s water supply — and 99 percent of the Great Barrier Reef’s temperature-influenced sea turtles hatch as females.

Climate change marches apace, deaf to K Street lobbyists and the tumult of a government shutdown.

But Donald Trump’s administration follows the lie’s allure. Cynicism prevails. He’s the first president in four decades without a science advisor and he hasn’t filled a slew of federal scientific slots. His it’s-all-a-hoax climate stance collides with the US military, which views global warming as a severe security risk. The clipped sentences of generals and admirals may yet shield us from an ecological fiasco.

So how do Christ’s creation-aware followers pray? A hint comes from a survey that posed a question to leading Christian thinkers: “What are the most pressing cultural issues facing Christians in 2018 and what will Christian faithfulness look like in light of those issues?” The answers ranged from sexuality to immigration to abortion to denial of objective knowledge to cultural fragmentation – and then some. No one mentioned climate change. Maybe all the tweet storms blinded them to the hulking behemoth lumbering toward civilization.

So let’s pray our leading lights will see the abrasive truth and then, boldly and prophetically, speak it to power.

Lord God, we pray for the for academics, writers, prestigious pastors, and all who influence Christian thought. We pray they’ll see beyond the social media storms, the momentary headlines, and partisan wrangling. There’s no denying that sexuality and immigration and abortion and the nature of knowledge are vital concerns, but surely Christian thinkers can address them while discerning even greater issues and root causes. One such root cause is the temptation to forget our role as stewards and play God (Genesis 1:26-31; 3:5), the consequence of which is destruction. Awaken our thinkers, Lord, to the magnitude of climate change.

By: Chuck Redfern

Cold Weather Calls for Warm Hearts

By | Climate Caretakers, Climate Change | No Comments

Snowy city

Record cold weather across the U.S. underscores the danger posed by a changing climate.

Most of the lower 48 has felt like the Arctic the last couple of weeks. And though the cold snap has finally broken for most of us, experts are already calling for the bitter air to tighten its icy grip next week.

I don’t know about you, but these cold snaps are difficult for me. Given the general misunderstanding that weather is the same as climate (which it isn’t) and that popular expectation that global warming will make people lived experience well, warmer, freezing temperatures always feel like they take the wind out of the sails of climate action.

Just when I think we’re making progress in the church, a fellow parishioner jokes about the cold outside with a dismissive, “Global warming, huh?” as we shuffle through the icy wind to our cars after service.  Just when I think that general perception is reaching a tipping point, our own president tweets out ignorance and misinformation that is liked and retweet by hundreds of thousands.

But then the words of Paul call me back to hope. Hope in the truth that the work of shifting public opinion or of convincing every last person–whether a fellow church goer or the President of the United States–is not ultimately down to me. Hope that persistence and compassion are more powerful than ignorance and cynicism.

So if you too feel discouraged this week, remember the words of Paul. Remember that warm hearts can withstand any cold snap.

God of hope, our trust is not in governments or public perception, but in you and your coming Kingdom. When we feel discouraged in the work of educating and advocating for a stable climate, give us perseverance. When our hearts are cooled by apathy or disinterest around us, reignite them by the power of your Holy Spirit. May your will be done in your world as it is in heaven, and may we continue to be your servants, never tiring in doing what is right.