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AME CHURCH ADOPTS CLIMATE RESOLUTION:
Call for Urgent Action on Climate Change Passed at 50th General Conference
PHILADELPHIA (July 13, 2016)—The African Methodist Episcopal Church (AME Church), the oldest independent Protestant denomination founded by Black people in the world, passed an historic climate resolution at their 50th General Conference today committing to support climate policies that will protect families, create healthy and safe communities, and build a clean energy future. This is the first resolution wholly dedicated to addressing climate change in the AME Church’s 200 years of existence.
More than 30,000 clergy, leaders and members were on hand to vote on the resolution, which urges the AME Church leaders and members to build support for national, state, and local climate policies that will help make the groundbreaking 2015 Paris Climate Agreement to reduce global carbon emissions a reality.
“Damage to our climate puts the health of children, elderly, and those with chronic illnesses at greater risk and disproportionately impacts African Americans. We believe it is our duty to commit to taking action and promoting solutions that will help make our families and communities healthier and stronger,” stated Bishop John White, President, Council of Bishops of the AME Church. His colleague Bishop Reginald T. Jackson, Chair – Social Action Commission, further explained, “The AME Church has a deep history of ministering to the social, spiritual, and physical development of all people.”
To further support their efforts, the AME Church has become a founding partner of Blessed Tomorrow, a climate leadership program for faith organizations. Bob Perkowitz, president and founder of ecoAmerica, the organization that helped create the Blessed Tomorrow program, stated, “As we just experienced the warmest year on record, the AME Church’s support of climate solutions adds to the growing demand among faith leaders and people of goodwill worldwide for climate policies that will protect us and the world on which we all depend.”
“Climate is not just our issue; it’s everybody’s issue,” Bishop Vashti McKenzie , Presiding Prelate of the Thirteenth Episcopal District of the AME Church and Blessed Tomorrow Leadership Circle Member, explains on why the AME Church has partnered with Blessed Tomorrow. “It’s very important for the AME Church to reach out and work with other faith traditions on climate solutions so that we ensure a legacy of a healthier, safer world for future generations.”
The AME Church launched their resolution with a guide and resources to help their 7,000 congregations and 2.5 million members reduce damage to the climate and inspire others to lead on climate solutions in their homes, congregations, and communities. The AME Church will continue to collaborate with Blessed Tomorrow on additional resources for engagement and action. The full resolution can be read here.
About the AME Church
The African Methodist Episcopal Church AME Church) is a predominantly AfricanAmerican Methodist denomination founded in 1816, and is the oldest independent Protestant denomination founded by B lack people in the world. The AME Church’s mission is to minister to the spiritual, intellectual, physical, emotional, and environmental needs of all people by spreading Christ’s liberating gospel through word and deed. Today, the AME Church is located throughout the world with 7,000 congregations and 2.5 million members. Learn more at amechurch.com.
About Blessed Tomorrow and ecoAmerica
ecoAmerica is a 501(c)3 researchbased communications organization that builds public support for climate solutions in America by inspiring and supporting national leaders and agencies to lead by example and engage their stakeholders. ecoAmerica helped create Blessed Tomorrow, a comprehensive climate program for faith institutions offering support, guidance, and resources to inspire and empower faith climate change leadership. It is guided and built by a coalition of diverse faith leaders committed to creating a more just and healthy world for our families, communities and neighbors. Learn more and join at www.blessedtomorrow.org .