As a faith leader, you can help inspire your congregation to care for God's creation.

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Climate Week NYC: Building a Safer Planet Through Interfaith Action

By Nichole Tucker
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Many faith leaders and organizations have taken on the challenge of creating initiatives to improve our planet. Among them are Blessed Tomorrow partners like the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) and United Church of Christ. Although these religious bodies bring large congregations to the fold - caring for the planet is a job for all of us.

At this year’s Climate Week in New York City, multiple sectors are uniting to take action on climate. Even with no designated faith event at Climate Week NYC, leaders of faith have already begun to state their climate action goals. For the states, cities, companies, and organizations of the world, this is governance and influence. For the faith community, action on climate is creation care.

Climate Action Protects God’s Creation

Caring for creation is an important part of God’s will. This is true for all faith doctrines. In the Bible, it is one of God’s first requests to man. And in the book of Matthew, Christians are reminded that obedience to His will gives us the wisdom to carry out our deeds. (Matthew 7:24).

With wisdom, interfaith leaders have realized that limited climate action from government leaders leaves a space open for faith leaders. And with conviction, these interfaith leaders are compelled to act.

“I believe that my faith compels me to embrace greener choices in my life.” - Mariam Ismail Badaroon

Creation Care is Also About People

The recent natural disasters hitting American and Caribbean shores is evidence that climate change can negatively impact God’s people. As religious groups and leaders strive to make a difference for the planet, some focus on creation care while others endeavor to help God’s people. However, caring for God’s people is a form of creation care.

READ: United Church of Christ Declares A New Moral Era by Rev. Dr. Jim Antal

In a letter signed by world leaders of faith like Archbishop Desmund Tutu, Malala Yousafzai, and Mo Ibrahim, this effort is referred to as a “hopeful path” for action. Archbishop Tutu stated, “We will give everyone everywhere opportunity and the right to lead their lives with dignity without jeopardizing our planet’s ability to provide for its people now and into the future. This is an entirely possible outcome if we do the right thing.”

Climate Action Requires Partnership

Even though climate action is a huge task, there has been a lack of partnership in most sectors. Faith leaders have developed plans to end the divide and begin joint projects. This, according to Bishop Geoff Davies, is one of the most important challenges for climate action.

"It’s so important that it overrides any cultural, national, religious, language considerations and so we believe all faiths should be uniting to come together to confront this greatest of threats that humanity faces."