After being away for about 15 years while pastoring other churches, it is great to be back at my home congregation. During the time I was away, Central Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) turned green. There are now two different creation committees that focus on different areas of environmentalism. Evidence of creation care can be seen and felt everywhere, from prayers in worship and the coffee and mugs in fellowship time, to the youth service/learning trips, community garden, geothermal energy, automatic LED lighting, and so much more. It warms my heart and gives me hope to see all the “green” happenings around my church.
It was not like this when I was growing up or raising my children at Central Christian Church. Not once did I hear a sermon about more-than-human creation and our relationship and role in creation. There was not one lesson or opportunity provided by my home church that helped connect my faith to the earth before 2005.
And unfortunately this is not unusual. While it is improving, most seminaries do not require any eco-theology courses and some do not offer any creation care courses. Ministers, Rabbis and Imams often do not have the educational and theological background to preach, teach, and lead on climate change. The majority of clergy are concerned about climate change, and their congregations are being impacted, but they lack the knowledge and confidence to lead.
We know that local communities are positively impacted when there is an active and thriving faith community present. Blessed Tomorrow wants every congregation to thrive. In that spirit, we have expanded the Blessed Tomorrow Climate Training specifically for clergy.
This free, self-paced, and online training is designed by clergy for clergy of all faith traditions and all levels of climate knowledge and experience. The program helps clergy to be more comfortable talking about climate change as a matter of faith, and more confident in acting on climate solutions.
To provide even more support, we are hosting a Summer (June and July) 2023 Clergy Cohort that will happen in tandem to taking the online course. The cohort will be led by a rabbi and minister who are knowledgeable and experienced preaching, teaching and leading on climate in congregations.
About the Author:
Rev. Carol Devine, Blessed Tomorrow Director, ecoAmerica
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