Ready for the Storm: Building Faithful Climate Resilience

By Anita Fête Crews

Volunteers from Eastminster Presbyterian plan Mangroves along their local shoreline. Courtesy of Creation Justice Ministries

Chances are that your faith community has been involved in disaster response, whether as an impacted community or in service to others. But is your faith community preparing for the stronger intensity and frequency of disasters brought on by climate change? In our last episode of Let’s Talk Climate, we discussed how to build resilience in the face of climate disaster, whether as an individual, as a faith community, or as a larger community. While it’s important for us to understand the immediate and imminent impacts of increased intensity and frequency of storms, droughts, wildfires and sea level rise, we can’t linger there. Action is required, and our guest, Avery Davis Lamb of Creation Justice Ministries, shared concrete examples of planning, action, and advocacy that we can undertake in faith communities to do our part.

“People who aren’t directly affected will be welcoming people who are displaced by climate change. What does hospitality look like? How can we serve as sanctuaries for climate migrants, for both people placed internally in the US and people coming from other countries?” – Avery Davis Lamb

Creation Justice Ministries is leading work among Christian denominations and communions to provide guidance, tools, and support to faith communities working to prepare for coming physical and spiritual storms of the climate crisis. This includes a regular training webinar series for congregations on a variety of topics, an excellent mapping tool that allows users to find their congregation and see the impacts of sea level rise or wildfire that they currently and imminently face, as well as a study guide entitled, “Faithful Resilience”. This is a 6-part guide to equip faith leaders with theological references, questions and action steps.

The Blessed Tomorrow Moving Forward guide also provides information and resources for congregations to consider ways to reduce their pollution, raise awareness among their members and community, and to also identify ways to create a refuge in their worship facility through preparation and community support programs. 

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Resources shared during this episode:

Americans May Feel Isolated in Their Climate Concern https://ecoamerica.org/american-climate-perspectives-survey-2020-vol-ii/ 

Blessed Tomorrow Moving Forward Guide (in English & Spanish) https://blessedtomorrow.org/moving-forward-guide/ 

How Faith Communities Lead Social Movements: https://ecoamerica.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/09/how-faith-communities-lead-social-movements-ecoamerica-2019.pdf 

Creation Justice Ministries https://www.creationjustice.org/ 

Creation Justice Ministries Resilience resources and virtual workshops: https://www.creationjustice.org/resilience.html

Creation Justice Ministries Faithful Resilience Study Guide: https://creationjustice.salsalabs.org/resilience 

Important resources:

​​www.fema.gov/emergency-managers/individuals-communities/faith-preparedness 

www.Ready.gov 

www.NVOAD.org 

Example of faith-specific resource: Disciples of Christ’s www.weekofcompassion.org/prepare

Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) disaster preparedness resource links https://disciples.org/resources/disaster-preparedness/ 

Climate Solutions for Your Workplace or Congregation https://blessedtomorrow.org/wp-content/uploads/2021/06/Workplace-Congregation-Climate-Solutions-BT.pdf 

Preparing Your Congregation for Climate Disasters video https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8-h9kDr-6y4 

Let’s Talk Faith and Climate: Communication Guidance for Faith Leaders: https://blessedtomorrow.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/10/ea-lets-talk-faith-and-climate-web-2.pdf 

75% of Americans are aware climate change disproportionately harms younger people and future generations. Read ecoAmerica’s American Climate Perspectives Survey report here: https://ecoamerica.org/american-climate-perspectives-survey-2021-vol-i/ 

A vast majority of Americans (96%) believe we have a right to live in a healthy environment with clean air and water — including 96% of rural Americans and 97% of urban Americans. https://ecoamerica.org/american-climate-perspectives-survey-2021-vol-iii/ 

Join ecoAmerica in the call for more ambitious and just climate action. Sign the MomentUs statement here https://ecoamerica.org/momentus/ and join the MomentUs Summer Action Campaign https://ecoamerica.org/momentus-summer-campaign/ 

Mental Health and Our Changing Climate: Impacts, Implications, and Guidance https://ecoamerica.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/03/ea-apa-psych-report-web.pdf 

Subscribe to watch our previous episodes on ecoAmerica’s Youtube channel: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCT7JaalNL4aiq9ReL5-uZaw?view_as=subscriber 

Register for upcoming Let’s Talk Climate episodes here: https://www.eventbrite.com/o/ecoamerica-9843762345 

Anita Fete Crews is the director of the Blessed Tomorrow program for ecoAmerica

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