I was raised a Protestant minister’s daughter in rural Maine, and now attend a United Church of Christ church in my local community. I grew up on sermons reminding me that the earth is a precious gift from God.
Now when I hear such sermons I often end up in tears. I see the changes already happening to my beloved and beautiful state due to climate change, and I am frightened about what the future holds.
At the same time, I am heartened to know that more and more religious communities across Maine and the U.S. are responding to the situation. Many faiths have already made statements about climate change, calling on their members to address the severe nature of the global warming crisis.
To focus more attention on this crucial issue, congregations around the country will take part in a National Preach-In on Climate Change the weekend of Feb. 14-16.
Participating congregations will feature sermons, prayers, hymns, community discussions, presentations and other activities on the theme of care for the earth and living creatures, the facts of climate change, and proposals for responding to the challenges of a warming earth.
Many faith communities have already taken action in their own congregations, such as making their churches and synagogues more energy efficient and helping community members weatherize their homes.
They have called on elected officials to enact policies to control greenhouse gas emissions, like the proposed Environmental Protection Agency standards for carbon pollution.
A growing number, such as the First Universalist Church of Pittsfield, are getting rid of the fossil fuel stocks in their church portfolios.
Locally, Maine Interfaith Power and Light is promoting the Preach-In. If you, like me, are a person of faith concerned about climate change, please contact them.