A press release from The Episcopal Church announces:
[March 24, 2015] Now available here is the Climate Change Crisis, presented by the Domestic and Foreign Missionary Society on March 24. Addressing one of the most significant topics in today’s society, the 90-minute live webcast originated from Campbell Hall Episcopal School, North Hollywood, CA, in partnership with Bishop J. Jon Bruno and the Diocese of Los Angeles.
The forum was moderated by well-known climatologist Fritz Coleman of KNBC 4 television news. Episcopal Church Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori presented the keynote address (listed below). Two panels focused on specific areas of the climate change crisis: Regional Impacts of Climate Change; and Reclaiming Climate Change as a Moral Issue.
30 Days of Action
In addition to stimulating conversation and raising awareness about The Climate Change Crisis, the live webcast served as the kickoff to 30 Days of Action. A range of activities developed by the Domestic and Foreign Missionary Society are offered for individuals and congregations to understand the environmental crisis. The activities will culminate on Earth Day, April 22. The 30 Days of Action located here.
The event supported Mark 5 of the Anglican Communion’s Marks of Mission: To strive to safeguard the integrity of creation and sustain and renew the life of the earth. Anglican Five Marks of Mission are here. The Five Marks of Mission form the basis for the triennial budget of The Episcopal Church adopted by the 77th General Convention in July 2012.
The event is one of the aspects of commemorating The Episcopal Church’s 150th year of parish ministry in Southern California.
For more information contact Neva Rae Fox, Public Affairs Officer for the Domestic and Foreign Missionary Society, firstname.lastname@example.org.
In her keynote address, the Presiding Bishop began by quoting the Book of Common Prayer:
Episcopalians have a prayer that names “this fragile earth, our island home.”  We’ve been praying it for nearly 40 years, yet many are only beginning to awaken to our wanton abuse of this planet. We profess that God has planted us in a garden to care for it and for all its inhabitants, yet we have failed to love what God has given us. We continue to squander the resources of this earth, and we are damaging its ability to nourish the garden’s diverse web of life.
She addressed the moral implications of climate change denial:
Scientists have been studying human impacts on our global biosphere for decades, and today there is clear consensus about the effects of these gases on the mean temperature of the planet. There are a few very loud voices who insist this is only “natural variation,” but the data do not lie. Those voices are often driven by greed and self-centered political interests, and sometimes by willful blindness. The Judeo-Christian tradition has always called those motivations sinful. It is decidedly wrong to use resources that have been given into our collective care in ways that diminish the ability of others to share in abundant life. It is equally wrong to fail to use resources of memory, reason, and skill to discern what is going on in the world around us. That has traditionally been called a sin of omission.
…and climate change’s impact on humanity:
God’s presence among us in human form changed the nature of relationship with all creation. Even those who cannot understand the duty to care for birds and sea creatures must recognize that the life of human beings depends on the health of the whole planet. The poorest human beings are soonest and most deeply affected by climatic changes, and least able to respond. Ultimately human beings with the most resource-intensive lifestyles are causing the hunger and thirst, displacement, illness, and impoverishment of climate refugees and those without resources to adapt. There is no escape from that death and destruction, for our fate is tied to the fate of all our neighbors – the salvation of each depends on the salvation of all.
The entire keynote is available at the press release link at the beginning of this post.
Posted by Cara Ellen Modisett
Photo credit: “Pfeiffer State Beach Sunset” by Wingchi Poon – Own work. Licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons