Submitted by Rev. Carol Devine, Minister of Green Chalice
The last decade was the hottest on record and included an unprecedented number of deadly hurricanes, floods, superstorms, and fires. Climate scientists report that we have ten years to make drastic changes to keep the earth’s rising temperature to well below two degrees Celsius. Eco-anxiety is impacting the lives and hearts of people in every walk of life. Rejoice?
Last year God called me to leave the safety and security of the congregation I had served for almost eight years to focus on the climate crisis. The week of Christmas, I tearfully led my final Sunday worship, officiated my final funeral, and celebrated my final Christmas as the pastor of Providence Christian Church. Rejoice?
And yet, we serve a God who is abounding in steadfast love and faithfulness. With each crisis and challenge, God provides a path forward with abundant resources.
Today 180 congregations and ministries (and growing) are part of the Green Chalice family. Disciples congregations everywhere are taking ambitious actions to lower their carbon to meet the goal of Resolution GA-1723 to go carbon neutral by 2030. Mission Hills Christian Church, in Los Angeles, CA, is leading the way by going 100% solar last year.
Green Chalice received an Oreon Scott grant to increase the capacity of our work. Week of Compassion has become a partner to address the growing need for congregations to prepare for natural disasters. Disciples Women provided a grant for women clergy to be trained as Climate Ambassadors. In 2020, Scott and I have been invited to teach and preach from California to Michigan and Washington, DC to Texas. Disciples congregations and regions are ready to lead in climate commitment and action. Our partners Blessed Tomorrow, Creation Justice Ministries, and Interfaith Power and Light are all accelerating their work in faith and climate.
Rejoice? Indeed, we are rejoicing because there is no one better to lead on climate than Disciples. We understand that Jesus calls us to uncomfortable and challenging work. We have a long history of working for justice and peace. We have a long history of ecumenical and interfaith partnerships.
Rejoice? Indeed, for we serve the King of Kings and Lord of Lords, in him all things were created, and in him all things hold together. How can we do anything other than rejoice?