Sunday, November 23, 2014

Clergy Speaking Out on Climate Change

A new report entitled “Believers, Sympathizers, and Skeptics: Why Americans Are Conflicted about Climate Change, Environmental Policy, and Science” offers very interesting statistics on American views of climate change. Jointly prepared by the Public Religion Research Institute and the American Academy of Religion, it highlights views by political and religious affiliation. Among many other things, it discusses frequency of clergy leader discussing climate change by denomination and race, showing Black Protestants and Hispanic Catholics more likely to hear about climate change from their pastors than white Catholics of Protestants. It states:
Americans who say their clergy leader speaks at least occasionally about climate change are more likely to be climate change Believers than Americans who tend not to hear about climate change in church. 
Climate Boot Camp is a pilot program being developed by Hoosier Interfaith Power and Light. Recognizing the vital leadership of clergy, we are planning this one-day workshop to train religious leaders to speak boldly and knowledgeably about climate change. It is led by a climate scientist, a biblical scholar, and a local pastor, and concludes with practicum experience and group debriefing.

Harvard biologist E. O. Wilson calls religion and science “the two most powerful forces in the world today.” He comments:
If religion and science could be united on the common ground of biological conservation, the problem would soon be solved. If there is any moral precept shared by people of all beliefs, it is that we owe ourselves and future generations a beautiful, rich, and healthful environment. (The Creation: An Appeal to Save Life on Earth [New York: Norton & Co., 2006], 5)
We may search for technological answers to the multiple ecological problems we face, but the questions are really human ones: What do we value? How do our lives and values line up? Religious leaders help shape values, and play a critical role in reaching vast numbers of Americans.

Friday, November 21, 2014

Retreat, Webinars, NPR, and the Shrine

Strange how things converge. Just before a fabulous GreenFaith Fellows retreat at the Quaker retreat center Pendle Hill in eastern Pennsylvania, I was coached into doing two webinars. Within three days. With two different outfits. In between speaking to two classes of middle-schoolers at Sacred Heart school in Jeffersonville and teaching one Bible study at Louisville Seminary and another at First Presbyterian Church. This past year on the road has been such a gift of friendship, learning, and joy. To discover how to teach people across the country from home, at the desk where I wrote the book itself, seemed like coming full circle. 

Here is a link to the GreenFaith Webinar, a lecture and Q&A hosted by GreenFaith's Stacey Kennealy, about Creator and Creation in Scripture. You have to download the ARF player to view it, but it's easy.

And here is a link to the PCUSA webinar with Rebecca Barnes and Bill Brown, “Creation Care: Basic Bible 101.” You have to register to view it, but it doesn't take long.

And because this is way more cool, here is a link to an NPR story about my son Ian’s hip-hop teaching career. To view it, you just have to be hip.

And here is a picture of him performing Saturday night at the Shrine in New York City, along with several of his students. I'm posting this because it's more dazzling than a webinar, and I was so happy to be there.

The new Workbook Fulfillment Center (i.e., our attic) has been kind of fun, sending books out to people all over the place whom I've not met before. So I've made a way to buy the book, the workbook, or both together directly from me, and even get an autograph if you like. CLICK HERE. 

And as always, I would love to hear what you think about the book, the workbook, or the ecological challenges you face in your own locale.