Progressive Christian Social Action
Rise for Climate, Jobs, and Justice
In this blog, Progressive Christian Social Action, I primarily address thinking Christians and other people of faith who seek a deeper relationship with God and who are open to responding to the great social and ecological issues of our day. Most recently, I have been writing about the acceleration of climate change and the increasing ferocity of its impacts, which are being felt all over the world, especially among those who are most vulnerable.
On August 25, I participated in a sit-in in Governor Brown’s office in the State Capitol in Sacramento. We called on the Governor, who claims to be a climate leader, to stop issuing oil and gas permits and to institute 2500 foot-setbacks from oil and gas wells for schools and residential areas. Market-based solutions are not enough to turn the tide on climate change.
For the next week, I will be participating in various demonstrations, programs, and other people’s actions related to the Global Climate Action Summit, which will be held in San Francisco. Tomorrow morning, I will get up early to drive with Guari to Pacific School of Religion in Berkeley to say a few words to an Interfaith group before we all get on BART to join thousands of others in San Francisco at the Rise for Climate, Jobs, and Justice march. Solidarity demonstrations will be taking place all over the world.
Here are some of the words I will say:
Farmer/poet Wendell Berry said, “How can modern Christianity has so solemnly folded its hands while so much of the work of God is being destroyed?” This critique can also be extended to other faith traditions. But today we are not just sitting solemnly with hands folded, we are taking to the streets.
Surely the One I call God is with us: the Great Mysterious, called by so many names, the Source of life and love, Father/Mother of us all, higher power, transforming power, the Holy Spirit who flows where it will and is present in every act of compassion and justice—surely that One is with us as we rise for climate, jobs, and justice.
We rise to challenge the powers and principalities, not just the Trump Administration but also so-called climate leaders like Governor Jerry Brown, who could do so much more.
We rise to call for immediate and decisive action. There’s no longer time for a gradual transition—we need to keep oil and gas in the ground and transition NOW to a people-centered and creation-centered economy.
We rise because without each other we are lost. As Bill McKibben said, “We can’t do much as individuals to stop this juggernaut…, but if we can build a movement, then we have a chance.” So that is just what we are doing. We are organizing across issues, across interest groups, across borders, creating networks and coalitions and movements, all converging in a strong and growing global movement for a stable climate and a compassionate and just world.
We rise because as people of faith we know that another world is possible. As we take actions of hope we embody hope and we live hope into being. In the words of Arundhati Roy, “Another world is not only possible, she is on her way. On a quiet day, I can hear her breathing.”
Now let us go in peace. And to the One who, by the power at work WITHIN US, is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or even imagine, to that One be the glory… now and to all generations, forever and ever. Amen.
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Find out more about upcoming actions at: https://www.sunflower-alliance.org/september-schedule-of-peoples-climate-actions-sept-2-14/
Find out about faith-related actions here: http://diocal.org/events/global-climate-action-summit-faith-rooted-affiliated-workshop
Find out about the Interfaith service on climate at Grace Cathedral of Sept. 12 here: https://livingthechange.net/interfaith-service-high-level-leaders.
Sharon’s other blog postings about climate change can be found here. Find out about her new book, Love in a Time of Climate Change here. Order Sharon’s CD– Climate Change: What Do We Know? What Can We Do? or download a free MP3 version.