SILVER SPRING, Md. — With so much of the East Coast having battled Superstorm Sandy and more people beginning to make the link between extreme weather and climate change, the U.S. is ripe for dialog on the subject. The Province’s JPIC Office wants to make sure that HNP ministries — both friars and partners-in-ministry — are aware of timely methods to help keep people talking about this important topic. Two events next month are focused on climate change.
Raising Awareness About Global Warming
From Feb. 8 to 10, Interfaith Power and Light is holding a national “Preach-In” to allow clergy to speak about their love for God’s creation and bring attention to global warming. Interfaith Power and Light is an organization working with more than 10,000 congregations across the country to help people recognize that climate change is one of the key moral issues of our time. By registering at www.preachin.org, HNP ministries can be a part of these efforts.
While IPL suggests a number of ways to participate in the weekend, providing ministries with a variety of resources, the central activity for this national effort is the sharing of a sermon or homily focused on raising climate change awareness and the need to safeguard God’s creation. With President Obama’s recent attention to the issue, the preach-in also provides an opportunity to show Franciscan support for U.S. action to protect the environment. Perhaps most importantly, the weekend gives friars the chance to consider “What would Francis say?”
The JPIC Office also wants to invite HNP ministries to take part in an upcoming webcast sponsored by the Franciscan Action Network. The Feb. 7 event, from 4 to 5 p.m. EST, promotes FAN’s plans for a climate change campaign. Holy Name Province will be joining this campaign as part of its care for creation efforts. Registration for FAN’s webinar can be done online.
Ecumenical Advocacy Days
The JPIC Office staff encourages ministries to register for the April 5 to 8 Ecumenical Advocacy Days, whose theme is “At God’s Table: Food Justice for a Healthy World.” With so many HNP ministries living out their commitment to the hungry in their communities through direct service in soup kitchens and food pantries, the 2013 EAD gathering will provide a way to engage in the issue differently and more deeply.
As the website explains, “In a world that produces enough food for everyone, EAD will explore the injustices in global food systems that leave one billion people hungry, create food price shocks that destabilize communities everywhere, and undermine God’s creation…. Inspiring speakers will offer a faith-based vision for fair and humane food policies and practices, along with grassroots advocacy training, all culminating with [a] Lobby Day on Capitol Hill.”
“Many people may think this issue does not apply to them. Well, my response is, if you eat, then it matters,” said Russ Testa, director of the HNP Office for Justice, Peace and Integrity of Creation. “Much of our food system is precarious, especially for those who are poor, but not just for them.”
The JPIC Page — What’s Happening Now
Finally, all are encouraged to visit the new “JPIC Now” section on the Province’s JPIC landing page, where the JPIC Office is promoting timely justice, peace and integrity of creation issues. The featured topic in the JPIC Now “box” will change frequently and most will be linked to a supporting action.
Visitors to the page are urged to share its contents via social media to expand the Province’s JPIC reach and to increase traffic to the HNP website; a “share” button is situated on the upper right corner of each HNP webpage.
—Fran Eskin-Royer is senior staff associate in the Province’s Office for Justice, Peace and Integrity of Creation.