The World Faith Blog

World Faith: The Interfaith Service Network

Let There be Solar 1 December , 2010

As the moral implications of climate change become more apparent, faith communities around the world are taking action, both personal and political.

Give us all a reverence for the Earth as your own creation, that we may use its resources rightly in the service of others and to your honor and glory.

The prayer was recited regularly by a young Sally Bingham growing up in San Francisco.

Only years later, as an ordained Episcopal Church priest, did Bingham realize something was amiss with the childhood supplication.

“There was this terrible hypocrisy,” she said. “This disconnect between what we said we believed in and how we behaved.”

This bothered her for years until 1998 when, in her 50s, she finally took action.

Bingham founded what today is Interfaith Power and Light, a national campaign promoting “a religious response to global warming” that works with 10,000 congregations in 38 states.

“Climate change is one of the most challenging moral issues of our time,” she said in an Earth Day sermon at San Francisco’s Grace Cathedral where she is now Reverend Canon for the Environment.

Faith communities around the world are taking action – both personal and political – as the moral implications of climate change become more apparent.

While politics is split on climate change and governments worldwide have failed to pass meaningful climate legislation, faith communities are becoming a powerful force in the transition to green energy. By focusing on values rather than politics, they are transcending partisan pigeonholes and taking care of what they see as God’s creation, and the people – particularly the poor – who depend on it.

“If you are called to love your neighbor, you don’t pollute your neighbor’s air,” Bingham said.

More than 300 evangelical leaders have signed the Evangelical Environmental Network’s climate call to action, including mega-church leaders like Rick Warren and Bill Hybels. A 2007 poll commissioned by the group found that 84 percent of evangelicals support legislation to reduce carbon emissions.

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