Eco-Justice Ministries  

Eco-Justice Notes
The E-mail Commentary from Eco-Justice Ministries

Support the Youth
distributed 10/9/18 - ©2018


On Monday, October 29, the "Our Children's Trust" lawsuit will go to trial in the US District Court for Oregon. Eco-Justice Ministries strongly encourages congregations, church leaders, and other individuals to stand in support of the 21 youth who are the plaintiffs in this case.

Their urgency of their demand for climate justice is reinforced by this week's report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, which details the dangers of even small amounts of additional warming, and which describes the need for immediate action.

In this mailing, we provide some congregational resources and options for activism related to the Our Children's Trust events.

BACKGROUND: This constitutional climate lawsuit, called Juliana v. U.S., was filed against the U.S. government in the U.S. District Court for the District of Oregon in 2015. (Note that this was during the Obama administration; the case is not a short-term complaint against one administration's policies.) The complaint of 21 youth asserts that, through the government's affirmative actions that cause climate change, it has violated the youngest generation's constitutional rights to life, liberty, and property, as well as failed to protect essential public trust resources. (Read more on the Our Children's Trust website.)

See more information on the lawsuit, and a theological reflection on intergenerational climate ethics, with an Eco-Justice Notes from a year ago.


  1. A very good friend of Eco-Justice Ministries, Rev. Allyson Sawtell, has prepared a brief Liturgy of Courage and Care to be used in congregations on Sunday, October 28, the day before the trial begins. With candles, photos, and a responsive prayer of blessing, this liturgy will help your congregation learn about the lawsuit, and will highlight climate justice as an appropriate matter of faithful concern.

    Download the liturgy and the photos from the Eco-Justice Ministries website.

  2. On the day that the trial begins, Monday, October 29, rallies in support of these young climate warriors will be held at the federal courthouse in every state. These brave youth need you to stand with them. We want the world to know that it's not just these 21 young people demanding a Climate Recovery Plan, it's the American people demanding a Climate Recovery Plan! Find a rally near you, and stand in witness outside that courthouse with your prayer that climate justice will be advanced by the trial. Clergy: consider wearing vestments as you participate in a rally.

  3. An interfaith project is calling for more than 1,000 sermons in solidarity with the youth and their lawsuit. Sermons are appropriate at any time during the trial, which will probably run through January, 2019. It can be especially meaningful if this sermon about intergenerational justice is given by, or with the help of, youth in your congregation. Learn more about the "Justice for Each Generation" project, and find resources at

Please ask your faith community to join in these acts of support and witness. The trial should be getting significant news coverage. You can help the members of your congregation and community understand this "Trial of the Century" in terms of justice and theological ethics.

Please contact me if you have any questions.


Peter Sawtell
Executive Director
Eco-Justice Ministries

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Eco-Justice Ministries ended all programming on July 31, 2020. This site is an archive of writings and resources.
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