Colorado Interfaith Climate Change
Training Event

October 24-25, 2001

This document was posted on our website in September, 2001. It was slightly revised after the training event.

The Training Event was a marvelous gathering of around 100 participants. Excellent presentations, significant networking, and planning for the next stages of the campaign contributed to this highly successful event.

The Colorado Campaign was coordinated by the Colorado Council of Churches, 3690 Cherry Creek South Dr., Denver, CO 80209     303-825-4910


Schedule for the Training Event   |   CO Religious Leaders' Statement

COLORADO TRAINING EVENT

The Colorado Interfaith Climate Change Campaign will hold a Training Event for clergy and laity of congregations to educate and plan action strategies about the critical problem of global climate change. The event will be held at 1st Plymouth UCC, 3501 S. Colorado Blvd., Englewood, CO 80110 (Hampden & S. Colo. Blvd.).

The training event will begin at 1:00 p.m. on Wednesday, October 24, and conclude at 3:00 pm on Thrusday October 25. The full schedule for the event appears below.

The keynote speaker is Rev. Sally Bingham of Grace Episcopal Cathedral, San Francisco. Other speakers include:

The Colorado Interfaith Climate Change Campaign is affiliated with the Commision on the Environment of the Colorado Council of Churches and the Coalition on the Environment in Jewish Life.

The goals of the Colorado Interfaith Climate Change Campaign:

The agenda of the Oct. 24-25 event is as follows:

Wednesday, October 24
1:00-1:30 registration
1:30-2:00 worship & introduction to the training event
2:00-2:30 video God's Creation & Global Warming, Rich Killmer responding
question/answer
2:30-4:15 panel of scientists (Dr. Robert Harris, NCAR & Jerry Kotas, US Dept. of Energy) & question/answer.
Moderator: Rich Killmer; topic: "International & National Perspectives on Climate Change"
4:15-4:30 break
4:30-5:30 presentation on what the campaign would look like
(Karl Rabago & Catherine Greener, Rocky Mountain Institute)
5:30-6:30 working dinner (strategy sessions for organizing the campaign, by geographic groups)
7:00-8:30 Keynote: "Why Should People of Faith Care About Global Warming"
Rev. Sally Bingham, Grace Episcopal Cathedral, San Francisco
question/answer - open to the public and free of charge
Thursday, October 25
8:30-8:45
continental breakfast
9:00-9:30 worship
9:30-10:15 working with congregations on environmental issues
(Churches: Peter Sawtell; & Synagogues: Daniel Ziskin)
10:15-10:30 break
10:30-11:00 economics of global warming
Laurie Johnson, University of Denver
11:00-12:00 small group workshops: chose 2 half-hour sessions to attend
  1. working with media (Virginia Culver & Jean Torkelson, religion reporters)
  2. working with politicians (Terri McMaster, Lutheran Office of Governmental Ministry)
  3. woking with municipal programs (Steve Foute, Denver Environmental Protection Division)
12:00-1:00 lunch
1:00-2:00 renewable energy sources & energy efficiency for congregations
(Rudd Mayer, Land & Water Fund of the Rockies, Sally Bingham)
2:00-3:00 planning the next stages of the campaign

 

COLORADO RELIGIOUS LEADERS' STATEMENT
ABOUT GLOBAL CLIMATE CHANGE

We, members of the Colorado faith community, express our concern for the proper stewardship of God's creation. It is from our faith perspective that we approach environmental and justice issues. We express our concern that human irresponsibility is contributing to accelerating global climate change, producing negative impact on ecological balance. Our primary concern is to protect the value of life, which is a manifestation of God's creative process on Earth.

We have been heartened by the growing efforts of religious, scientific, business, and governmental leaders from around the world to address the threat of accelerating global climate change. As scientists develop measurement models for the human impact on climate, there is mounting evidence of a threat to life. We recognize that scientists have not yet fully separated the climate system's natural random variability from human-generated variability. Yet there is significant scientific consensus that human-generated greenhouse gases are impacting global climate change. We also know that our human ability to generate additional greenhouse gases is orders of magnitude greater than the Earth's spontaneous capacity to reverse our actions. This makes any delay on our part increasingly irresponsible and problematic. The threat of accelerating global warming has been sufficiently documented to require action as an ethical responsibility. It would be imprudent to do nothing in the face of this grave threat to God's creation, our well-being, and that of our descendants.

Moral and religious principles of justice are involved because human destructiveness is threatening God's creatures, both human and non-human. We are concerned that global warming will lead to greater weather extremes, the inundation of low-lying land by rising seas, destruction of habitat, increased disease, and extinction of species. The industrialized nations are primarily responsible for the huge increase of greenhouse gases. Yet burdens caused by floods and droughts fall disproportionately upon the most vulnerable of our planet's people: the poor, sick, elderly, and those who will face still greater threats in future generations. Increasing weather extremes would threaten the homes, safety, and agricultural livelihood of those living on islands and low-lying coasts.

Most religious traditions proclaim the need to seek justice and to care for creation. We lift up a few examples.

• "The Earth is the Lord's and the fullness thereof." (Psalm 24:1)

• "Justice, and only justice, you shall follow..." (Deuteronomy 16:20)

• "You shall love your neighbor as yourself..." (Leviticus 19:18 and Matthew 22:39)

• "...I was hungry and you gave me no food; I was thirsty and you gave me no drink; I was a stranger and you did not welcome me; naked and you did not clothe me ... as you did it not to one of the least of these, you did it not to me." (Matthew 25:42-45)

• "...do no mischief on the earth after it has been set in order that will be best for you if ye have faith." (Quran 7:85)

• A Sioux prayer: "Great Spirit, fill us with the Light. Give us the strength to understand and the eyes to see. Teach us to walk the soft Earth as relatives to all that live."

As people of faith whom God calls to be stewards of creation, we are eager to join the effort in Colorado for a climate change campaign. That effort will work to protect creation and bring pressure against the causes of the human impact on climate change. We affirm a grave responsibility to protect the well-being of our descendants. We call on the religious community to use its voice and actions to undergird the scientific consensus with a moral consensus.

In the Hebrew account of Joseph's interpretation of Pharaoh's dreams, Joseph called on the Pharaoh to use seven years of plenty to prepare for seven years of drought. Likewise we are now called to take responsible precautionary action to limit global warming and to promote justice for those effected by global climate changes. We believe that people of faith can help bring about effective policies that protect God's creation and promote justice for all people.

As people of faith seeking to be true to our understanding of God's intentions for creation, we affirm our concern for environmental issues and human justice issues. We resolve to "choose life so that you and your descendants may live." (Deuteronomy 30:19) We call on people of faith to provide prophetic and committed leadership on the issue of global climate change.

Eco-Justice Ministries is pleased to provide this information about the Training Event of the Colorado Interfaith Climate Change Campaign.


Eco-Justice Ministries   *   400 S Williams St, Denver, CO   80209   *   303.715.3873
Home Page: www.eco-justice.org   *   E-mail: ministry@eco-justice.org