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HARRISBURG: Service and Vigil as COP 21 begins in Paris

November 29, 2015 @ 1:00 PM - 2:30 PM

image source: http://vegnews.com/articles/page.do?pageId=215&catId=3
image source: http://vegnews.com/articles/page.do?pageId=215&catId=3

There will be a prayer service —all faiths welcome— held at the Grace United Methodist Church as world leaders begin the 21st climate talks in Paris.  Details here, map below.

After years of gridlock, the preparation for these talks has been far more hopeful: world leaders have gotten the memo from people and even some corporations that we *must* make real commitments and take real action on climate change now.  The People’s Climate March, the release of Pope Francis’ encyclical Laudato Si—In Care of Our Common Home (and the multi-faith leadership from all corners that stepped into the public square to amplify their shared message of urgency and commitment), and even climate commitments from a number of multi-national corporations  have played important parts in building this momentum.  It’s a good start, but we are not yet to the level of commitments that would pull us back to the 2 degrees Celsius limit on warming.

 Some resources:

  • Nice intro and summary from the Citizens for Public Justice in Canada, including WORSHIP RESOURCES (for Christians —they’re aimed at Sunday-worship folks since the start day of the talks is a Sunday; wider selection of supports available in the Resources section of Interfaith Power & Light’s PreachIn.org)
  • the Paris Pledge from Interfaith Power & Light nationally (for individuals and for congregations)

People involved with PA Interfaith Power & Light have been praying with their actions, and will continue to do so, but at this particular time, as world leaders gather to do this vital work, we will gather to pray with hearts, minds, and spirits.  

Below is an excerpt from the closing of Cricket Hunter’s remarks at recent press conference about the Paris climate talks (COP21)  in State College;

People of faith will keep praying with actions, cultivating hope, and sharing scripture, wisdom, and stories that keep us moving, but while our leaders are in Paris, we will take special care to pray with our hearts and minds and spirits, too. We will pray for their humility; we will pray that they find the inspiration to fuel courageous action, and for deep, heartbreaking, delighted love for this world and her people.  We will hold them in the Light. May they feel that responsibility, and may they lift their load more lightly, together.

I will close with a hadith, and with a paragraph from Laudato Sí. If neither Islam nor Catholicism is your tradition, I invite you to listen for echoes of these words in the scripture and wisdom of your faith.

We bear in mind the words of our Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him): The world is sweet and verdant, and verily Allah has made you stewards in it, and He sees how you acquit yourselves.

—Hadīth from Muhammad, translated by Abu Sa‘īd Al-Khudrī

The natural environment is a collective good, the patrimony of all humanity and the responsibility of everyone. If we make something our own, it is only to administer it for the good of all. If we do not, we burden our consciences with the weight of having denied the existence of others. That is why the New Zealand bishops asked what the commandment “Thou shalt not kill” means when “twenty percent of the world’s population consumes resources at a rate that robs the poor nations and future generations of what they need to survive”.

 —§95 Laudato Sí—In Care of Our Common Home, Pope Francis



November 29, 2015
1:00 PM - 2:30 PM


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Grace United Methodist Church, Harrisburg
216 State St
Harrisburg, PA 17101 United States
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