To All Who Preach – from the pulpit and/or by their life witness ~
We appreciate that some priests do preach about our Climate Crisis, but it’s difficult to find you. Please share your homilies and efforts at involving your people in this issue. Make yourselves known to your fellow clergy. Encourage them to do the same. Take to heart the words of Henry Glynn, a student at Creighton, who told the Pope that priests don’t preach or write on this issue.
Do you need encouragement? Suggestions? Read Climate Church; Climate World: How People of Faith Must Work for Change by Jim Antal, UCC pastor, graduate of Princeton, Andover, and Yale Divinity School where he was Henri Nouwen’s teaching assistant. His book received glowing endorsements from many, including Desmond Tutu, Walter Brueggemann, Jim Wallis, Joanna Macy, Otis Moss, Mary Evelyn Tucker, Larry Rasmussen, Margaret Bullitt-Jonas, Richard Rohr, etc.
Jim acknowledges that preaching about climate change is challenging. He builds up to a chapter on Preaching and his Appendix has about fifty preaching suggestions that correspond to each chapter. After each chapter, there are also Questions for Group Discussion and Further Reflection. So gather some friends, believers or not, get the book, start reading, discussing, strategizing, and acting. For those of us not able to preach from the pulpit, this book offers us help in starting conversations on climate change with our families, friends, and other groups.
Spoiler Alert: We are all busy and if you truly cannot take/make time to read this delightful, most helpful, hopeful, and challenging book, here are Jim’s Ten Considerations for Preaching on Climate Change.
- Don’t start with science, with fear, or with headlines.
- Acknowledge Ambivalence.
- Cite one fact, not a bunch of science.
- Keep it simple.
- Provide a narrative that invites people to recognize our shared humanity.
- Embrace Jesus’ most frequent admonition: “Fear not!”
- Lead your congregation to recognize that the time to act is NOW.
- Make it local, personal, immediate, and abrupt.
- Claim your moral leadership as a member of the clergy.
- Help your congregation to see how, in facing the reality of climate change, we can all lead more faithful and hopeful lives.
Jim Antal calls on pastors to prepare their hearts, cultivate courage, and offer hope. You’ll be grateful you took the time to consider the message of Climate Church, Climate World. Then go to CatholicClimateCovenant.
This is a moral, ethical issue!