On Friday Dec. 4th, EarthKeepers teamed up with 6 local church-based organizations to screen “This Changes Everything”. Below is one of the four responses; in this case by Katrina Laquian, BC & the Yukon Animator for the Canadian Catholic Organization for Development and Peace.
We can see that it is the marginalized who are suffering most from the effects of climate change. This is a moral crisis that requires social solutions, and in our faith we have teachings and values that give us an imperative to respond. We believe that human life has dignity. We believe that we are part of one human family, and so are responsible for the other. And in this belief we have a sense of the common good, a sense of “the commons” in which all that exists on the earth is for us to share.
And so this matters to Christians because those values are echoed by those being sacrificed in the “sacrifice zones.” As our sister from the Beaver Lake Cree Nation noted in the film: “The land owns us. I can share it with you, but I can’t give it to you.”
How can churches respond?
If we are all really a part of this movement, we first need to bring all of the faithful in our community to a place where they are actively a part of the movement, a place where they have been moved by their faith to bear witness to climate justice.
We need to accompany people in a personal conversion, what Pope Francis calls an “ecological transformation.” We are already doing so in many ways by having gatherings such as this, but we must continuously engage in the dialogues we have initiated on this movement.
We must invite our pastors and ministers to speak from the pulpit on our inherent calling to be involved as a faith community in climate justice, not just on a single occasion, but on a regular basis. And we, who are already so committed, must bring opportunities for our faithful brothers and sisters to explore their role in this movement, and recognize that there already exist wonderful teachings to inspire us offered from the faith leaders of our current time. I highly encourage you to study together Pope Francis’ encyclical “Laudato Si’”, on caring for our common home. Take a chapter each week, and even have a different faith community host and offer their perspective each session, as some inter-faith communities across our province are doing.
Whatever approach we choose, we must remain hopeful, as it is difficult to reconcile with the images of suffering we see in the face of climate change. Our hopefulness will keep us going no matter what the cost, and what struggle we may encounter.
And so I would like to leave you with a hopeful statement, from Pope Francis in his encyclical, in hopes that you too may be inspired to read it and to respond:
Men and women are still capable of intervening positively. For all our limitations, gestures of generosity, solidarity and care cannot but well up within us, since we were made for love.
For more information on “Laudato Si’” and their “Create a Climate of Change” campaign, please visit: