What is COP26 and why is it important? Why should faith communities care?
The "COP" stands for "Conference of the Parties," a gathering of all the nations of the United Nations to discuss and commit to action on climate change. This is the 26th COP, hence COP26.
As the ecological crisis of climate change becomes more dire, action becomes more crucial. This COP is considered by many the most important gathering to date since the Paris Agreement in 2015 for reaching our climate goals. The decisions made at this gathering will impact this decade and potentially the centuries to come.
Faith communities have a moral imperative rooted in our faith and scriptures to protect God's creation (Genesis 2:15) and to love our neighbor (Leviticus 19:18; Mark 12:31, et.al.). Both commands teach us to care about climate change because ecological stewardship affects literally everything we care about.
A simple explanation of what COP26 is and why it is important.
Katharine Hayhoe, an evangelical and climate scientist, explains how climate change is directly related to our faith.
Consider one of these reads for your own enrichment, or perhaps start a book club to form a community around the reading.
How can I lead my congregation in prayer and worship?
Use the following prayers and worship songs in your services.
This resource was put together by Climate Intercessors, a global network of believers praying fervently for the climate crisis.
The following two songs are from the album Doxecology, which includes videos and a Study guide which you can download and use in your sermons and Bible studies.
1. Start a book club. Begin with Katharine Hayhoe's Saving Us:
Resources for Jewish COP26 Participants
Events & Open Letter
"The Tree of Life" Yom Kippur 5782
"So the Torah establishes very early on that there are certain boundaries, limits when it comes to our natural environment. And if we push past these boundaries, the consequences are severe. They are a matter of life and death."
—Rabbi Chaim Koritzinsky, Congregation Etz Chayim
With the planet in peril, we religious leaders must speak truth to power.
"Two thousand years ago, Ecclesiastes taught that even a king is subservient to the soil. That includes prime ministers and chancellors; we are all dependent on and an interdependent part of nature."
—Rabbi Jonathan Wittenberg
Educational Resources for the SF Bay Area
Encourage your congregation to do a "Melting Polar Ice Caps" experiment at home!