OSJ Creation Care Update | May 18, 2018
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Thank you to everyone who gave to the Climate Witness Project during our Earth Day fundraising! You helped us surpass our fundraising goal of $1,500 with a total of $1,715 raised. We appreciate you!

Bangladesh: The Canary in the Coal Mine

Millions of people every year are displaced due to weather hazards like storms, extreme heat, and floods. In Bangladesh, changing weather patterns and rainy seasons, droughts, and flooding are threatening food security and the livelihoods of farmers. Check out the new video, Bangladesh: The Canary in the Coal Mine, about how climate change is affecting Bangladesh. The video would work well for an adult education class, small group gathering, or even your own personal use. This video is the first in a series, so stay tuned for more videos!

Climate Solutions Caucus

The Climate Solutions Caucus recently gained two new members, bringing total membership to 74 U.S. House Representatives! Reps. Randy Hultgren (R-IL-14) and Ed Perlmutter (D-CO-07) officially joined the caucus on Earth Day. In announcing their decision, the congressmen highlighted that “our climate is changing and already impacting communities” and that “it is our responsibility to be good stewards of creation.” If your Representative hasn’t yet joined, ask him or her to join the Climate Solutions Caucus and be a part of bipartisan leadership on climate action.

Join the We Are Still In Movement!

With more than 2,500 signatories, We Are Still In is the largest network of local leaders, cities, tribes, counties, states, faith organizations and communities, stakeholders, colleges and universities, and businesses that have committed to acting on climate concerns and keeping the commitments the U.S. made in the 2015 Paris Agreement. Church of the Servant CRC has recently signed on along with the Climate Witness Project. Talk to other CWP members in your congregation and fill in this form, and we will do the rest to get your group signed up!

Meeting with Rep. Upton

Earlier this month, a small faith-based group met with U.S. Rep. Fred Upton’s office to thank Rep. Upton for joining the Climate Solutions Caucus and to ask about his plans for climate action. The group included members of World Renew, OSJ, the General Presbytery of Lake Michigan, and First Presbyterian Church of Kalamazoo. Attendees reported that it was a positive meeting, and they appreciated the opportunity to share how and why faith communities are responding to climate change.

Faith and Climate Science

“But the role of the church is to remind the world and its leaders that this is God's good world, and we owe it our affectionate care.”

Check out this helpful reflection in The Banner on faith and climate science by Clayton Carlson, a Trinity Christian College biology professor.

Worship Resource Deadline Extended

The deadline to submit a worship resource to the crowdsourced collection of resources has been extended to June 30. We have received many great resources so far, but we’re still looking for more! If you have a creation-care-related prayer, litany, song, reading, or other resource, we want to see it. Learn more here about how to submit your resource.

OSJ Is Hiring!

We’re still looking for a Mobilizing and Advocacy Fellow! If you’re interested in faith, policy, and social justice, apply for our fellowship by June 4. The fellowship is a one-year full-time paid position offered to recent college or university graduates. The fellow helps our office develop and assist in timely and effective advocacy and mobilizing strategies relating to selected issues of U.S. and Canadian policies.

CWP at Ecumenical Advocacy Days

On April 20, a group of 24 members from Oakdale Park CRC, First CRC, Madison Square CRC, and Church of the Servant CRC (all CWP congregations in Grand Rapids, Mich.), along with OSJ staff members, loaded into two vans and headed to Ecumenical Advocacy Days in Washington, D.C. The theme of the conference was “A World Uprooted: Responding to Migrants, Refugees, and Displaced People.”

Members of the group met with their representatives and senators and asked them to prioritize funding for compassionate treatment of immigrants and to address root causes of forced migration, one of them being climate change. One of the group’s proudest moments was when a number of high school students led an advocacy team that met with Representative Justin Amash’s office. The 10 students demonstrated firsthand what it means to live in a democracy and our obligation to bring moral issues to our leaders.