Rich is a retired Presbyterian minister who has worked for national religious organizations and denominations. He was the director of environmental justice for the National Council of Churches from 1996 to 2002 staffing an ecumenical group that addressed climate change and other creation care issues. He lives in both Grand Rapids, Michigan and Yarmouth, Maine. He helped create the Climate Witness Project beginning in 2014 and has served the CWP since that date. He is currently the Associate Coordinator of the CWP.
Question #1: As a person of faith, what motivates you to take action on climate change?
Wherever there is brokenness in the world God gets there first, healing that which is broken and calling people of faith to participate in God’s healing work. The climate crisis has already caused incredible damage in God’s creation and unless we rally together to address it, it will cause untold harm, especially to people who are poor.
Question #2: Since not everyone is able to be at COP25 in person, what are your ideas for all of us who want to join in this work in Madrid by taking action at home?
The Climate Witness Program of World Renew and the Office of Social Justice of the CRCNA is helping individual Christians and their congregations respond to the climate crisis through four pillars of work: worship, education, energy stewardship (helping congregations rely on renewable energy) and advocacy. The CWP provides suggestions, resources, and opportunities for their work. Once a congregation has three Climate Witness Partners, their congregation is a CWP congregation. When the delegation is in Madrid would be a great time for members to encourage others to sign up to be Climate Witness Partners.