OSJ Creation Care Update | June 09, 2017
View this email in your browser

Climate Witness Project Update

The Climate Witness Project now has approximately 48 congregations with three or more partners. About 50 additional churches have one to two partners each. Let's continue this momentum and strive to gather more partners and broaden the reach of the Climate Witness Project! 

The past couple months have been filled with both successes and challenges. In response to the U.S. withdrawal from the Paris Agreement, we released a statement expressing deep concern along with a commitment to continue working hard on climate change and creation care issues. The statement was met with an overwhelming response from CRC members across the country, hitting record levels of social media engagement—hundreds of shares, many comments, and a reach of approximately 50,000 people on Facebook. We also experienced a surge in CWP partner signups!

We're so grateful for your support of the Climate Witness Project, and we're excited to explore new opportunities for education and mobilization on climate change with you in the coming months!

Tell Congress to Create a Faithful Budget for Climate!

The federal budget is a reflection of our nation's beliefs and values. As followers of Christ, it is important to advocate for a faithful budget – one that reflects our call to protect and defend the vulnerable. On May 23, President Trump released his proposed budget for the 2018 fiscal year. The proposal includes dramatic cuts to programs that mitigate the effects of climate change and help vulnerable communities adapt.  
A faithful budget must encompass a reverence for creation, making choices that protect our air, water, land, creatures, and vulnerable communities. It is our calling as people of faith to protect our ecosystems, work for environmental justice, and address climate change.
Kris Van Engen, who works on climate change advocacy with World Renew, recently shared stories of vulnerable communities around the world affected by climate change and highlights how advocating for a faithful budget is necessary in our efforts at helping those communities adapt. Read his blog post here.
Will you join us in speaking up for a faithful budget? Learn more and urge your Members of Congress to create a budget that reflects our call to protect and defend the vulnerable here.

From the Ashes  Documentary Screening

Attention West Michigan! Join us for a free screening of From the Ashes, a 2017 National Geographic documentary highlighting the coal industry. Monday, June 19, 7 p.m. at Monroe Community Church in Grand Rapids, Mich. Mark that you’re ‘interested’ or ‘going’ on the Facebook event page, and please invite your friends!

Creation Care Preaching Challenge

Calling all pastors! We invite you to participate in the Creation Care Preaching Challenge. Learn more about the challenge, discover creation care resources, and learn how you can incorporate creation care into your preaching here. If you’re not a pastor, consider forwarding this information to your pastor.

Finding God in the High Desert

Richard Silversmith, a Navajo man who serves as an elder at the CRC’s Christian Indian Center in Denver, Colo. went to Washington D.C. with a contingent of Christian leaders from Indigenous communities in Nevada, Arizona, and Colorado to speak out in support of Bears Ears National Monument. Read the story.

Trinity CRC Receives Grant

Congratulations to Trinity Christian Reformed Church in Grandville, Mich. for receiving a Michigan Volunteer Stream Monitoring Program Grant for 2017! Read about what the grant money will be used for here.

Canadian Government Announces Match for Famine Relief

One of the impacts of a changing climate is the increased intensity of drought and other severe weather phenomena. For developing countries, this is a dangerous scenario because their ability to be resilient in the face of severe weather is already low. As people who love our neighbors, we not only want to stop climate change but also partner with those who are negatively impacted. Because of this value, we celebrate that the Canadian government has announced a 1:1 match for humanitarian projects responding to famine in countries throughout eastern, central and western Africa.  

World Renew is a recipient for this grant, so Canadian donations made to their response between March 17 and June 30 will receive the match! Will you consider a special offering or other creative ways to take advantage of this offer? Severe drought and conflict have placed millions at risk of starvation. The scale of this crisis is enormous; a United Nations official declared it the “worst humanitarian crisis since 1945.”  

Read more about World Renew's work and the Canadian government's response here.