Editor’s Note: As we approach Earth Day on April 22, it is an opportunity for our moral and faith values to be ever present in our call to be stewards of our lands and of our communities as the scriptures declare. This year, congregations around the country are partnering with the God of restoration during Faith Climate Action Week taking place April 14-23, 2023. May we find opportunities, be it this or others, to find opportunities to act on our faith both as individuals within the Kingdom and as the collective body.
According to the National Weather Service, the spring months of March, April, and May are considered the peak severe weather season. Sandwiched right in the middle is the beautiful month of April, when many places in the U.S. begin to see green again, when robins sing and woodpeckers ring out their call for nourishment, when life seems to be reborn out of dormancy.
Easter always lands in the stormy season, and appropriately so. From Good Friday to Easter Sunday, all of Creation’s cycle of suffering, hope, rebirth, and joy is manifested in Jesus’ death and resurrection. The shift of tectonic plates, the explosive blast of volcanoes, and the wild, raging climate wailing in the form of tornadoes and violent storms plow furrows of sorrow around the globe.
But our faith never leaves us stranded on Good Friday or Holy Saturday. Our faith promises rebirth and restoration. Our God is a God of resurrection, even in the midst of storms.
Faith Climate Action Week Is April 14-23
Followers of Christ are people of resurrection power. We are people of hope. In the face of mass destruction and chaos, we plant seeds of order and new growth. As the changing climate spins up stronger storms, longer droughts, and more catastrophic floods, disrupting the lives of millions, we bring supplies, build shelters, and pursue solutions to help combat future crises.
This is our faith. This is our calling. This is our mission, to spread the love of God to others, to care for one another by working alongside the Lord to rebuild that which has been shattered, to bless what has been cursed, to shore up what has been washed away.
Faith Climate Action Week lands right in the middle of our severe weather season. As followers of Christ, one way we can express our faith is by engaging in advocacy for the health of our planet, which is caring for the gift of creation. God’s creation sustains all life, including our neighbors. Whatever we can do to continue to be good stewards of this beautiful place is a way we love our neighbors.
How You Can Get Involved
Interfaith Power and Light’s Faith Climate Action Week encourages congregations around the United States to take action to protect our climate. The theme for this year’s Faith Climate Action Week is “Living the Golden Rule: Just Transition to a clean energy economy.”
Congregations can add their events and activities to an interactive map to invite others into their work, or, if you live in one of the gold states on the map, you can find activities in your local community.
Interfaith Power & Light offers several resources to help congregations engage in this week’s events including sermon materials, worship content, an organizer’s kit, a movie screening, advocacy opportunities, climate prayer engagement, and more.
This year’s IPL featured movie screening is a series of short films produced by the American Resilience Project. Current Revolution “explores the transition from fossil fuels to renewables with a focus on national security, economic prosperity, and environmental justice. These films show how the nation can embrace smart policies and investments that support grid modernization through distributed renewable energy generation, and ensure that the transition is just and sustainable.”
The DVDs for this screening are sold out, but you can register to stream the films from your computer to your congregation.
God of Restoration
In the midst of the most terrible storms, God reminds us that he is the one who settles the seas. “Even the winds and waves obey him!” the disciples marveled.
In the midst of destruction, the prophet Isaiah told the people what kind of a God they worship:
“Though the mountains be shaken and the hills be removed, yet my unfailing love for you will not be shaken nor my covenant of peace be removed,” says the Lord, who has compassion on you. “Afflicted city, lashed by storms and not comforted, I will rebuild you with stones of turquoise, your foundations with lapis lazuli.” Isaiah 54:10-11 NIV
Terrible abuses of forests and fossil fuels have taken place in the last century, abuses that have shaken mountains and unleashed these destructive storms. But our God is a God of restoration. Our God is a God who rebuilds back better than before.
Have you ever noticed in the spring, after their season of dormancy, how each tree is a little bit taller, its girth a little wider, its branches a little broader? Have you noticed how there are more bulbs in the earth, more flowers blooming, despite the long season of death they come out of? The whole Earth bears witness to this God of resurrection, this God who promises to lay a new foundation. Lapis lazuli means “stones from heaven.” That new foundation is Jesus Christ, the Rock of Ages, the Son of Man, Living Water, Breath of Life.
In the midst of this Earth Month’s severe weather season, let’s make our congregations shine with a message of hope and love for our planet. Partner with IPL, or plan your own event. Share what your congregation is doing in the comments on Instagram!