The climate crisis is an emergency, and the world's youth are calling on all of us to start acting like it. On Friday, Sept. 20, three days before the United Nations convenes Climate Action Summit 2019 in New York, the UCC will be following the lead of young people leading strikes for the love of creation in cities and towns across the planet.
"Our youth not only know that the future of the earth is in peril; they also know it is they who will suffer the most severe consequences," said the Rev. John C. Dorhauer, General Minister and President. "The United Church of Christ is greatly encouraged by the movement taking shape under their leadership. We stand ready to serve them in any way we can."
On Fridays around the world over the last year, students walked out of their classrooms and into the streets to compel action on the climate crisis, in a movement that has called millions in over 160 countries and 2,000 locations. Young people want all citizens of the earth to join them by dropping business as usual and participate in the 2019 Global Climate Strike. It is a week of action, Sept. 20-27, beginning Friday, with what is shaping up to be a monumental day for environmental justice. Event organizers are logging strike locations all over the world.
"The Bible, my sacred text, tells a story of creation that culminates with God declaring all of creation good and tasking humankind, not with its ownership but with its care. Our generation is failing miserably at this task," said the Rev. Traci Blackmon, associate general minister, Justice and Local Church Ministries. "The consequences of our negligence are evident in increased global warming, catastrophic flooding and the normalization of climate extremes. Ice caps are melting, beaches are disappearing, wild fires are erupting with more frequency. The earth groans, yet our current political leadership refuses to hear the groans and alter our current course. For these reasons, I am following the leadership of our youth who are calling for a world-wide climate strike on Sept. 20."
Across the country, UCC congregations are organizing group participation, setting up time to make signs or to listen to speakers, organizing debriefing sessions afterward at church and planning special Sunday services to address the climate crisis.
Our church, along with others on the Cape and the Island, are showing their support for the Climate Strike by ringing their bells on September 20 at 11:00 AM for eleven minutes.