Over 50 Faith-Based Actions Urge Congress to “Step It Up on Global Warming” This Weekend

April 12, 2007, 6:58 pm | Posted by

People of faith around the nation concerned about the catastrophic effects of global warming will rally this weekend at more than 50 events to urge Congress to cut carbon emissions 80% by 2050. The faith-based events are part of the Step it Up campaign, the largest day of citizen action focusing on global warming in our nation’s history, and emblematic of the growing creation care movement.

Events are being held in churches and synagogues from Tennessee to Hawaii, New Mexico to Mississippi, and Illinois to Colorado. Rallies have been organized by churches, synagogues, faith-based organizations and individual people of faith from all walks of life who faithfully agree that the time has come for our elected officials to take bold and immediate steps to combat global warming.

Here are just a dozen examples of faith-based actions taking place across the country:

• Partnership for Earth Spirituality and New Mexico Interfaith Power and Light will co-sponsor a rally and light bulb exchange in Albuquerque, NM where people will walk through local neighborhoods to offer residents compact fluorescent bulbs in exchange for incandescent ones.

• Church of the Crossroads in Honolulu, HI will host a “Teach in On Climate Change” followed by a rally at a major city intersection.

• Catholics for the Climate in Jupiter, FL will host a town hall meeting on the science of global warming and the religious and moral significance of the issue.

• OC Interfaith Coalition for the Environment will deliver letters to each mayor of each city in Orange County, CA requesting support for programs to reduce our carbon footprint.

• People of faith will gather on the church steps of University United Methodist in downtown Chapel Hill, NC to witness to their calling as stewards of Creation.

• A Bar Mitzvah will double as a Step It Up Rally in New Hartford, CT.

• Local pastors, scientists and activists will discuss caring for God’s creation at Yorkville Congregational Church in Yorkville, IL.

• Idlewild Presbyterian Church in Memphis, TN will sponsor a “Faithful Response to Global Warming” worship service and rally.

• Earth Keepers, in Marquette, MI, will mobilize their network of 130 churches from nine different faiths across the Upper Peninsula of Michigan.

• The homily at all four masses at St. Thomas Aquinas Catholic Church in Hattiesburg, MS will address global warming; there will be hands-on displays of ways parishioners can conserve and generate energy.

• First Plymouth Congregational in Denver, CO will hold a People of Faith Step It Up Rally to demand strong climate legislation, and to strengthen congregations in their ongoing work for the healing of creation.

• Congregation Beth Simchat Torah in New York, NY will hold a climate-protection-infused Shabbat morning service.

LOCAL CONTACTS:

Peter Sawtell, “People of Faith Step It Up” in Denver, CO at the First Plymouth Congregational: ministry@eco-justice.org or 303.715.3873.

Carl Lindquist, “Earth Keepers” in Marquette, MI: carl@superiorwatersheds.org, 906.228.6095.

Robert Bates, “Catholics for the Climate” in Jupiter, FL: rbates@scripps.edu 203.962.3412.

Participants in every event will be photographed displaying their message: “Step It Up Congress! Cut Carbon 80% by 2050!” The photographs will be sent to Washington, DC so Members of Congress can see for themselves that their constituents are demanding bold action.

“The groundswell of support for this effort is incredible. This is truly a viral grassroots movement, organized mainly through word of mouth, email outreach among friends, and the online community.” said Step it Up Organizer, Bill McKibben. “The enormous participation in this movement is a wake-up call to legislators from across the country. Their constituents are urgently demanding that America get on the path towards reducing carbon emissions before it is too late.”

“Climate change is moral values issue,” said Jennifer Butler, Executive Director of Faith in Public Life, an organizing and communications resource center for faith leaders. “The robust participation of churches and synagogues in Step It Up 2007 is more evidence of the vibrant creation care movement.”

For more information please visit the Step It Up campaign website: www.stepitup2007.org

add a comment »

U.S. Religious Leaders Just Back from Iran Renew Call for Direct Talks

April 4, 2007, 10:33 am | Posted by

Iran’s Decision to Release British Sailors and Marines Highlights Need for Dialogue

April 4, 2007

*** BOOKER ALERT ***

[Washington, DC] – Member of a delegation of U.S. religious leaders that returned from a week-long trip to Iran in February and demanded that direct government-to-government negotiations between the United States and Iran are available for interviews. The delegation was the first U.S. religious group to meet with an Iranian president in Iran since the revolution in 1979.

Jim Winkler is the General Secretary of the General Board of Church & Society (GBCS), the international public policy and social justice agency of The United Methodist Church. He has led delegations to the Middle East, Iraq and Germany seeking peaceful solutions to global conflict and traveled throughout the world to support the justice work of the United Methodist in Africa, Asia and Europe. He has preached and led workshops and training events in Russia, Nigeria, and the Philippines, and is a frequent spokesperson for the justice work of The United Methodist Church to the national and international media.

###

Faith in Public Life is a communications and organizing resource center for faith leaders sharing a call to pursue justice and the common good. Faith in Public Life is a nonpartisan 501(c)(3) organization.

add a comment »

Rev. Samuel Rodriguez, Dr. Richard Land Issue Evangelical Call to Action on Comprehensive Immigration Reform

March 29, 2007, 8:29 pm | Posted by

Sens. Kennedy, Graham, Menendez, Salazar, and Reps. Gutierrez Rep. Flake Joined Richard Land, Samuel Rodriguez at Press Conference Today

(Washington, D.C.) Today two of the leading conservative evangelical voices in America for comprehensive immigration reform — Dr. Richard Land, President of the Southern Baptist Convention’s Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission, and Rev. Samuel Rodriguez, President of the National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference — called on evangelicals to unite in support of comprehensive immigration reform. While some evangelical leaders remain silent on the immigration crisis, Land and Rodriguez spoke out to urge support for a moral, biblical response — which combines respect for the rule of law and compassion for immigrants and their families.

Joined by Senators Edward Kennedy, Lindsay Graham, Ken Salazar and Bob Menendez and Representatives Luis Gutierrez and Jeff Flake, Land and Rodriguez’s call comes at a critical legislative juncture: following last week’s introduction of a comprehensive immigration reform bill by Reps. Flake, R-AZ, and Gutierrez, D-IL in the House and in the midst of Senate negotiations on reform legislation.

Rev. Rodriguez, who announced the National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference’s endorsement of the Guiterrez-Flake, said “Whether we pass legislation is not reflective of political will, but rather a demonstration of our spiritual and moral strength. Let us protect our borders, protect all families, and protect our values.” The National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference is America’s largest Hispanic Evangelical organization, serving 10,700 Hispanic evangelical churches with 15 million members.

“The country in general and evangelicals as well, are ahead of where the Congress is on this issue,” Dr. Land said. “This is a profoundly moral issue and it goes to the core of who we are as Americans. This is a nation of immigrants. But more importantly it’s a nation of settlers who came here to be part of the American dream.”

In response to those who would call comprehensive immigration reform “amnesty,” Dr. Land said, “The idea that you would call having to learn to read and write and speak English and you would have to go through a series of processes to earn your way after a probationary period to earn legal status and citizenship, it does grave harm to the English language to call that amnesty.”

Rev. Gilberto Velez, Senior Pastor of one of the largest Hispanic congregations in the U.S., called on his fellow pastors across the country to support comprehensive immigration, to speak to their congregations about the issue, and to urge their congregants to contact their members of Congress. More than thirty other influential Hispanic evangelical pastors and leaders were also present at the press conference to show their support for passage of comprehensive immigration reform.

# # #

Faith in Public Life is a communications and organizing resource center for faith leaders sharing a call to pursue justice and the common good. Faith in Public Life is a nonpartisan 501(c)(3) organization.

add a comment »

Leading Conservative White, Hispanic Evangelicals Issue Evangelical Call to Action on Comprehensive Immigration Reform

March 27, 2007, 6:05 pm | Posted by

Senator Kennedy to join Richard Land, Samuel Rodriguez at press conference this Thursday

(Washington, D.C.) Two of the leading conservative evangelical voices in America for comprehensive immigration reform — Dr. Richard Land, President of the Southern Baptist Convention’s Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission, and Rev. Samuel Rodriguez, President of the National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference — will call on evangelicals to unite in support of comprehensive immigration reform this Thursday at 11:30 AM on Capitol Hill.

While some evangelical leaders remain silent on the immigration crisis, Land and Rodriguez will speak out to urge support for a moral, biblical response — which combines respect for the rule of law and compassion for immigrants and their families.

Joined by Sen. Edward Kennedy, Land and Rodriguez’s call comes at a critical legislative juncture: following last week’s introduction of a comprehensive immigration reform bill by U.S. Reps. Jeff Flake, R-AZ, and Luis Gutierrez, D-IL in the House and just ahead of Senate consideration of reform legislation in the coming weeks.

Rev. Gilberto Velez, Senior Pastor of one of the largest Hispanic congregations in the U.S. will also explain how evangelical pastors across the country can mobilize congregants to answer this call. Dozens of other influential Hispanic evangelical pastors and leaders will also be present at the press conference.

WHO: Dr. Richard Land, President, Southern Baptist Convention’s Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission and Author of the forthcoming book, The Divided States of America? What Liberals and Conservatives Are Missing in the God-And-Country Shouting Match!

Rev. Samuel Rodriguez, President, National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference, America’s largest Hispanic Evangelical organization, serving 10,700 Hispanic evangelical churches with 15 million members

Rev. Gilberto Velez, Senior Pastor, Mercy Church, one of the largest Hispanic congregations in the U.S., in Laredo, Texas

WHERE: Dirksen Senate Office Building, Room 430

WHEN: Thursday, March 29th, 2007 at 11:30 AM

# # #

Faith in Public Life is a communications and organizing resource center for faith leaders sharing a call to pursue justice and the common good. Faith in Public Life is a nonpartisan 501(c)(3) organization.

add a comment »

3,500 Christian Leaders from 48 States to Protest War at National Cathedral, Risk Arrest at White House

March 13, 2007, 6:11 pm | Posted by

Tele-press conference Thursday, Event on Friday

(Washington, DC) – Christian Peace Witness for Iraq will begin with a worship service on Friday, March 16 at Washington National Cathedral to be attended by more than 3,500 Christians from 48 states, followed by a candlelight procession through the center of our nation’s capital, where thousands of Christians will surround the White House bearing the light of peace, and 700 will risk arrest by remaining in prayer in front of the White House. The service begins at 7 p.m., and the White House vigil will begin at 10:30 p.m. It will be the largest Christian peace demonstration, as well as the largest single civil disobedience action at the White House, since the beginning of the Iraq war four years ago.

Prominent participants in Christian Peace Witness for Iraq, including Jim Wallis, Taylor Branch, Bernice Powell Jackson, and Rick Ufford Chase will hold a pre-action tele-press conference on Thursday, March 15 at 10 a.m. to discuss their plans and make a united Christian call for peace to Iraq. To join the tele-press conference, dial in 1-800-909-7113 / password: PEACE.

WHAT: Christian Peace Witness National Cathedral Worship Service, Procession and Action at White House

WHEN: Friday Event: March 16, 2007 at 7pm

Thursday Tele-Press Conference: March 15, 2007 at 10 am

WHERE: The National Cathedral

Massachusetts and Wisconsin Avenues, NW

Washington, D.C. 20016-5098

WHO: Rev. Jim Wallis, founder of Sojourners/Call to Renewal and author of God’s Politics

Taylor Branch, Pulitzer Prize-winning author of America in the King Years and a Presbyterian Elder.

Dr. Bernice Powell Jackson, President of the North American Conference of the World Council of Churches.

Rick Ufford Chase, convener of Christian Peace Witness for Iraq’s steering committee and former Moderator of the General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church.

Celeste Zappala, a United Methodist and founding member of Gold Start Families Speak Out, whose son was killed in Iraq in April 2004

SPONSOR ORGANIZATIONS: Adventist Peace Fellowship, American Friends Service Committee, Baptist Peace Fellowship of North America, Brethren Witness, Catholic Peace Fellowship, Christian Alliance for Progress, Christian Peacemaker Teams, Declaration of Peace, Disciples Justice Action Network, Disciples Peace Fellowship, Episcopal Peace Fellowship, Every Church a Peace Church, Faith in Public Life; Kairos: A Time to Speak, A Time to Act; Kirkridge Retreat and Study Center, Leadership Conference of Women Religious, Lutheran Peace Fellowship, Maryknoll Office for Global Concerns, Methodist Federation for Social Action, Peace and Justice Support Network of Mennonite Church USA, National Council of Churches, No2Torture, On Earth Peace, Pace e Bene Nonviolence Service, Pax Christi USA, Pentecostal Charismatic Peace Fellowship, Presbyterian Peace Fellowship, Protestants for the Common Good, Sisters of Mercy of the Americas, United Church of Christ Justice and Witness Ministries, Sojourners/Call to Renewal.

# # # #

add a comment »