As President Barack Obama begins his second term, faith communities across America will hold him accountable for continued action on climate change during the 2013 National Preach-In on Global Warming, February 8-10.
“The Preach-In happens every year on the weekend before Valentine’s Day, and hundreds of clergy use the event to talk about love for Creation and why climate change is a moral issue,” says The Rev. Canon Sally Bingham, president and founder of Interfaith Power & Light, which organizes the annual event. “But the extreme weather events of 2012 make the message more urgent than ever in 2013.”
More than a thousand congregations in 49 states took part in the 2012 Preach-In, and they sent an estimated 37,500 postcards to U.S. Senators asking them to support clean air legislation. This year, they’ll ask President Obama to live up to the pledge he made on election night, when he said, “We want our children to live in a America … that isn’t threatened by the destructive power of a warming planet.”
In addition to calling for bold action from President Obama, participants will learn more about how climate change symptoms including rising seas, drought and wildfires are affecting vulnerable people in the United States and abroad. Some congregations may hold a screening of the documentary film The Hungry Tide, which tells the story of how the Pacific Ocean nation of Kiribati is threatened by sea rise. Others may dedicate their offering plate to Carbon Covenant, a program through which Interfaith Power & Light partners with faith groups in Cambodia, Cameroon, Ghana and Tanzania on reforestation and alternative livelihood projects.
Congregations can take part in the Preach-In via free downloadable materials available at www.preachin.org, or order low-cost pre-printed materials including the postcards for President Obama. The program website also includes sample sermons from many faith traditions, as well as activities for children and youth. For more information, see www.preachin.org.