More than 60 people from churches in Rochester, Plainview, Chatfield, and elsewhere met at Christ United Methodist Church, Rochester, March 28 to strategize faith-based action on climate change.
“Seventy percent of Americans believe climate change is happening, but only 30 percent talk about it,”said Erin Pratt of Minnesota Interfaith Power & Light. “That difference represents tremendous potential for change.”
Rev. Cooper Wiggen, who is serving congregations in Plainview and Kellogg, said that climate change is gaining traction as a moral issue addressed by churches. For example, at last year’s Annual Conference, it was legislated that all congregations should be urged to calculate and then reduce the “carbon footprint” of church buildings, he said.
All congregations that reduce their carbon footprint by 10 percent or more will be recognized at the 2016 Annual Conference. A “Reducing Our Carbon Footprint”page on the conference website contains a wide variety of resources to help churches reduce their carbon footprint—including a link to a carbon footprint calculator.
Wiggen described a new program called “A Hopeful Earth.”The curriculum written by Bishop Sally Dyck, is being used by several congregations in Minnesota to help frame “creation care”issues such as climate change in terms of faith and stewardship.
Rochester Energy Commission Chair Edward Cohen stated, “it’s very exciting to see so much interest in reducing energy use and greenhouse gas emissions by people in the faith community. Faith and values are very powerful motivators of action.”
Wiggen is hosting a “going forward” conversation at 10 a.m., March 26, at the People’s Food Coop in downtown Rochester.
For more information visit the Minnesota Interfaith Power & Light website here, or contact Rev. Cooper Wiggen at (612) 419-3910 or firstname.lastname@example.org or Erin Pratt of Minnesota Interfaith Power & Light at (612) 716-3336 or email@example.com.
Minnesota Annual Conference of the United Methodist Church