While mainline denominations don’t often hold revivals, the compelling need for people of faith to fight climate change spurred the The Episcopal Church and the United Church of Christ to break new ground. On Saturday, April 27, several hundred New Englanders gathered at Old South Church and Trinity Episcopal Church for the first ever Climate Revival.
Early that morning a group of Maine Episcopalians and a few UCC folk boarded a bus in Portland and, after stopping for more passengers in Portsmouth, NH, they arrived at the corner of Boylston and Dartmouth, just yards from the site of the first Boston Marathon bomb explosion less that two weeks ago.
Two worship services featuring leaders of several denominations, including sermons by the Rev. Geoffrey A. Black, President and General Minister of the United Church of Christ, and the Most Rev. Katharine Jefferts Schori, presiding Bishop of The Episcopal Church [read Bishop Katharine’s sermon here], set the tone for a day that caused all present to consider the role of individuals and members of various faith communities in the effort to heal the earth and all life contained within it.
At the beginning of opening worship at Old South Church, those present were invited to turn in the direction of the bombings and offer prayers and a blessing for all affected by the violence.
Pre-recorded video messages from environmental activist Bill McKibben and Archbishop Desmond Tutu inspired thoughtful consideration of the pressing need to fight climate change.
A panel discussion on the issue featured faith leaders Geoffrey A. Black; Katharine Jefferts Schori; James E. Hazelwood, Bishop of the New England Synod, Evangelical Lutheran Church in America; and Thomas G. Carr, Senior Pastor of the First Baptist Church in West Hartford, CT. It concluded with the signing of a document titled, “A shared statement of hope in the face of climate change.”
Visit the link below to view a slideshow of the day’s events.