As part of our focus on climate change Boston Faith & Justice Network recently convened a group to discuss Following Jesus in a Warming World. This book challenged us to consider not only the very real threat that climate change presents for our world, but also how our faith calls us to respond.
Our group, which consisted of old and new friends from as far away as Camrbidge, Ontario met for 4 weeks to talk about what we were learning from the book and how we could or would adjust not only our lifestyles to better align with the climate values we wanted to nurture but also ways we could advocate and agitate for changes in legislation, business practices and community actions. We wrapped up our most recent book group with a discussion with our book’s author, Kyle Meyaard-Schaap (who will also be a guest on our podcast later this month).
From the very start I was struck by our shared need to form community around this issue, around our desire to respond as followers of Jesus and better understand the realities of the issue and the call of our faith. Almost every one of us talked about recognizing, to various degrees, the existential threat that climate change presents while also lacking a communal Christian space to work out how we could respond. The book and our own experiences guided us to acknowledge that loving our neighbor requires us to learn about how environmental injustice affects everyone, but most especially those already vulnerable or marginalized and to use whatever resources, power and privilege we have to advocate for change.
We want to invite our larger BFJN community to engage with this book – we recommend it highly – as a step not only to learn more about what climate change is but to see the call on Jesus followers to lead in the area of climate activism as an important and profound manifestation of our love of neighbor.
You can find the book here. In addition, we recently talked to one of our book club participants, Gary Vanderpol, on our podcast about his journey to understanding what climate change is and his own call to action. Listen here. Finally, BFJN will soon have a resource page, found under our learn tab, dedicated to resources, organizations and opportunities to engage this issue – stay tuned.