By Lisa Wangsness Boston Globe Staff
The biennial national gathering of the United Church of Christ in July 2017 approved an emergency resolution on climate change, denouncing President Trump’s plans to withdraw the United States from the Paris climate accord and urging the church to take action.
Written by the Rev. Jim Antal, the head of the church’s Massachusetts conference and a longtime climate activist, the resolution urges clergy to preach on “the moral obligation of our generation to protect God’s creation” and exhorts individuals to take political action and “make decisions of integrity on our energy choices.” It appears to be the first formal action taken by a major denomination in response to Trump’s decision on the Paris agreement.
“It was important that the church be on record as declaring we are now in a new moral era because of the administration and the ways in which it is compromising truth,” in particular on denying the science of climate change, Antal said.
But he said the resolution is also important because it is directed at the church: “What’s the church going to do differently?”
From a blog post by Antal:
Unlike so many resolutions passed at Church gatherings, instead of criticizing the injustice of others, this resolution is directed to the church and its members, asking them to “prayerfully engage” three imperatives by taking action.
Nevertheless, on July 3, 2017 the national Synod of the United Church of Christ (UCC) voted not only to declare a new moral era, but to name the current climate crisis as “an opportunity for which the church was born.” (See article on ucc.org)
From the article:
The resolution, “The Earth is the Lord’s-Not Ours to Wreck,” which passed with more than 97% of delegates in favor, was first adopted by the denomination’s Southern California Nevada Conference at its June meeting in response to the United States withdrawal from the Paris Climate Accord. Since then, more than 16 additional regional conferences endorsed the resolution at their annual meetings.
“No resolution has arrived to General Synod with this much momentum,” Antal said.