Pastor's Musings

September 2022

Fall Adult Book Study

Failure to care about climate change is a failure to love.
What is more Christian than to be good stewards of the
Planet and love our global neighbor as ourselves.”
-Katarine Hayhoe

            Religion, politics, and money have long been potentially combustible topics. Today, though, climate change tops that list. It’s the most politicized and divisive issue in the U.S. At this point, overcoming the polarization seems nearly hopeless, and solving climate change, even more so. Is there any remedy to our deep-rooted and growing divide?
            Called “one of the most effective communicators on climate change,” Katharine Hayhoe knows how to navigate all side of the conversation about our changing planet. A Canadian climate scientist living in Texas, she negotiates distrust of data, indifference to imminent threats, and resistance to proposed solutions with humor and with grace. Over the past fifteen years, Hayhoe has found that the most important thing we can do to address climate change is to talk about it. So that’s what we are going to do for the next two months.
            Starting in September, our Sunday night book study will be looking at Hayhoe’s book Saving Us, and encouraging participants to become acquainted with this very important subject. The schedule for our conversations is as follows:

Sunday, September 18, 2022 – 7:00 p.m.
“The Problem and the Solution”
Section 1 – Page 3-33

Sunday, September 25, 2022 – 7:00 p.m.
“Why Facts Matter– And Why They Are Not Enough”
Section 2 – Page 7-83

Sunday, October 2nd, 2022 – 7:00 p.m.
“The Threat Multiplier”
Section 3 – Page 87-128

Sunday, October 9, – 7:00 p.m.
“We Can Fix It” – Part I
Section 4 – Page 131-160

Sunday, October 16, 2022 – 7:00 p.m.
“We Can Fix It” – Part II
Section 4 – Page 161-191

Sunday, October 23, 2022 – 7:00 p.m.
“You Can Make a Difference”
Section 5 – Page 195-245

            The cost for the book Saving Us is $25.00. We will meet in the sanctuary each week at 7:00 p.m. to talk about what we are learning and what questions our reading raises.
            In Saving Us, Hayhoe argues that when it comes to changing hearts and minds, facts are only one part of the equation. We need to find shared values in order to connect our unique identities to collective action. This is not another doomsday narrative about a planet on fire. It’s a multilayered look at science, faith, and human psychology, from an icon in her field.
            Speaking of ‘faith’ – throughout the book, Hayhoe adds a suggestion not heard much in the environmental movements discourse on “climate change”: to bring faith into the conversation. She insists that concern for the earth is essential to a Christian worldview:
            “If Christians truly believe we’ve been given the responsibility – ‘dominion’ – over every living thing on this planet, as it says at the beginning of Genesis, then we won’t only objectively care about climate change. We will be at the forefront of the line demanding action because it’s our God-given responsibility to do so.”
            As Katharine writes in her Preface to her book:

Beginning a conversation with something that unites us instead of something that divides us means we are starting at a place of mutual respect, agreement, and understanding – which is pretty much the opposite of where most conversations about contentious issues like climate change begin these days. And as we truly listen, we’re likely to discover more surprising points of agreement.

          In this book I want to show how to have conversations that will help you to reconnect with family and friends in real life, building genuine relationships and communities rather than tribes and bubbles. The bald facts are scary, and necessary. But climate change connects to the things we all care about: the health of our families, the economic strength of our communities, and the stability of our world. Fixing it isn’t only good for the planet; it’s good for all of us, too.

          The bottom line is this. To care about climate change, you only need to be one thing, and that’s a person living on planet Earth who wants a better future. Chances are, you’re already that person – and so is everyone else you know.

Looking Forward to What Unfolds,
Pastor Greg

  October 2022  
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