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Greening Our Faith Summit Brings NC Congregations Together on Climate

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A 2020 poll by Interfaith Power and Light found voters of faith, including evangelical and mainline Protestant, Catholic, Jewish, and religiously unaffiliated voters, overwhelmingly believe climate change is happening and are worried about it. (Adobe Stock)
A 2020 poll by Interfaith Power and Light found voters of faith, including evangelical and mainline Protestant, Catholic, Jewish, and religiously unaffiliated voters, overwhelmingly believe climate change is happening and are worried about it. (Adobe Stock)
 By Nadia Ramlagan - Producer, Contact
May 13, 2021

CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- Faith leaders are gathering virtually next week to talk about how congregations across the state can play a role in fighting climate change and addressing environmental injustice.

More religious communities are working to reduce global warming and raise awareness on the issue among their members. Some even have issued public statements on climate change and the call to care for creation.

Rev. Dr. Rodney Sadler, associate professor of bible and director of the Center for Social Justice and Reconciliation at Union Presbyterian Seminary, said North Carolina congregations are starting to take notice.

"They are starting to realize that there is much that we not only can do but need to do, and that we have a theological imperative: God demands that we take care of the environment," Sadler asserted.

The two-day summit May 20-21 is hosted by Clean Air Carolina, ecoAmerica, GreenFaith and Good Solar, along with the City of Charlotte and other organizations.

Sadler pointed out Scripture calls on humanity to take care of the earth.

"Therefore, when we talk about climate and climate issues, we're talking about the fate of God's people and God's planet," Sadler remarked.

Rev. Amy Brooks Paradise, a Unitarian Universalist minister and North Carolina organizer for the nonprofit Green Faith, said faith groups can offer physical resources such as buildings and land to support climate crisis education and sustainable food growth, as well as social reach within communities and moral leadership.

"So one thing we hope to do is give people ideas about what they might want to do in their own congregation," Paradise explained.

She added $500 stipends will be available to four congregations willing to install solar panels on their buildings using Duke Energy's Solar Rebate Program.

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