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Ohio Churches Reflect on Moral Implications of Climate Change

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Thursday, February 7, 2013   

COLUMBUS, Ohio - Clergy across Ohio will use their pulpits this weekend to encourage church members to reflect on the moral implications of climate change. The National Preach-in on Global Warming includes congregations of various religious denominations who will unite in prayer.

Ohio Interfaith Power and Light director Sara Ward said almost every faith shares similar values, when it comes to protecting the earth.

"We're taught to love our neighbors and to care for God's creation as stewards," she said. "Dealing with climate change means reducing our carbon footprint so that others across the globe are not as affected by global warming."

This year's event will specifically discuss the ways climate disruptions are threatening communities worldwide, Ward said, including Superstorm Sandy's destruction on the East Coast and devastating wildfires out west.

Summit on the 16th United Methodist Church is taking part in this weekend's event. Associate Pastor Lucy Waechter Webb said real social change cannot happen without tapping into faith communities.

"It is the role of religious leaders and of religious communities to think about the values connected to ways in which we have affected climate change and ask how can we make adjustments to respond accordingly," she said.

Waechter Webb said her church members will discuss ways they can build a resilient community that addresses the changing environment.

"Climate change is something that's already happening," she warned, "so the questions before us are how do we at least slow that change, and how do we respond to the realities that are going to come because of that change."

Ohio Interfaith Power and Light reaches out to congregations through educational opportunities and advocacy tools. Ward said OHIPL also offers the resources to help people tap into their own energy efficiency, through an Energy Stewards Program and an Energy Audit Program.

"We work with congregations that have green teams, have stewardship teams, who are just beginning to think about that possibility," she explained. "Our approach is to meet you where you are."

This year's preach-in runs February 8-10. More information is available at www.ohipl.org.



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