[Episcopal News Service] On Sept. 20, adults and young people around the world will skip school and work to protest political inaction on the climate crisis, and dioceses and parishes across The Episcopal Church are inviting their members to participate.
The climate strike, which takes place three days before the United Nations Climate Action Summit in New York, consists of rallies and marches in over 2,500 locations worldwide, from big cities to small towns. Building on the momentum of youth-led school walkouts inspired by teenage activist Greta Thunberg – who will lead the New York march – organizers are expecting millions of people to join the strike.
Reflecting The Episcopal Church’s longstanding support for environmental protection and climate action, Presiding Bishop Michael Curry and other bishops who are currently gathered in Minneapolis for their fall meeting expressed support for the strike and will take some time out of their schedule on Sept. 20 in solidarity.
“We Green Episcopal Bishops resolve to support a network of young climate activists in The Episcopal Church, building up to an Episcopal youth presence at the important United Nations Climate Summit in 2020, most likely to be held in the United Kingdom,” the bishops said in a statement. “The Episcopal Church is already committed to action that will support a 1.5°C ceiling on global warming above pre-Industrial Revolution levels. We are working from the individual and household level up to regions and to the level of the whole Church to make the necessary transition to a sustainable life.”
Western Massachusetts Bishop Doug Fisher and California Bishop Marc Andrus, who organized the bishops’ action and statement, have been especially vocal in advocating for climate action as part of the Christian mission.
“We are slowly waking up from our denial about climate change,” Fisher wrote on his blog, encouraging all to participate in their local strike or to make Sept. 20 “a day for personal climate action.”
Some parishes, like St. John’s Episcopal Church in Grand Haven, Michigan, are organizing their own local strikes.
“In the very first stories of our sacred texts of Scripture, we are commanded by God to be stewards of creation,” the Rev. Jared Cramer, rector of St. John’s, told the Grand Haven Tribune.
– Egan Millard is an assistant editor and reporter for the Episcopal News Service. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.