Lutheran, Jewish, and Baptist Clergy Respond to Pope Francis
The Pope’s 2015 encyclical on climate change—“On Care for Our Common Home”— created an enormous stir around the world when it was published 8 months ago. What has happened since then? Three Summit, NJ, faith leaders present a range of thoughtful responses to the encyclical, and suggestions for change, in a new 19-minute video and podcast. "Lutheran, Jewish, and Baptist Clergy Respond to Pope Francis" features excerpts from comments presented last summer by Reverend Gladys Moore, Senior Pastor at St. John's Lutheran Church, Rabbi Avi Friedman of Congregation Ohr Shalom, and Reverend Vernon Williams, Assistant Pastor at Fountain Baptist Church.
"We have to get back to the connection between humanity and the Earth," says Rabbi Friedman. "We are so removed from the processes that provide us food... shelter and warmth, that we have forgotten the impact that they have on the Earth that God has given us."
"As clergy, we need to provide better education for our people, to challenge them and ourselves on an individual level," says Rev. Williams, "so that collectively we can make a big difference. "
Rev. Moore underscores the urgency of interfaith engagement and dialogue. "It is critical for people of faith, and people of conscience and good will to have a voice in the public sphere, because that's how we are going to make changes," she states.
The clergy's perspectives on stewardship, ecological awareness, and our 'throw-away culture' are excerpted from the third of a series of public dialogues presented last summer by Summit GreenFaith Circle, the third of which took place in Memorial Hall, St. Teresa of Avilon Church, on August 6, 2015. Also participating in the dialogue were Father Agustin del Agua, a biblical scholar from Valladolid, Spain, and Seton Hall University Professor of Biology Dr. Marian Glenn.
"Given the weather and environmental change throughout the world," Francis's call to respectful dialogue is becoming ever more relevant, says Susan Haig, moderator of the forum and Creative Director of CivicStory.org.
Summit GreenFaith Circle is an initiative of the Summit Interfaith Council and GreenFaith.org