On the weekend of November 28 and 29, churches and various religious communities around New Hampshire will ring church bells, play carillons, drum, chant etc. to send messages of hope to world leaders at the U.N. Climate Change Conference. The Conference convenes November 30 in Paris for critical decision-making on reducing global carbon emissions, thereby slowing climate change. This Paris meeting is the next in a series of talks that began in 1989 to attempt to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. There has not been much progress made. Since the first agreement to decrease emissions was signed in 1997, emissions of carbon dioxide have increased from 6 billion tons a year to 10 billion tons per year. As communities experience the increasing environmental damage from climate change, and more people understand the urgency involved in lowering greenhouse emissions, movements across the globe are demanding action from world leaders.
Many religious leaders and faith communities understand that dealing with climate change is fundamentally a moral issue critical to the continuation of life on the planet. This interfaith action is initiated by the Social Justice Committee of the First Unitarian Universalist Society of Exeter (FUUSE). Pope Francis’ encyclical “Laudato Si” is the most widely publicized statement from a world religious leader defining the issues of morality and justice involved in this critical struggle. A collective voice from many faith traditions is key to broadening the scope of the discussion from the purely scientific, political and economic to the spiritual connection of a sense of belonging to all life on earth. Further, this exercise in voicing concern is meant to heighten the view of the convergence of two areas previously thought to conflict: science and spirituality.
With world leaders’ powers of decision-making in mind, many churches will be sounding their bells and carillons on either Saturday November 28 or Sunday November 29 during the hour from 11:00-Noon to send a collective message of hope that world leaders will act for global climate justice.
All New Hampshire churches and faith communities are invited to join the Ringing Bells of Hope and let their voices be heard. For more information, or to include your church, please contact: Sylvia Foster- Chair, FUUSE Social Justice Committee firstname.lastname@example.org.