The 40,000 world leaders from 190 countries are gathered in Paris to reach an agreement to curb carbon emissions and to find ways to support vulnerable countries and communities in adapting to the impacts of climate change that are happening right now. Our prayers are needed to strengthen their resolve.

Meanwhile, we can begin a revolution by changing ourselves. One person at a time, our personal improvements to our household energy efficiency, our transportation choices, and our consumption habits add up until we reach a tipping point, not to disaster, but to sustainability and living more gently on this good earth.

Thich Nhat Hanh reminds us of our task:
There’s a revolution
that needs to happen
and it starts from inside
each one of us.
We need to wake up
and fall in love
with the earth.
Our personal and collective
happiness and survival
depends on it.

The stakes are high in Paris, and also here in Davis. It is good to pray for personal change, cooperation and global agreement, as if our lives and the health of our planet depend on such transformation.

A Prayer for the 2015 Paris Climate Conference

RESPONSE: We give thanks for the earth and her creatures.

We acknowledge our complicity in the causes of climate change.
We recognize our responsibility as people of action and reflection.
We humbly pray for the success of the upcoming climate negotiations.

RESPONSE: We join hands in a spirit of humility.

To refresh and clean the air
To purify the waters for our children
To safeguard plants and woodlands

RESPONSE: We join hands in a spirit of determination.

As advocates for peace and justice
As builders of a planetary community
As protectors of the beauty of each place

RESPONSE: We join hands in a spirit of hope.

As lovers of the birds and flowers
As companions of the animals
As singers of the songs of the heavens

RESPONSE: We join hands in a spirit of gratitude.

We commit to fostering a peace within which all can flourish.
We commit to preserving our good earth.
We commit to protecting all people, creatures, and plants.

RESPONSE: We join hands in the strength of unity.

Carol Warren has worked for the environment for many years. She is currently a member of the Yolo Interfaith Alliance for Climate Justice and Yolo Move-on. She attends St. James Catholic Church where she leads a study group of Pope Francis’ Encyclical. Carol wrote the prayer.

Lynne Nittler wrote the introduction based on her long time commitment to Cool Davis and her leadership role in the Yolo Interfaith Alliance for Climate Justice. She attends the Unitarian Universalist Church of Davis.