Interfaith Conference 2017: Climate Justice and Hope
“Humankind hovers on a precipice.
On one side is the current path toward almost unimaginable climate disaster, in which those least responsible for climate change suffer first and foremost its deadly consequences.
The other side, however, is the potential before us: a world in which Earth’s eco-systems flourish and all people have the necessities for life with dignity.
Our moment in time is breathtaking….pivotal. The generations alive today will determine which path we choose. It is an epic decision, the likes of which our species has never known.” Cynthia Moe-Lobeda
If you’re curious to learn more, Register for the 5th Annual Interfaith Climate Conference.
5th Interfaith Climate Conference
To hear more about this moment in time and our choices, all are invited to attend the 5th annual Interfaith Climate Conference featuring Dr. Cynthia D. Moe-Lobeda. She speaks on Climate Justice and Hope: A Spiritual-Political Calling on Saturday, March 11th from 1:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. at Davis Community Church (412 C St. in Davis). After questions and answers, there will be a brief break for refreshments and book signing with a limited supply of books available for purchase.
5th Annual Interfaith Climate Conference
Dr. Cynthia D. Moe-Lobeda
Climate Justice and Hope: A Spiritual-Political Calling
Saturday, March 11th 1:30 p.m. – 4:45 p.m.
Davis Community Church
The afternoon continues with discussion groups focused on compelling topics that arise from Moe-Lobeda’s talk as proposed by community discussion leaders. Cynthia will close the afternoon with her observations of the discussions and parting words of encouragement for the journey ahead.
As a special treat, singer-songwriter Laura Sandage has composed an opening song, “One with the World” and a closing song, “Our Big Love,” for us to lift our spirits.
A suggested donation of $10 will help cover expenses.
Scroll down for short bios of the Community Discussion Leaders.
The Moral Obligation
2016 was the earth’s warmest year in a three-year streak. The globally averaged temperature over land and ocean surfaces for 2016 was the highest among all years since record keeping began in 1880. During the final month, the December combined global land and ocean average surface temperature was the third highest for December in the 137-year record. Read more here. Also in December, the the Larsen C ice shelf in Antarctica suddenly revealed a shocking 11-mile crack, and scientists expect the entire shelf to break off soon, leaving the glacier to melt directly into the ocean and raise sea levels worldwide. Climate change continues to gather momentum.
The artist is Kristen Gilje.
Those who attended the 3rd Interfaith Climate Conference in 2015 considered Kathleen Dean Moore’s question, Do we have a moral obligation to take action to protect the future of a planet in peril? We answered a resounding Yes… for the sake of all forms of life on the planet, for the sake of the children, for the survival of humankind, for the stewardship of God’s creation, because compassion requires it, because justice demands it, because the world is beautiful, because we love the world, and finally because our moral integrity requires us to do what is right.
Identifying the perils of climate change and taking action to alleviate them does not tell the whole story. Moe-Lobeda shows us how the crisis of climate change divides us: those who are culpable, and the vast majority who are vulnerable. The truth is, many of us live in ways that both impoverish others and destroy the web of life on the planet.
“Humankind has become a menace to life on Earth,” wrote Gus Speth.
“Humankind has become a menace to life on Earth,” wrote Gus Speth, former Dean of the School of Forestry and Environmental Studies at Yale who was arrested with Bill McKibben at the White House as they protested the KXL Pipeline. He did not refer just to the CEOs of fossil fuel companies, but included those of us who have too much at the expense of those without enough.
The increasingly pressing and depressing situation of Planet Earth poses urgent ethical questions for people of faith and conscience. But, as Cynthia Moe-Lobeda argues, the future of the earth is not simply a matter of protecting species and habitats but of rethinking the very meaning of ethics. The earth crisis cannot be understood apart from the larger human crisis—economic equity, social values, and human purpose are bound up with the planet’s survival. In a sense, she says, the whole earth is a moral community.
Something new is asked of humankind: to forge ways of living that serve and protect garden Earth and that enable all to have the necessities for a fruitful life.
Moe-Lobeda believes, “that at this moment – the testing point of human history—something new is asked of humankind: to forge ways of living that serve and protect garden Earth and that enable all to have the necessities for a fruitful life. Something new is asked of humankind and something new is asked of religion and of spiritual practice: to plumb the depths of our traditions for wellsprings of moral-spiritual vision, hope, and courage, and to share these with the broader public. All people of good will – including people committed to spiritual depth — are called to insist with prophetic fervor and fierce love that our societal response to the climate crisis serves the good of the vulnerable rather than furthering climate injustice. This will mean faithful resistance, re-visioning and rebuilding.”
The March 11th presentation will explore the moral crisis of climate injustice and paths toward climate justice. The central focus will be truth-telling, hope, and moral-spiritual power for radical change toward climate justice. Register here.
Thoughts after reading Dr. Moe-Lobeda’s book
Jim Cramer, an organizer of all five interfaith conferences, has high expectations. He says, “I look forward eagerly to the fifth annual interfaith climate conference. Cynthia Moe-Lobeda, the keynote speaker, emphasizes in her recent book – Resisting Structural Evil: Love as Ecological-Economic Vocation – the moral imperative to confront and oppose climate and economic injustice. Our recent election adds urgency to this imperative. The January 21 Women’s Marches were uplifting but temporary; we need ongoing efforts and commitments. Moe-Lobeda’s book provides examples of what to do and how to do it, and I look forward to hearing more about this from her at the conference.”
How can we move toward a more just economy grounded in ecological sustainability, environmental equity, economic equity, and economic democracy?
Jo Ann Anderson, another member of the Interfaith Alliance for Climate Justice who helped plan the conference, comments, “Dr. Moe-Lobeda’s book has made me acutely aware of how the American lifestyle impacts those in less affluent countries (and those less affluent in my own country!) and how we can move toward a more just economy grounded in ecological sustainability, environmental equity, economic equity, and economic democracy. I look forward to her speaking more about these gateways to change.”
Finally, Lynne Nittler, lead organizer of the five conferences writes, “I so appreciate the honesty with which Dr. Moe-Lobeda makes us see our own privilege and complicity in a system that exploits both the poor and the earth, though we meant no harm. Recognizing our participation is the first step toward sustainable practices for all. I’m grateful that once she cleared my vision, she guided me to actions from divestment to lifestyle changes to local banks, in addition to ways to confront corporations which are not persons! Despite the uncertainty of the outcome, I’m ready to align with justice.”
Scroll down for Book Review Comments by Remarkable People and a Biographical Sketch of Dr. Cynthia Moe-Lobeda
Community Discussion Leaders
Rev. Chris Neufeld-Erdman, pastor of Davis Community Church, is concerned about the complicity of Christianity in the climate crisis as well as how Christianity, re-imagined from an eco-perspective, can be an agent of healing.
Lorenzo Kristov is an energy professional working to advance the transition to community-based energy systems, to foster resilient 21st century communities for the well being of future humans and other residents of earth.
Rev. Daniel Smith, pastor of Lutheran Church of the Incarnation, did his doctoral dissertation on Lutheran theology of nature and brings his concerns for our human impact on the health of the planet to his ministry.
Carol Warren Carol Warren is a lay associate of the Rochester Franciscans and an active member of advocacy groups such as Yolo MoveOn and Sierra Club. She seeks to integrate spirituality into her work for the planet.
Leslie Crenna consults on water conservation, rainwater capture, and greywater systems for households. She also leads the Cool Davis Communications Team and supports the Cool Davis Double Up on Solar Campaign.
Nick Buxton is the author/editor of The Secure and the Dispossessed: How the Military and Corporations are Shaping a Climate-Changed World. A member of St. Martin’s, a long-time climate justice activist and a father of two, he does what he can to promote a compassionate and just world.
Steve Hampton, a resource economist at CA Dept. of Fish & Wildlife’s Off. of Spill Prevention & Response, has developed expertise in the oil industry, crude-by-rail, and spill risk. As a registered citizen of the Cherokee Nation, he maintains an insightful blog including effective responses to the Dakota Access Pipeline at https:// memoriesofthepeople.wordpress. com/. An avid birder since age 7, he leads field trips for the Yolo Audubon Society, conducts bird surveys at the City of Davis Wetlands, and oversees the local Christmas Bird Count. He serves as Environmental Stewardship Coordinator for University Covenant Church and has been a member of the Cool Davis Interfaith Alliance for Climate Justice.
Juliette Beck has spearheaded a number of environmental, social and climate justice campaigns -from promoting fair trade to ending clearcutting in California’s forests. Currently she volunteers for the Sierra Club and Showing up for Racial Justice, a national network of groups and individuals organizing White people for racial justice. She loves playing soccer with her girls in Davis’ greenbelts and parks…and is married to Nick Buxton.
Book Review comments by remarkable people
“This is a grand prophetic book motivated by love and focused on justice—social justice, ecological justice, and dignity for ‘the least of these.” —Cornel West, Union Theological Seminary, New York
“This is a grand prophetic book motivated by love and focused on justice—social justice, ecological justice, and dignity for ‘the least of these.”
“Those of us who know our excessive consumption is causing ecological and economic disasters should read Professor Moe-Lobeda’s new book. It is the best one-volume analysis of our moral dilemma I know of and, even better, it suggests principles and practices to help deal with it.” —Sallie McFague, Vancouver School of Theology
“We badly need new doors into the greatest set of problems humans have ever faced. This prayerful amalgamation of deep concern for social justice and a healthy mystic sense of what might inspire it–it’s a blend that could provide great help.” —Bill McKibben, Middlebury College
“This book is about the moral oblivion that hides the structural sins that we commit via the built-in economic exploitation of other people and of God’s good but finite Creation. Attention is given to the spiritual sources of love, courage, and discernment needed to challenge the overwhelming present force of economistic idolatry. Christians should especially welcome this book,but others will also find it valuable.” –Herman Daly, former senior economist, Environmental Department, World Bank; professor emeritus, University of Maryland, School of Public Policy.
About Dr. Cynthia Moe-Lobeda
Cynthia D. Moe-Lobeda is Professor of Christian ethics at Pacific Lutheran Theological Seminary of California Lutheran University, and is a member of the Graduate Theological Union’s Core Doctoral Faculty. She is author of Healing a Broken World (Fortress Press, 2002) and Public Church: For the Life of the World (Lutheran Voices, 2004) and is co-author of Saint Francis and the Foolishness of God (Orbis, 1993) and Say to This Mountain: Mark’s Story of Discipleship (Orbis, 1996) and The Bible and Ethics: A New Conversation (Fortress, forthcoming).
Dr. Moe-Lobeda taught Christian ethics in Seattle University’s Department of Theology and Religious Studies, Environmental Studies Program, and graduate School of Theology and Ministry. She holds a doctoral degree in Christian Ethics from Union Theological Seminary, affiliated with Columbia University.
Moe-Lobeda has served on commissions or projects of the World Council of Churches and the Lutheran World Federation. She was appointed theological consultant to the Presiding Bishop of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, and has served as a health worker in Honduras and as Director of the Washington, D.C. office of Augsburg College’s Center for Global Education. She lived in Seattle where she loved to hike in the Cascade Mountains, and relished the breezes and lush beauty of Western Washington. She now resides in the Bay Area.
About the Conference:
A suggested donation of $10 will help cover expenses.
Register for the Interfaith Climate Conference Here.
Parking should be easy on C or D streets, in the school parking lot across from the park on 5th Street, or behind City Hall on B Street. Please arrive in time to be seated by 1:30 P.M.
Move your money to a credit union or ethical bank! Credit unions usually donate to projects that strengthen local communities, and ethical banks make a commitment to support good causes. Green America Bank For Good BankTrack and Mighty Deposits are all great resources to find ethical banks!
LEARN MORE with Cathy Becker of Green America, Wednesday, November 15 at 6pm PST online. Our moderator will be Rekha Vaitla, Cool Davis board member and officer at CalSTRS.
Sign up here: www.cooldavis.org/2023/11/02/green-finances-banking-and-credit-cards-panel-yolo-earth-day-pledge/
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