We share this story with deep gratitude for the work of Climate Interactive and Rev. Selena Wright.
A story of ongoing ripples of grace, healing, and justice from a colleague in ministry. Recently while at a clergy retreat, my friend Selena shared a story of impact from a thinly attended after-hours World Climate workshop led by Scott back in 2017. Her congregation’s story was a powerful reminder that we rarely get to know the full impact of our work. May you get glimpses of grace like this every once in a while.
Guest Blog: Rev. Selena Wright
At the 2017 General Assembly of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ), I attended the Green Justice Global Climate Simulation created by Climate Interactive. Although my church, Kirk of Bonnie Brae United Church of Christ is very committed to Green Justice, I learned so much at this event, I wanted to share it with my congregation. In 2018 Earth Day was on a Sunday, so our Green Justice Team decided to host the World Climate simulation after worship. We invited other nearby churches who were in some ways involved with Green Justice efforts. We had members of UCC churches as well as UU and Presbyterian churches present.
It was not me but two members, Ann Karlberg and Paul Kriesher (pictured below) of our Green Justice team who are both deeply committed to this work, who led the event.
Following the simulation, a few things happened….
Our congregation decided to embark on a “Year of Trees.” One thing we learned from the Simulation was the need for Reforestation.
Trees are already a big part of our church (there is actually a tree in the center of our building as well as in our logo). We made a commitment to encourage the church to plant trees on their property, and through the Arbor Day Foundation in burn areas that were plentiful in Colorado following the wildfire season. We also have a relationship with the non-profit Zanmi Fondwa that provides housing in Fondwa, Haiti. For every new home, they are building they hoped to plant 100 trees around it to provide food, shade and to stabilize the ground from mudslides. We have planted 400 trees in Haiti and 200 domestically. We made a big push at Christmas and many church members asked their relatives to buy a tree for them for the holiday!
Now Ann and Paul are taking this on the road. They led the Global Climate Simulation in March for Congregations Alive, a gathering of UCC educators, clergy and lay members from across the Rocky Mountain Conference and are scheduled to lead it again for our local chapter of 350.org this fall.