Climate Change

Interdependence at COP 28

Stephanie Peramas is an intern at St. Mary’s Convent in Sewanee and a friend of CRE. Last fall she virtually attended the United Nations Climate Conference COP 28 as a member of the Episcopal Church’s delegation. She shared this reflection with us from her time there. For another poignant reflection on COP 28, see Bishop Marc Andrus’s post from December.

Stephanie will give a presentation on her experience at COP 28 on March 23, 10-11:30 at St. Mary’s Convent.

Today, during the Food, Agriculture, and Water Themed Day, we recognize the intricate connections between food, agriculture, water, and climate change. They reflect the elaborate interdependence we maintain with each other and with the planet. We see firsthand how remarkably interconnected our world is and how our actions have caused a whirlwind of disaster, leaving no human, animal, land, or body of water untouched. As all is a creation of God, we are bound to each other and the planet through divine organization. Even so, we have suffered real losses of life in our false perception of disconnection with each other, the planet, and God.

As Episcopalians, we have the scriptural and theological basis for knowing everything as sacred creations from the same, eternal God. Our faith teaches us that loving our neighbor is necessary and we should be listening to, loving, and protecting our siblings, especially those most at risk for devastation resulting from climate change. Our interrelatedness is further revealed as the greatest contributors to climate change in one part of the world affect the most vulnerable communities in other parts of the world. The Episcopal Church urges stakeholders to “leave no one behind” and to include and prioritize the most vulnerable to the destructive effects of climate change. With a strong presence at the first-ever Faith Pavilion at the COP28, Episcopalians also affirm that our faith and climate action go hand-in-hand- that our faith propels us into climate action.

How has our lack of understanding of our interrelatedness with all of creation contributed to the climate emergency we see today? How would not just our lives, but the whole world, transform when our hearts and minds expand to include all of God’s creations? Through what means have we been taught the lie of disconnection to each other and how can we dismantle this misinformation within us? How much of the “triple planetary crisis” – climate change, pollution, biodiversity loss – stems from a spiritual planetary crisis?

We do not believe in a God that exists in disconnection. We believe in a God that unifies us all through Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit. We believe in a Holy Trinity that shows us a relational, interconnected way of being. We most naturally engage with this holy, loving God through God’s creations- through each other and interaction with the world. For the sake of the planet and ourselves, we should strive to stretch our hearts, minds, and hands out for action to encompass God’s creations, with no one or no-thing excluded.

Published by Andrew Thompson

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