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GreenFaith Inspires a Multi-Faith Climate Movement

The Rivers & Mountains GreenFaith Circle, gathered along the Hudson River in Kingston, New York to mark the final days of a Sacred Season. Photos by John Seakwood with Rivers & Mountains GreenFaith Circle.

Over 80% of the world’s population are people of faith whose beliefs bind them to, and make them responsible for, caring for creation and each other. GreenFaith International seeks to unite people of faith around the world to “create communities to transform ourselves, our spiritual institutions, and society to protect the planet and create a compassionate, loving and just world.”

GreenFaith is driven by six core values. They are: rooted in spirituality, moved by compassion, passionate for justice, inclusive by nature, responsible in practice, and bold for good. These same virtues and values are inherent in the life and teaching of Jesus Christ, particularly as preached in the Sermon on the Mount.

The team at GreenFaith believes, “The good life is one of connectedness—with each other and all of nature. It is a world of flourishing life that replaces despair with joy, scarcity with shared abundance, and privilege with justly distributed power.”

People of faith have always been a source of hope and the drivers of societal change, even in the face of significant challenges and opposition. The greatest advances of compassion and justice have been enacted by communities of faith. GreenFaith believes the greatest challenge facing humanity today is the climate emergency. It will take people of faith in communities around the globe rallying together to make a difference.

GreenFaith Circles

To do this, GreenFaith encourages people of faith to form Circles in their communities. GreenFaith Circles can be in-person locally, online, or both. They are made up of at least five people who are “Passionate about faith-based action on climate change and the environment; eager to be part of a global, multi-faith community of Circles; and hungry for spiritual reflection, education, training, campaigning and creative mobilizing.” 

Circles can look different in every community, but their goal is the same: “build moral power and a multi-faith climate and environmental movement around the world.” Circles do this by following three different “Pathways to Power”: personal transformation, institutional leadership, and systemic change, which are fueled by GreenFaith resources.

GreenFaith International Network

GreenFaith’s founding partners have also formed a network of international leaders to “accelerate the growth and influence of the religious-environmental movement. We focus on grassroots leadership development, building power, and campaigning for compassionate and just responses to the climate crisis.”

Fourteen nations have signed on to expand the foundational efforts of GreenFaith Circles into the global community. Part of this initiative resulted in communities of faith around the world raising their voices to communicate to COP26 the importance and urgency surrounding environmental concerns. People from 45 countries engaged in over 420 events to sound the alarm for climate justice with one unified voice. The multi-faith statement invited religious leaders around the world to sign the Sacred People, Sacred Earth Statement. It was the “largest-ever grassroots multi-faith climate day of action, co-sponsored by over 120 religious groups representing more than 100 million members.”

2022 GreenFaith Initiatives

At the end of 2021, GreenFaith leaders defined several key initiatives on their Welcome Call for participants to focus on in 2022. These included deforestation, climate finance, “Time for Living the Change,” “Sacred Season for Climate Justice,” and starting a GreenFaith Circle.

“Time for Living the Change” invites individuals to “choose climate-friendly living because we reject the desecration of people and planet and embrace joyful lives of simplicity and solidarity.” The initiative calls for people to align their spiritual beliefs with their day-to-day living, “to care for creation or nature, live simply, avoid waste, and love our neighbors, especially the most vulnerable.”

Sacred Season for Climate Justice” called on pastors and religious leaders to preach a sermon on climate change centered in eco-theologies during the spring season of sacred days and seasons, March 19 through May 6.

GreenFaith also invites people to sign a Fossil Fuel Treaty, which calls for the phasing out of fossil fuels and the support of a just transition, and a multi-faith climate finance campaign calling on “the world’s asset managers, banks, and insurers to stop financing the profoundly immoral destruction of our climate.”

Get Involved

GreenFaith provides a host of resources on their website in addition to creating a GreenFaith Circle in your area. They provide online training, Community Calls for Care and Resilience, Eco-Theology Calls, a GreenFaith Fellowship Program, and access to a GreenFaith Speakers Bureau to speak in your community.
Learn more about GreenFaith International on their website and follow them on Instagram, Facebook, or Twitter.

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