November 26, 2014

Group of religious organizations signs document on climate change

Iowans from a host of religious groups are uniting to sign a document that focuses on the impact of climate change, as Earth Day is being marked this Sunday. Reverend Susan Guy, executive director of the group Iowa Interfaith Power and Light, says the statement was signed by 56 clergy members and other faith leaders representing 13 religious traditions and 42 Iowa congregations or organizations.

“Our goal really with this document was to draw attention to the issue of global climate change as a moral and ethical issue,” Reverend Guy says. “I feel like it’s been getting lost in some of our political rhetoric and in economic issues and so forth.”

The statement reads, in part, “Climate change is one of the most pressing challenges facing our world today and as religious leaders…we are called to reaffirm our commitment to be responsible stewards of Earth’s resources.” For people of faith, Guy says the subject of climate change has a much deeper importance than politics.

Guy says, “Anytime we have an issue that impacts people who are already struggling within our state and in our country, but also globally and there is such a great amount of inequality, it really becomes an issue of social justice.” Launched in 2006, Iowa Interfaith Power and Light is a joint response of Christian, Jewish, Muslim and other faith communities to climate change.

The vital job of caring for the Earth is something held in common by diverse faith traditions, she says. “Through all of our differences, one thing that we share together is a call to love and care for our neighbors,” Guy says. “How we live today matters not only for those we share the planet with today, but for future generations.”

She hopes political leaders will “stop seeing climate change as an economic issue that divides us, but as a moral issue that unites us.” See the full document at: www.iowaipl.org.