Spirit Sightings

October 5, 2014: Words of Life

From Ray McGinnis

For one day, on September 23, the United Nations held a Climate Summit to bring attention to issues regarding climate change. Many in the worldwide scientific community have produced research the past few decades warning that human reliance on fossil fuels is a key factor in changes in temperatures around the globe.

Changing one’s behaviour is never easy, even when we want to make a change. To make a change as a global village takes even more determination.

On the occasion of the United Nations Climate Summit in New York City, there were efforts to address climate change through campaigns focusing on where dollars are invested.

In January 2014, 17 foundations with combined assets of $2 billion committed to divesting from fossil fuel stocks and move their money to invest in clean energy. This is part of the Divest-Invest Philanthropy initiative. Among these 17 foundations are the Russell Family Foundation, the Educational Foundation of America, and the John Merck Fund. Since that time, dozens more have committed to do the same. The names of these additional foundations are to be announced on September 23, during the United Nations Climate Summit.
Investments in technologies such as wind and solar power during the next 15 years are likely to be a key factor in determining the climate’s future, according to a new report by the Global Commission on the Economy and Climate.

Individuals can also play a role by hastening the transformation of business-as-usual by increasing demand for fossil-free financial products and other alternative economic vehicles,” said Lisa Renstrom, co-chair of Divest-Invest Individual.

It is one thing to encourage people to change, but without viable alternative energy sources, individuals can’t change their habits.

Meanwhile, this spring, the Norwegian government created a panel to review whether the country’s sovereign wealth fund should be invested in fossil-free products. Major religious denominations in the United States and the General Synod of the Church of England are also reassessing where to place their investments, such as ethical uses for church pension funds.

Explore… Exodus 20:1–4, 7–9, 12–20

  • What are the people saying to Moses?
  • What is Moses saying to the people of Israel?
  • What does God want the people of Israel to do? Why?
  • Why is the United Nations having a Climate Summit?
  • What changes in behaviour are the foundations that are investing in fossil-free products encouraging?
  • Is the news that major foundations are investing in wind and solar power a word of life for you?
  • What can you point to that are words of life in our world today?

Prayer links…

God of all, long ago you sought ways to instruct us to how to live so that we could thrive in relation with one another and with you. Help us to discern how to respond to the ecological challenges in our times as one way to listen again for your words of life. In Christ we pray. Amen

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