At University I had friends at church who were very committed to environmental justice. Their passion and conviction prompted my own journey. The implications of declaring ‘Jesus Christ is Lord’, were far wider than I had previously thought, and I began to understand that the hope of redemption is a hope for all the earth.
That journey has led me to where (and who) I am today. I work with a number of projects connecting faith with action on climate. One is as part of the core team within Young Christian Climate Network (YCCN), currently organising a relay between the G7 in Cornwall, June, and COP26 in Glasgow, November. We want to drive climate finance up the agenda of these meetings, where world leaders will come together to make decisions that will determine the degree of impact that climate change will bear on people and on our planet. For the UK, hosting both meetings in a year is a huge opportunity, and we must mobilise as individuals and as the UK church to scrutinise the decisions happening on our doorstep.
We’d love for you to help us by joining the YCCN’s ‘Relay to COP26’ any way that you can. Dates, route, and sign-up to take on part of the relay route can all be found here. All ages are welcome to take part and there are a wide variety of volunteer roles which we would appreciate your support with.
Feeling powerless is paralysing, and it’s very easy to fall into; so, too, is being overly concerned about whether an outcome is achievable or useful enough to generate impact and warrant the effort. I am learning to be less preoccupied with this. To counteract this, it’s really important to be part of an action-focused community, and that was what we were aiming for when we set-up YCCN. We said that we wanted YCCN to be a community which could sustain collective action, and in turn, a place where acting together would grow community. It’s a privilege to be alongside people giving their skills, and to navigate the way forward with one another.
There’s a Bonhoeffer quote which says “Being a Christan is less about cautiously avoiding sin than about courageously and actively doing God’s will”. I am learning that living out faith involves risk-taking, because we must always live with the tension of not knowing, and so we must act from, and in, courage and faith. Stuck in a mindset of powerlessness, we will not act. Resting in the safety of being rooted in God’s love, we can take courage and act together.
This ‘meet the community’ article was written by Rachel Mander for the Wild Christian email, ‘Nature and climate.’ Rachel is Co-Lead for the Relay to COP26, and works for Hope for the Future, A Rocha International, and Faith for the Climate. You can find her on Twitter @manderrachel, and follow YCCN across social media platforms @YCCNetwork