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More Churches Join the Climate Witness Project

August 2, 2017

The Christian Reformed Church’s Climate Witness Project (CWP) has been gathering momentum in recent months. More than 70 participating congregations have signed on to the project.

Launched in 2015, Phase I of the CWP saw a handful of churches and church members join in the months before the Nov.-Dec. international gathering in France that resulted in the Paris Agreement, by which most of the world’s nations have pledged to begin cutting the emission of greenhouse gases.

Both before and after the meeting in Paris, CWP congregations have engaged in energy stewardship, worship, education, and advocacy. As part of the process, individuals from congregations agree to do their part to reduce greenhouse gases, long considered to play an important role in climate changes around the world.

During Phase II of the project, which began last year, participation grew.

 “We more than doubled engagement to over 450 partners in over 70 congregations,” said Steve Mulder, one of the project coordinators.

The CWP project, he said, is seeing more and more Christians taking responsibility “for appreciating, protecting, and restoring God’s creation.”

“In Phase III, we hope to increase congregations to 100, while providing richer resources and support and strengthening our network.”

Lindsay Mouw, a member of Central Reformed Church in Sioux Center, Iowa, is one who has joined up, offering her help to the project.

“I joined the climate witness project because I believe that my faith demands that I act on climate,” she said.

“Climate change is a social justice issue that affects the thriving of all of creation. As a steward of God’s earth, I am excited to be part of a movement in which the church is stepping up to fight this issue out of love for our Creator and our global neighbors.”

Here are some of the highlights of CWP’s accomplishments so far:

  • 55 legislative meetings were held with representatives to speak to them about the issue.
  • 25 partners and organizers marched alongside thousands at the People’s Climate March in Washington, D.C., and advocated on Capitol Hill.
  • 50-plus screenings of Climate Conversation: Kenya were held in churches across the U.S. and Canada.
  • Three churches achieved ENERGY STAR certification, and many other churches are working hard to make their buildings more energy efficient.
  • 400 seats were filled at the Wealthy Theater in Grand Rapids, Mich., for a screening of Before the Flood, a documentary in which actor Leonardo DiCaprio meets with scientists, activists, and world leaders to discuss the dangers of climate change and possible solutions.

If you or others in your church are interested in getting involved in the Climate Witness Project, sign up to be a partner here. As a partner, you commit to the following:

  • Endorse the CRC’s Synod 2012 Creation Stewardship Task Force report. (Full text of report; 3-page summary.)
  • Agree to receive electronic communications from the Climate Witness Project, including newsletters, action alerts, updates on what CWP congregations are doing, and more.
  • Intend to do something to address climate change, using suggestions from CWP.