Earlier this month, seven clergy members in Philipstown released the following statement:
“For more than a year, we have all experienced the devastating effects of a global pandemic — all of us, whether poor or wealthy, weak or strong. Some were more protected than others, but the rapidly spreading infection meant that we have depended on each other in our efforts to stay safe. We realize that in this worldwide calamity, no one is safe until everyone is safe, that our actions really do affect one another, and that what we do today affects what happens tomorrow. May we not waste this moment! We must decide what kind of world we want to leave to future generations. God mandates, ‘Choose life, so that you and your children may live.’ (Deuteronomy 30:19). We must choose to live differently; we must choose life.” ~From A Joint Message for the Protection of Creation, Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew, Pope Francis, Archbishop of Canterbury Justin, Aug. 1
The fall season is celebrated by many as the Season of Creation, and an opportunity to pray and care for God’s creation. As world leaders prepare to meet in November at Glasgow, Scotland, to deliberate on the future of our planet, we pray for them and consider what choices we must all make. Accordingly, as leaders of our faith communities in Philipstown, we call on everyone, whatever their belief or worldview, to endeavor to listen to the cry of the earth and of people who are poor, examining their behavior and pledging meaningful sacrifices for the sake of the earth which God has given us.
All of us — whatever and wherever we are — can play a part in changing our collective response to the unprecedented threat of climate change and environmental degradation. Caring for God’s extraordinary creation requires our personal response, commitment and action. This is a critical moment. Our children’s future and the future of our common earth depend on it.
We, the faith leaders of Philipstown, are proud to join the conversation with Philipstown community organizations to discuss how we can collectively address the climate crisis. And we invite all community members to pledge to take action to lower our collective greenhouse gas emissions by participating in the Philipstown Fights Dirty campaign at philipstownfightsdirty.org.
The Rev. Micah Coleman Campbell
United Methodist Church, Cold Spring
The Rev. Amanda Eiman
St. Philip’s in the Highlands, Garrison
Rabbi Helaine Ettinger
Philipstown Reform Synagogue, Cold Spring
The Rev. Thomas Lutz
Our Lady of Loretto, Cold Spring
The Rev. Brian Merritt
First Presbyterian Church, Cold Spring
The Rev. Steve Schunk
St. Mary’s Episcopal Church, Cold Spring
The Rev. Father Constantine Sitaras
Academy Chapel of Saint Basil the Great (Greek Orthodox), Garrison