Pastoral Letter, December 6, 2019 Climate Strike

Dear Neighbors,

Please come out again this Friday if you were one of the 100 people who stood in front of Barrett Hall on September 20th for Strafford’s first Climate Strike. I hope that all those who have stood or waved or honked in a friendly way on Fridays since then will join the Strike as well.

People will be holding signs in front of Barrett Hall from 7:15 to 8:30 AM this Friday morning. Here are three reasons that make this Friday particularly important:

1. The United Nations Climate Change Conference is underway in Madrid. People all over the world need to send a clear, strong message of where we stand and what we want and need to have happen. The Secretary General of the United Nations, António Guterres, is warning that the earth is drawing close to a point of no return. He is powerless to prevent it without a global movement rising to demand that local, state and national governments declare a climate emergency and mobilize resources on a scale greater than World War II to meet the crisis. This Friday people all over the world will be taking to the streets and students will be on strike from school. They need us to join them.

2. Strafford resident Vanessa Rule will be in Madrid to receive on behalf of the organization she co-founded, Mothers Out Front, the “2019 United Nations Global Climate Action Award: Women for Results.” We can stand in front of Barrett Hall in solidarity with her and in honor of her work. Mothers Out Front is urging adults to join the children and go on strike this Friday: https://www.mothersoutfront.org/parents_on_strike_nov_dec…

3. It looks likely that we will be voting at Town Meeting to decide whether the town of Strafford will join thousands of other municipalities declaring a climate emergency and resolving to take local actions appropriate to the crisis, thanks to the work of Vanessa Rule, Gus and Cameron Speth, Susan Hodges, Barbara and Wally Smith and all the members of the Strafford Climate Action Group, plus more than 70 residents who have signed petitions so far.

You can still sign the petition and read the resolution by going to the United Church of Strafford website at https://unitedchurchofstrafford.com/…/straffords-climate-e…/. (This is not a church activity, it is completely secular and independent, but the church’s Fulfilling Our Vision committee supports the Strafford Climate Action Group’s work.)

By standing in front of Barrett Hall this Friday we will be saying to our neighbors how important it is that we declare this emergency and respond immediately to the crisis.

If you feel overwhelmed, depressed or paralyzed by the bad climate news and the state of the world, please read the book “Active Hope: How to Face the Mess We’re in without Going Crazy.” it will help you discover a path of hope that can free you to contribute your unique gifts to the movement for a sustainable and just world in whatever way feels good to you. You can read about it here: https://www.norwichbookstore.com/book/9781577319726

Thank you for all you are doing for Strafford, the children and the world!
Pastor Tom Kinder

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