I am planning to go on strike. And I hope you will join me. Greta Thunberg, the 16 year old climate activist is right. If not me, then who? If not now, then when? September 20th is Climate Strike Day. Millions of people around the globe, led by the youth, will express their readiness to take personal action – and their commitment to ask our leaders to act, again and again and again, if necessary.
A number of you were there with me and my boys in NYC for the People’s Climate March in 2014. It was amazing how 1,500 UUs, about 1% of our entire denomination, showed up that day, the 2nd largest faith contingent in the entire march even though we were likely the smallest denomination. It was powerful, yet it is time to escalate our efforts. Our leaders need to hear from us, loud and clear, again and again, that we will not rest until meaningful action has been taken.
Who are those leaders? Elected leaders, civic leaders, industry leaders, faith leaders, community leaders, small group leaders, family leaders, leaders of moral lives. In other words, we all are leaders, need to be leaders, in our own spheres of life. What meaningful action can each of us take to help lead the way? And I don’t just mean using reusable bags to go shopping.
Much of the summer, I looked at all my routines and behaviors through this lens. What could change in my life to get to net zero impact? In the way I shop, in the way I eat and prepare my food, in the way I get around town, in the trips I take, in the settings around my house, the amount of stuff I acquire. I want this to be fun, but I also want this to be a wake up call to my system. No more business as usual. That’s not leadership.
And I would like your help. Join me on this journey toward net zero impact. Let’s talk regularly about what we each have done to minimize our impact. A few of my favorites so far: commute to church by eBike, buy bulk food and vegetables in reusable containers, dry clothes on racks, unplug devices when not in use, shift from prepackaged meals to cooking with local, seasonal foods. What else could I do? Nudge me! Tell me! Challenge me!
And are you willing to apply that same lens as we look at our impact here at church? We have our solar panels, the Greener Building Project improved our heating efficiency, we recycle. Yet there is plenty more we could do to reduce our footprint, to get to net zero, to lead by example and inspire others. On Sunday, September 15th, we will discuss how we want to participate in the 9/20 Climate Strike. On Sunday, September 22nd, let’s continue the discussion and create momentum as we consider additional steps for ourselves and our church.
It’s good to be back. Can’t wait to see you all as I return for Year 10 of my ministry in Concord.