September 12 service at Grace Cathedral will stress urgent need for faith-rooted action

Posted on September 5, 2018

As the Global Climate Action Summit gets underway in San Francisco on September 12, 2018, members of diverse spiritual and religious communities from around the world will join with global climate leaders for a multi-faith service of connection, reflection, and commitment to climate action. At the heart of the service at Grace Cathedral will be an invitation for participants and livestream viewers to not only reflect on and be inspired by the wonders of our sacred Earth, but also to make bold new commitments to protecting our planet and its inhabitants from the ravages of climate change.

The service, sponsored by The Episcopal Diocese of CaliforniaGreenFaith, and Interfaith Power & Light, includes a multi-faith procession; music and spoken word drawn from a variety of faith and spiritual traditions; and video greetings and words of encouragement from global faith leaders including His Holiness the Dalai Lama (via video); His All-Holiness Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew, Archbishop of Constantinople (via a representative); the Most Reverend Michael B. Curry, Presiding Bishop and Primate of the Episcopal Church (via video); and members of Zen Master Thich Nhat Hanh's monastic community. During the service, climate action commitments from a variety of religious and spiritual leaders and communities will be announced.

Service participants will also hear in-person from California Governor Jerry Brown; California Lieutenant Governor Gavin Newsom; Ms. Patricia Espinosa Cantello, Executive Secretary of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change; Ms. Christiana Figueres, former Executive Secretary of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change; and Ms. Catherine Flowers, Director of Environmental Justice and Civic Engagement at the Center for Earth Ethics. 

In addition to encouraging new commitments, the service will honor the actions faith communities all over the world are already taking to care for our planet. Examples include:

  • Living the Change, a global, multi-faith climate initiative coordinated by GreenFaith with partners including the Bhumi Project (Hindu), the Global Catholic Climate Movement, The Global Muslim Climate Network, Hazon (Jewish), One Earth Sangha (Buddhist), the World Council of Churches, the World Evangelical Alliance, the Australian Religious Response to Climate Change, and Friends World Committee for Consultation (Quaker).
  • Interfaith Power & Light will present a ten-foot long scroll with the names of thousands of U.S. congregations and people of faith who have pledged to cut emissions from their facilities and homes by 50% by 2030 and 100% by 2050.
  • The Episcopal Church's recent adoption of a suite of new climate resolutions, a number of which were written by the Episcopal Bishop of California, the Rt. Rev. Marc Handley Andrus.  

Other notable highlights of the event include new art installations by Grace Cathedral artist-in-residence Sukey Bryan, singing by the Oakland-based Thrive Choir, a performance by the Tree Stilt Walkers of Cirque Berzerk, and a short adaptation of the climate-themed dance piece, Dead Reckoning, performed by renowned San Francisco-based dance company ODC/Dance.

Seating is limited, so please RSVP here to reserve your spot and/or receive information about the livestream.

A series of Faith-Rooted Climate Workshops is also being held at Grace Cathedral September 12, 13, and 14. Read more about the schedule of offerings here.