Faith Leaders Answer Pope Francis' Call to Activate on Climate Change

WASHINGTON, Sept. 29, 2015 -- Pope Francis' visit to the U.S. sparked inspiration and action among hundreds of Christian, Muslim, Jewish and other national religious leaders at the 2-day interfaith Coming Together in Faith on Climate gathering September 24 and 25 at Washington National Cathedral. The events celebrated the Pope's leadership on climate change, and top leaders pledged to make an impact in their houses of worship and inspire their congregations and communities to care for creation.

Hosted by Blessed Tomorrow, Convergence, Washington National Cathedral, Auburn Seminary, Faith in Public Life, Interfaith Power & Light, and DivestInvest Individual, the evening celebration and national faith and climate leadership summit harnessed the momentum surrounding the Pope's message on climate change to accelerate collective action for climate solutions.

Featured speakers at the events included:

Sister Simone Campbell, Executive Director, NETWORK ("Nuns on the Bus")
Rev. John C. Dorhauer, Ninth General Minister and President, United Church of Christ
Rabbi Steve Gutow, President, Jewish Council for Public Affairs
Very Rev. Gary Hall, 10th Dean, Washington National Cathedral
The Rev. Dr. Susan Henry–Crowe, General Secretary, General Board of Church and Society of the United Methodist Church
Rev. Dr. Joel Hunter, Senior Pastor, Northland, A Church Distributed
Bishop Katharine Jefferts-Schori, 26th Presiding Bishop Episcopal Church of the United States
Rachel Lamb, National Spokesperson, Young Evangelicals for Climate Action
Imam Mohamed Magid, President, Islamic Society of North America, Imam ADAMS Center, VA
Rev. Dr. Otis Moss III, Senior Pastor, Trinity United Church of Christ, Chicago
Rev. Suzii Paynter, Executive Coordinator, Cooperative Baptist Fellowship
Rabbi Jonah Pesner, Executive Director, the Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism
Ambassador Ebrahim Rasool, Former South African Ambassador to the United States, Distinguished Scholar-in-Residence, Al Waleed bin Talal Center for Muslim-Christian Understanding, Georgetown University
Rev. Dr. Geoff Tunnicliffe, Former Secretary General, World Evangelical Alliance
Rev. Jim Wallis, President and Founder, Sojourners
Rev. Sharon Watkins, General Minister and President, Christian Church (Disciples of Christ)
Senator Sheldon Whitehouse, U.S. Senator, Rhode Island

As a next step, Blessed Tomorrow, a lead partner in the initiative, encourages leaders to join its national coalition to activate the Pope's call to action. "The Pope's visit to the U.S., his addresses to Congress and the United Nations, and his message on climate change are clear invitations for faith leaders to elevate their leadership to care for creation within their congregations, communities, and the nation. The time to start making an impact is now, and faith leaders have the power to inspire Americans to lead on the most pressing moral issue of our time," said Bob Perkowitz, President and Founder of ecoAmerica, the organization that helped to create the Blessed Tomorrow program.

About Blessed Tomorrow
Blessed Tomorrow is a coalition of diverse religious partners united as faithful stewards of creation. Together, we inspire our communities to take action today on one of the greatest moral challenges of our era — protecting our shared home. By joining on behalf of your congregation as a member of the Blessed Tomorrow coalition, you are joining a network of leaders committed to walking more gently on the earth and inspiring others to lead on climate solutions in their homes, congregations, and communities. Blessed Tomorrow offers valuable resources for clergy, organization leaders, and lay leaders to communicate, lead by example, and get started on a path to a positive future. Learn more and join atwww.blessedtomorrow.org.

Contact: Meighen Speiser
ecoAmerica, Blessed Tomorrow 
meighen@ecoamerica.org 
415-794-5449

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