Guest post by Ruth Jarman, founder member of Christian Climate Action
A year ago, the head of the UN said, ‘if we do not change course by 2020, we risk missing the point where we can avoid runaway climate change.’ Since then we have had two major reports on biodiversity and two major reports on climate change, all of them peer-reviewed, graphic screams from the collective scientific community, pleading for action. But we hardly need to listen to the UN or its scientists – the Arctic, the Amazon and our own bodies have felt the heat of this summer. We fear it is all too late.
For two decades I have been campaigning and lobbying for lifestyle and policy changes, and seen hope for a safe future slip slowly away. Enter Extinction Rebellion. Just two weeks on the streets this Easter and Parliament declared an environment and climate emergency. There is a theory behind the nonviolent civil disobedience of Gandhi, Martin Luther King and others and it has worked in the past. Whether it will work to prevent climate and ecological meltdown depends, I think, on God and numbers. We need a miracle and we need two million plus people on the streets with several million supporting us in polls and prayer. The way the global economy works needs to be turned upside down and we follow someone who came to do just that. The timescale is impossible – it needs to happen now – 2019, 2020 latest. But we worship a God for whom nothing is impossible.
I cannot see any other way that the unprecedented changes that must be made can be made except through the truth-telling of mass nonviolent civil disobedience. If God plans to save creation, this just might be part of the plan. And if we are Jesus’ hands and feet, what does that mean for us?
On October 7th, an International Rebellion for life begins. Christian Climate Action are teaming up with other faith groups to turn a central London bridge into a place of worship, song, prayer and lamentation. We plan to hold the bridge for at least 2 weeks. We need people to join us!
How you can help
- Be there! Join us on the bridge for anything from an hour to 2 weeks – starting from 9am? Monday October 7th.
- Offer to lead prayer or worship – contact email@example.com
- Engage your church – even if they can’t come to London, ask them to pray for you and for the rebels.
- One creative way to do this is to engage them in making prayer flags. Green Christian started these at Greenbelt, and we already have strings of coloured material, on which people have written prayers, ready to be strung up between lamp posts, providing a colourful and prayerful decoration to the bridge. We would love to have more! Take a look at these instructions [link] and bring your completed prayer flags to the bridge yourself during the rebellion, or post to Operation Noah, The Neighbourhood Office, 40 Bermondsey Street, London SE1 3UD.
- Organise an art installation or creative activities – contact firstname.lastname@example.org
- Engaging with members of the public such as handing out fliers
- Support the rebels by:
- For Central London churches, providing accommodation to rebels, providing space for a banner, storage, camping space outside, kitchen, toilets, space for disabled toilets, training space before the rebellion. XR will have guardians at all spaces to ensure XR guidelines are adhered to and space is respected. Whatever can be offered is welcome! Contact email@example.com
- providing food/water – contact firstname.lastname@example.org
- providing wellbeing support – contact email@example.com
- supporting individuals when they leave police custody. Being there with a smile and some sustenance – contact firstname.lastname@example.org
At Christian Climate Action we say we are called to be faithful, not successful. Should the rebellion not ‘work’ and we fail to turn the tide towards climate, ecological and civilization meltdown, we believe that supporting Extinction Rebellion’s nonviolent and regenerative movement is still the best moral and truthful choice in this time of extinction.