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UMW Green Team’s Initiative on Climate Change: Countdown to Copenhagen Campaign 2009

GET INVOLVED!

The Women’s Division and United Methodist Women are active partners with Church World Service, the National Council of Churches USA, their member denominations, and ecumenical partners in developed and developing nations on the Countdown to Copenhagen Campaign (C2C).

This effort strives to build awareness among people of faith of the critical need for compassionate, bold action on climate change which is damaging God’s creation and imposing unjust burdens on the poor around the world.

The campaign calls upon the world’s leaders to commit to strong limits on carbon emissions. It also calls for wealthy nations to contribute funds to assist developing countries to adapt to the climactic changes that have already begun.

Here are some ways you can be involved:

SCHOOLS OF CHRISTIAN MISSION.

  • This summer UMW Regional and Conference Schools of Christian Mission will feature ACTION on climate change and integrate the C2C campaign as part of the mission fair. This will be a great opportunity to start to spread the word, pick up helpful resources on climate change for United Methodist Women, network and plan additional actions at the conference, district and unit levels.

HOST A POSTCARD TABLE

  • during Schools of Mission, UMW training events, and in your local churches at fellowship hour and at special church functions. Set a goal for signatures and advertise this widely in church newsletters and bulletins. Make a special pulpit announcement on Earth Day to encourage participation. Announce web link of the Postcard Action that can be done online: www.churchworldservice.org .

MAKE YOUR VOICES HEARD

  • Call or visit your U.S. Representative and Senators. Take friends or church members to visit the local office when your members of Congress are home on break. Or call Washington, D.C. and speak to the staff person in charge of working on climate change. Reach out to other people of faith and non-profit organizations to make similar visits. The Women’s Division can help you with talking points. Your voice is needed to ensure that U.S. national legislation addresses the needs of the most vulnerable people, communities and nations in their ability to adapt to climate change. Let the Women’s Division Washington, DC, Office of Public Policy ( umwanet@gbgm-umc.org) know when you do contact your officials. We want to keep track of how well we are all doing.

LINK THE C2C CAMPAIGN WITH AN EDUCATIONAL EFFORT

· Adult Sunday School class – Green Team member Pat Watkins is producing a Bible study on climate change for us to use. This could be a great way to begin the conversation. Go to www.nccecojustice.org for climate change and simple living curricula you can use. Link the study with the first C2C commitment – to evaluate one’s lifestyle and lessen one’s carbon footprint. Invite people to sign and distribute the C2C postcard.

· Vacation Bible School class – Kids care! Offer one session or a series. Apply similar curricula for children.

· Teens – participatory learning – Map the potential impact of climate change in your area and make a mural/map/collage to display at church. Get teens involved in measuring and reducing your church’s carbon footprint – starting with changing light bulbs. Invite teens to take on the C2C postcard campaign.

· Beat the Heat Fair – Host a climate change-themed fair at church with information about how to save energy, a C2C postcard table and other learning and action opportunities.

INFORM, INSPIRE AND ACTIVATE WITH A LOW CARBON FOOTPRINT MEAL

  • People love to eat. Educate and feed people at the same time! Transform a holiday celebration, party, meeting or other special occasion at home, church, work or in the community. Source as much as possible food that is: in season for your region, locally and organically-produced, and lower on the food chain. (Offer vegetarian if you can; chicken or fish if people demand meat.) Give everyone a C2C postcard and invite them to sign it. The Women’s Division will have sample placemats available for downloading off the web beginning May 1.

CELEBRATE MOTHER’S DAY IN A SPECIAL WAY

Plan special events like a discussion using Enough #2 (educational brochure to be made available by April 27) which looks at the impact of climate change on women and girls and gender equality. Show Sisters on the Planet (order a copy of this DVD through EBrown@gbgm-umc.org) as a discussion starter. Invite the women of your church to write a brief Op Ed or Letter to the Editor to their local newspaper, favorite women’s magazine, or record a brief commentary for a local radio or TV station. Focus on why they care about climate change, its particular harm to women and girls in developing countries and what we can do. Samples will be posted on the web by April 15th.

HOST A VIDEO PARTY.

  • At home, at church, in the neighborhood. Show a film about climate change, like Sisters on the Planet, and talk about the C2C campaign. Invite signatures, and encourage people to help collect signatures. Use this to organize an advocacy visit with your Representative or Senator.

HOST A PUBLIC VIGIL/PRAYER SERVICE.

  • While the Copenhagen negotiations are happening in December, host a public vigil or prayer service. This is one of action commitments on the postcard. It is a chance to do something ecumenically or inter-faith in your community. Be sure to let Women’s Division know (EBrown@gbgm-umc.org) if you are doing something so we can keep track of all the wonderful things happening around the country.

For more information contact Esmeralda Brown at Women’s Division: EBrown@gbgm-umc.org /

212-682-3633.

For Policy and Legislative Updates contact Susie Johnson at Washington Office: umwanet@gbgm-umc.org / 202-488-5660

 
 

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