In late 2019, I (Kaleb) will begin a nationwide road-trip to ask the question: how are churches (in the United States and Canada) faithfully responding to the challenges of climate change and ecological despair?
What makes this project unique is that it looks beyond generic actions such as changing lightbulbs and petitioning elected officials. The focus, rather, is specifically on how church institutions and traditions are being adapted at the congregational grassroots to give Christians and non-Christians alike a sense of hope and direction in response to climate change.
Right now, I am in the process of gathering leads and creating a travel itinerary. By April 2020, I will make my findings widely available in two forms:
Know of a church I should get in touch with, perhaps even your own? Write me with your recommendations!
I am most interested in visiting churches that are doing innovative & creative ministry that moves beyond ecological despair & resignation. I also plan to visit with churches where there is a feeling of being "stuck" and incapable of taking appropriate action.
As a conversation starter, I am developing a quiz that categorizes participants into one of four orientation "types" that helps to spur reflection on the patterns by which one relates to the issue of climate change.
You can take a beta version of the quiz here. Your feedback on the experience is greatly appreciated.
There is some vulnerability involved when it comes not just telling one's story but also having it analyzed. To that end, consent forms for individuals and congregations are required for participation.
This project is financially supported by the Pastoral Study Project program of the Louisville Institute. You can learn more about the grant proposal on their website by looking up "The extension of Christian congregational practices to meet the Anthropocene".
The institutional sponsor of this project is Ravenswood Evangelical Covenant Church, a long-standing neighborhood congregation on Chicago's north side, committed to loving God and loving neighbor. Any premises or conclusions related to this research are the investigator's own and do not represent an official public stance of the congregation.