Update from the Interfaith Moral Action on Climate

We are facing a Climate Cliff, and we need you – our religious and spiritual leaders, other believers and all people of good will – to join us in addressing its danger by participating in “A Pray-in for the Climate” in front of the White House on Tuesday, January 15, 2013, following the agenda listed below.
To date, the religious and faith leaders who have agreed to be with us include:


  •          Rev. Richard CizikPresident of The New Evangelical Partnership for the Common Good
  •          Rev. Bob Edgar, CEO, Common Cause; Former head of National Council of the Churches
  •          Rev. Michael Ellik, Judson Memorial Church, NYC; Occupy Faith/Occupy Sandy
  •          Green Hevra, community members
  •          Rev. Philip Lawson, Pastor Emeritus, Easter Hill UMC Church, Oakland, CA; National Council of Elders
  •          Rev. John MerzRector, Ascension Episcopal Church Brooklyn, NY; Occupy Faith/Occupy Sand
  •          Rabbi Mordechai Liebling, Social Justice Organizing Program,  Re-constructionist Rabbinical College
  •          Nipponzan Nyohoji Buddhist Community
  •          Jacqui Patterson, NAACP – Director, Climate Justice Initiative
  •          Rabbi David Saperstein, Director, Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism
  •          Dr. Rajwant Singh, Sikh Council on Religion and Education
  •          Father Louie Vitale OFM, Franciscan Friar, Co-founder Nevada Desert Experience
  •          Rev. Lennox Yearwood, Jr., President, HipHop Caucus, Washington, DC

In addition, the following are among the individuals and organizations endorsing this action:


  •          Sister Simone Campbell, Executive Director, NETWORK
  •          Dr. James Hansen
  •          Interreligious Eco-Justice Network of CT
  •          Chief Oren Lyons, Faith keeper, Turtle Clan, Onondaga Nation
  •          People of the Onondaga Nation
  •          Bill McKibben
  •          National Council of the Elders
The Shalom CenterJanuary 15th marks the 84th birthday of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., whose profound words speak directly to us as we witness the devastating effects of climate change:


We are confronted with the fierce urgency of now…. Over the bleached bones and jumbled residues of numerous civilizations are written the pathetic words:  ’Too late’.”


Fifty years ago, our country faced a crisis of racial inequality in America that posed a basic threat to justice and democracy. Religious communities and others acted, and we made a difference.


Today’s deepest crisis is the danger facing the web of life upon our planet, including the human race – especially the poorest and most vulnerable.  We are particularly concerned about the effects on local communities and our planetary future of destructive, extreme energy extraction: mountaintop removal, fracking, Arctic and deep sea offshore oil drilling, and tar sands mining.


Out of our moral commitment to protect and heal God’s Creation, our religious communities need to be calling for a set of first-step changes that will sow the seeds of greater change, by committing the President and Congress to vigorous action.


The Interfaith Moral Action on Climate - a collaborative initiative of religious leaders, groups and individuals that came together in 2011 in response to the pressing need for more visible, unified, prophetic action to address the climate crisis – is issuing such a call for January 15th, and has organized the following activities:


11:00 am* – Gathering for everyone at New York Avenue Presbyterian Church
(1313 New York Ave., NW, Washington, DC)


12:00 pm – Religious Procession to the White House 
(1600 Pennsylvania Ave., NW)


12:30 pm – Prayerful Vigil in front of the White House - Asking that the President and the nation find the strength and wisdom to steer us away from the Climate Cliff
Please note:  Some participants may feel called to risk arrest by nonviolently disregarding the conventional regulations and assuming positions of prayer in the area near the White House fence.
As they do so, others of us will create a powerful circle of prayer in support of those engaging in dignified, nonviolent civil disobedience.

To our President and Congress we will address the prophetic words of Dr. King spoken at another moment of crisis: “This is a time to break the silence!”  And we will call on them to break the silence by taking necessary actions, such as these:


1. Permanently refuse permits for the Keystone XL tar sands pipeline, because tar-oil is among the most dangerous of the planet-heating forms of carbon


2. Call a National Summit Conference on the Climate Crisis that includes leaders of business, labor, academia, religious communities, governmental officialdom, science, and other relevant bodies


3. Publicly support and advocate for a carbon fee that will generate hundreds of billions of dollars, with provisions to ensure that working families and the poor are not harmed by higher carbon prices; for an end to subsidies to the coal, oil and gas industries; and for substantial subsidies for research, development, and use of renewable, sustainable and jobs-creating clean energy sources.


We hope you will join us on January 15th, and ask that you visit our website: www.interfaithactiononclimatechange.org to register your support and/or plan to participate.  Please also feel free to contact us at cynthiaharris4930@gmail.com, or by calling 202-288-8788 if you have any questions or concerns.


With blessings of shalom, salaam, pax, paz, peace,


Members of the IMAC Steering Committee


  • Rev. Tom Carr, Senior Pastor, First Baptist Church, Hartford, CT, Interreligious Eco Justice Network, CT
  • Rev. Terry Ellen, Executive Director, Unitarian Universalists for Social Justice in the National Capital Region
  • Ted Glick, Chesapeake Climate Action Network
  • Cynthia Harris, Interfaith Moral Action on Climate
  • Dr. Mark Johnson, Fellowship of Reconciliation
  • Fr. Paul Mayer, Climate Crisis Coalition
  • Ibrahim Ramey, Muslim American Freedom Society
  • Karen Scott, Center for Liberty of Conscience
  • Lise Van Susteren, MD, Advisory Board, Center for Health and the Global Environment,  NWF
  • Rabbi Arthur Waskow, The Shalom Center, Philadelphia, Pa.


*NOTE:  Instruction and training for those planning to engage in non-violent civil disobedience at the White House will be offered on 1/15/13 at 10:00 am at the New York Avenue Presbyterian Church, (1313 New York Ave., NW, Washington, DC) prior to the 11:00 am Gathering there.
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