floridarising2016fb2

The climate is about all of us: food, water, energy in dynamic relationship, either enriching or encumbering human well-being and the biodiversity on Earth. The changes now underway are happening rapidly. We can see them in Florida. Sea-level rise brings standing water and flooding in more areas. Disease and infestations eat way at crops, uninhibited by previous winter cold snaps. Sink holes occur near the coast and salt water intrudes into artesian supplies. Erratic weather patterns and loss of habitat wreak havoc in agriculture and green spaces. Fossil fuel pollutants deteriorate life-spans and increase breathing disorders. Should not actions be taken?

Look at the big sectors of society: the market, government and civil engagement. There’s an imbalance among them. The market exercises heavy influence over the government because too much of it is embedded in fossil fuels. Civil engagement cannot wait for the market to react to apocalypse. It’s our moment – a spiritual awakening and a time for religious action.

The Florida InterFaith Climate Action Network has emerged among a wide variety of religious, spiritual, and conscience concerned persons who see the urgency for changing our national narrative and taking action now. There are many things we all can do to live differently on Earth with all life. Our faith narratives, wisdom traditions, and scientific imagination offer much support. We can learn from each other, share our insights, and welcome new collaborative approaches.

The 2016 Climate Assembly brings together people of faith, spirit, goodwill, and conscience to pursue how we may all live better together on Earth and work in mutually supporting ways to birth sustainable cultures that renew resources and nurture biodiversity. Our question has become: what can we do together?

The day for pretending that we don’t need each other because we are self-sufficient in our own beliefs is passing quickly. It’s one world, the only world we have. Let’s live well on it together. Time can be on our side if we are united in acting to repair Earth.

Dr. Joel Hunter will share his faith journey to creation care. Dr. Harold Wanless will explain why sea-level is rising irreversibly. Rev. Fletcher Harper will share the variety of religious perspectives to Pope Francis’ statement on the environment and poverty. Rev. Gerald Durley will address the civil rights need for renewable energy. Fr. Matthew Fox will describe the spirituality of creation embedded in the histories of many religions and draw forth wisdom that can renew us all.

The Climate Assembly includes impressive presenters, profound experiences, ample opportunity for designing initiatives that realize how to safeguard water, protect food supplies and generate energy from solar, wind, tide and geothermal. Come prepared to participate in conversational leadership.

You’ll be glad for the experience and the new fellowship in Earthcare and advocacy.

Network Bazaar

The various climate and environmental groups active in Florida and the nation are invited to be exhibitors at the assembly. Generous time has been built into the schedule so that participants can visit exhibitor tables and interact with group representatives. Group representatives are also invited to participate in the World Café and the Open Space.

World Café

On Friday afternoon, after great presentations and profound experiences, the assembly will engage in small group conversations. In a series of thought-provoking questions, participants will share their personal stories, identify the things we have in common, and explore the possibilities of collaboration. Read about World Café here: http://www.theworldcafe.com/key-concepts-resources/world-cafe-method/

Open Space

On Saturday, we will self-select discussion groups and topics in which to engage climate action and ideas. Participants and exhibitors will be able to announce discussion topics and invite whomever is interested to join them. The discussions will happen in three different sessions. Read about Open Space here: http://www.openspaceworld.com/users_guide.htm.

Results

Notes and recordings of the various conversations will be kept. Once collated into a document, they will be distributed to all registrants. The assembly will have a record of its proceedings so that the climate action network can monitor its own efforts.

Post-Assembly

An interactive social engagement platform will be announced. The platform will allow the various groups of interest and concern to collaborate over the web and develop stronger collective efforts to live out healthier relationships in society, including in the market and with government, for addressing climate disruption.

Rev. Dr. Russell L. Meyer
Assembly Organizer