Churches can continue Climate Hope campaign with postcard drive

Ready, set, send.

The United Church of Christ’s Environmental Justice Ministries are preparing for the most important phase of the Climate Hope Cards campaign.

First, hundreds of young artists from across the nation created their own Climate Hope Cards. Then, environmental justice leaders selected a winning design. Now, pre-printed postcards will be shipped to registered churches beginning the first week of May. For the final step, congregations will share the postcards as personalized calls to action for local lawmakers, while the Environmental Justice Ministries will collect others to flood federal officials in Washington, D.C.

Want to learn more about how to get involved? Join a postcard campaign kickoff Zoom call Saturday, April 29 at 3 p.m. ET.

During this event, attendees will get to “hear a little about UCC environmental justice advocacy history, learn about the rules we’re pushing for and details of the campaign logistics,” according to UCC environmental justice fellow Andy Wells-Bean, who created the Climate Hope Cards campaign.

He added that the Zoom call also will provide participants with “tools and motivation needed to launch an energetic Climate Hope postcard drive at their own congregation.”

Examples of hope

“Hope” has been the driving theme for the UCC’s environmental justice initiatives this year. For Earth Day — observed April 22 — the UCC held an inaugural summit: “What’s Possible? Earth Day Stories of Hope.”

“The UCC’s first Earth Day Summit focused on stories of hope,” said the Rev. Brooks Berndt, minister for environmental justice. “With real-life examples, it showed how each of us can make a difference.”

“I believe the truth is the foundation of hope,” said the Rev. Jim Antal during the keynote address for the UCC’s inaugural Earth Day Summit. “For hope to be authentic, it must be founded on truth.”

The postcard campaign, he added, is just such an example.

“The Climate Hope Cards campaign provides a ready-made opportunity for all of us to be part of an unfolding story of promise and possibility,” Berndt said.

There are other opportunities to put hope into action, too. During the kickoff Zoom gathering, Wells-Bean will highlight rules that, if the Environmental Protection Agency updated them, “would protect millions.”

These include standards for industrial carbon pollution, air quality, ozone health and more. As part of the call, Wells-Bean will share details about how congregations can help advocate for such rules.

“Updated EPA rules would mean massive reductions in air, water and greenhouse gas pollution across the country,” Wells-Bean said. “The folks currently most burdened by pollution — including low-income communities, communities of color, the elderly and children — will benefit the most.”

Local churches are key

To help with the postcard campaign, the Environmental Justice Ministries team is hiring four summer interns. Each internship can be done remotely, lasting 10 weeks — from June 5 to August 14 — and will be paid $15 an hour for 20 hours per week.

The winning Climate Hope Card design can also be purchased on a coffee mug through UCC Resources. “We loved the idea that the Climate Hope art could be part of local churches transitioning away from dependence on single use cups,” Wells-Bean said.

“These interns will be crucial to broadening the Climate Hope Cards campaign reach,” Wells-Bean said. “They also will learn critical advocacy skills.”

The deadline is April 30, and the application is available here.

Most importantly, local churches will be key to the success of the campaign. Registration for the Zoom kickoff call is here, while registration to receive postcards can be found here.

“When it comes to enormous issues like the climate crisis, our greatest potential in the UCC is when all of the different parts of the body of Christ work together for change,” Berndt said.

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Categories: United Church of Christ News

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