UCC’s Dorhauer brings message of uniting to save the Earth to interfaith leaders in Washington, D.C
With a message focused on the importance of healing the Earth, United Church of Christ General Minister and President the Rev. John C. Dorhauer addressed interfaith colleagues Thursday evening, Sept. 24, in a celebration at Washington Cathedral.
“Our precious planet is dying. Whatever has before kept us apart must now be cast aside,” Dorhauer told the crowd gathered for the first session of “Coming Together in Faith on Climate,” a two-day event in Washington, D.C. “We who broker in hope, who stay attuned to the voice and movement of the sacred among us, who find light in the darkness must unite a single movement and a common cause.”
Dorhauer’s speech was one of several inspirational messages from U.S. faith leaders that, along with songs and poetry, was intent on connecting faith and climate leaders and build momentum for action.
Here is the complete text of Dorhauer’s speech:
“It is an honor to be here with friends of our Earth, whose sacred texts all remind us how precious is the work of the Creator.
“No god we have imagined, no divine being with which we have communed, can or would tolerate what our hands have wrought from the goodness she fashioned.
“All things that we claim to be true on behalf of the gods we worship have no meaning, have no value, have no purpose unless and until they unite in common cause to restore health to our beloved Mother Earth.
“We find ourselves, all of us, engaged in open debate about the relevance of our respective faiths, of the value of our rich traditions and rituals, and of the authenticity of our theological suppositions. Many wonder if there is any relevancy left to religion itself.
“They are not wrong to ask. If our collective call to goodness cannot conspire to heal our planet, our reasons for being are called into question.
“There is a word from our sacred writings, recorded in the words of a prophet known as Amos. He speaks with what we hear as the voice of our creator saying to those assembled for worship:
“I hate, I despise your festivals,
and I take no delight in your solemn assemblies.
“Take away from me the noise of your songs;
I will not listen to the melody of your harps.
“But let justice roll down like waters,
and righteousness like an ever-flowing stream.
“I hear this as a word for our time, expressed if not now with the voice of our creator then with the voice of our detractors who see our attention to ritual, tradition, and orthodoxy as meaningless when they are not accompanied with the kind of action that makes for justice; or worse, when they are offered in exchange for the actions that make for justice.
“Our precious planet is dying. Whatever has before kept us apart must now be cast aside. We who broker in hope, who stay attuned to the voice and movement of the sacred among us, who find light in the darkness must unite a single movement and a common cause. We must as one inspire humankind to live differently. Or the Earth will die, casting us all aside. And those who saw as irrelevant will have won a Pyrrhic victory.
“We can do this. One year ago today, $50 billion was divested from fossil fuel companies; today that figure stands at $2.6 trillion. 4 years ago 1,200 faith leaders were arrested for opposing a KXL pipeline that president Obama has yet to take action against, but today Hillary Clinton stated her clear opposition to it.
“Our voice matters. We can do this. If we harness the collective agency of our religious movements, we can literally move the Earth. Let us all stand in solidarity, all people of faith, united for the preservation of the Earth and the bounty and beauty it was created to sustain.”
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