The Vision behind Climate Hope Cards
In 2023, the United Church of Christ launched a campaign rooted in a history of calling for action at the federal level of government to address the overlapping crises of climate and inequality. Through the Climate Hope Cards campaign, churches across the country are presently collecting thousands of postcards as part of an effort to save thousands of lives, address societal inequities, and get our nation on track to meet its climate goals. The postcards address decision-makers in Washington, DC during a rare period of opportunity as the Environmental Protection Agency reviews and updates a number of protections that could significantly impact our environment and public health. The vision and strategy behind the campaign can be captured as follows:
Why We Need a National, Faith-Rooted Campaign for Climate Hope
- We need solutions that match the scale and the urgency of the crisis faced. While we need actions at all levels and in multiple settings, ultimately, the federal government is the institutional system in the United States that can mobilize with the scope and speed required.
- For goals that are national in scope, we need organizing that is national in scope. From the Montgomery bus boycott to Standing Rock, movements are driven and inspired by local actions. But movements never stop at the local, they expand and connect to affect societal change.
- One of our greatest strengths is that our churches have deep roots in communities throughout our country. The body of Christ has many parts, but in answering this call, we are realizing a desperately needed potential that cannot be realized alone but can only be realized as a collective body.
- The Climate Hope Cards campaign provides a vehicle for churches to come together to take action. Through our actions, we both find hope and give hope.
- Our love, action, and hope will transform the Church as we transform the world. As declining membership numbers prompt conversations about the future of the Church, vibrant relevancy and life can be found with a calling and a purpose that is rooted in love: a love of neighbor, a love of children, and a love for all God’s creation.
Why Postcards Are a Great Vehicle for Action
There are three strategic reasons for why postcards are an effective vehicle for action:
(1) They give us something tangible and meaningful to deliver to decision-makers. More than an online petition can convey, these postcards say that thousands of people throughout this country took the time to write a message to express how much they care.
(2) A postcard opens the door to further opportunities for action. Those who give their email address on the postcard and check the box for updates have the additional opportunity to make official comments on EPA protections as they come up for review. They will have not just one opportunity to make a difference but multiple opportunities. We know the EPA and the White House are going to be hearing from the fossil fuel industry. We need them to hear from us as well.
(3) The process of having someone sign a card is better than any online action because it creates an opportunity for a conversation. Conversations change hearts and minds in a way that mass emails (often to the already converted) cannot. Collecting postcards takes more work, but it is worth it.