RESPOND TO THE CLIMATE CRISIS:
HOST A LTC MEAL & CONVERSATION
You’re invited to participate in this WEA initiative because you’re a Christian who is intentionally and actively caring for the gift of God’s creation as a disciple of Christ. You also know that’s not easy as the world’s ecosystems that sustain life are being pushed to their limits, and in many cases beyond their limits. The hard truth is we are living in an ecologically fast changing world due to the climate change emergency. For more and more Christians this truth is sinking in as they not only digest the reports and facts about threats of climate change and the declining health of the world’s ecosystems, but as they personally experience extreme drought, heatwaves, floods, wildfires, hurricanes and other related impacts. As this truth sets in evangelicals are asking questions about how to respond to this changing world from a Christian perspective. We know you can help, but even more importantly you want to help, which is why we have prepared this resource for you.
THE PLAN OF ACTION
Step One. Learn what you can personally do about climate change by reviewing the content at the Living the Change website. We also recommend watching this Ted Talk by the WEA’s new Climate Change Ambassador, Dr. Katharine Hayhoe, an evangelical Christian and renowned climate scientist, on why “the most important thing to do to fight climate change is to talk about it,” because that’s exactly what we are encouraging you to do.
Step Two. Host a meal–a breakfast, lunch, or dinner, and an intentional conversation with a group of Christian friends, your bible study group, Sunday School class, discipleship group, or some other Christian affinity group, to begin talking about creation care and climate change, but most importantly what you can personally do about it.
Step Three. Host your meal and conversation about Living the Change sometime before
the end of the year. We know it’s a busy season and it is not an easy conversation to have, but it’s a very meaningful one. Which is why during this season to be with friends and dwell on important and meaningful things related to our faith, as well as turning the page on a new year, we think this is the perfect season to have a thoughtful conversation about how to respond to the climate emergency.
Pray about who to invite to your meal and conversation, then step out and invite whoever God puts on your heart. The purpose of this meal is not to convince skeptical friends or acquaintances that climate change is real, or that God calls us to care for His gift of creation. This is for friends and acquaintances who already accept these truths and want to do something. It is for friends who are already making conscious lifestyle choices commensurate with caring for creation and reducing their carbon footprint, but want to take further steps in their creation care discipleship. It is also for friends who are just starting out on their creation care journey. In other words, everyone is welcome who wants to do something, no matter how much they are already doing right now, or the size of the next step they want to take.
Be forthright about the reason for your invitation. Nobody likes ulterior motivations, or bait-and-switch situations, so let your guests know that you want to have a serious discussion with like-minded friends about climate change and creation care, but most importantly what to do about it in your own lives.
We encourage you to share a nice vegetarian meal together, but this is only a suggestion. The meal is intended to bring people together and to celebrate God’s gift of creation, not stress people out, or make them feel guilty. So enjoy and be grateful for the food that is most comfortable for you and your guests. We’re just asking you to consider it. Host the meal in your home, or at church, or eat out, or buy ingredients and cook a meal together. Do whatever is most comfortable for you as the host.
Reaffirm the deepest Christian truths and values that motivate us to care for God’s creation.
Share that many different solutions to climate change are needed at many different levels—intergovernmental, national, state, city, and personal. We need policy changes, changes to business-as-normal, changes in our churches, etc.. In other words, to rise to the challenge of climate change and care of creation we need comprehensive change.
Share that personal lifestyle choices that have an impact on climate change, especially at scale, are part of the solution. More importantly, making lifestyle choices explicitly motivated by one’s Christian faith are within our immediate control.
Introduce for discussion Living the Change as a resource for Christian discipleship and care of creation. Living the Change is focused on encouraging Christians to make faith-consistent personal lifestyle choices that are commensurate with care of creation and reducing one’s carbon footprint.
Our experience is that it may take time to process Living the Change lifestyle choices and to make a commitment. That’s why we believe your meal and discussion is the start of a process between supportive friends, who motivated by their Christian faith, are seeking to do something about climate change and care of creation.
Change lifestyle commitments when they are ready. When that happens is between your friends and God, but when they do make a lifestyle commitment we want them to use the Living the Change commitment tool on line at https://wea.livingthechange.net to record their commitment.
Remind your guests that small choices motivated by faith matter to God. Encourage them to start the journey with a choice they can make, no matter how modest it may be.
Commit to pray for each other as you discern what Living the Change lifestyle commitment(s) to make, and to continue to pray and encourage each other going forward when commitments are decided on.
That’s a lot to think about, but it’s all good stuff. Your friends will be grateful for your invitation and helping them to do something about climate change and caring for creation.
REGISTER TO HOST A MEAL & CONVERSATION
If you like what you’ve read and want to host a Living the Change meal and conversation fill in the following form. In it you’ll agree to:
1. Be a host and convene a Living the Change meal and conversation for 4-10 Christian friends and/or acquaintances (including yourself).
2. Host the meal before the end of the year.
3. Share Living the Change with your guests. If guests are ready to make a Living the Change lifestyle commitment at dinner that’s great, but it’s not required to do so.
4. Take a group photo at your meal, send us a copy, and give us written permission to share it on social media and anywhere else we may choose.
5. Commit to pray for your guests for the next three months as they discern and make Living the Change lifestyle commitments.
6. That when a lifestyle choice is made your guests will use the Living the Change commitment tool to record their commitment. It’s very important for us to keep track of these commitments.
7. Follow-up with your guests at least once a month for the next three months to encourage them to make a Living the Change lifestyle commitment, and if they make a commitment to encourage them in it. Our prayer and hope is that when this three month period ends you’ll still want to keep on meeting together and encouraging each other to keep and make additional lifestyle commitments.