A Wake Up Call

By Jason Miller, FAN Director of Campaigns and Development

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Before I left for #COP21 many people asked me why I was going and how exactly this was going to help climate change. Perhaps some people were even cynical. My immediate answer was that I was going to Paris to connect and build relationships with the wider Franciscan family. This is true as there are many branches to the Franciscan family tree and its important to put a face to the work we do at FAN. I also realized during meetings before I left that #COP21 is not the final answer to climate change but another important step in the right direction. It is important to raise awareness to the immediate threat that climate change brings to our brothers and sisters, especially those in the third world.

But now that I’ve arrived in Paris, I’ve been awakened to how #COP21 is much more that I initially realized.

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Last night I went to Notre Dame for an interfaith prayer service. As I prayed with people of all different faiths and origins from all over the world, I realized that for me, #COP21 is a wake up call. Not just to the importance of working to combat climate change but also as a reminder that we are all human beings, interconnected to one another as brothers and sisters and that it’s going to take all of us working together to ensure that our earth is inhabitable for future generations. Often stuck in the “DC bubble” I forget that the answer to combating climate change is not merely political or up to Congress. Obviously, they play a role, but the solution is more than just a political or an American one. The solution is also spiritual and going to take the effort of all people of goodwill around the world.

As we lifted our prayers last night in Notre Dame with one voice, at that moment I knew that this grassroots spiritual movement of which I am a part is the real solution to combating climate change. In order to influence world leaders to act, we must speak as one voice from all backgrounds together as we pronounce our desire to ensure that our grandchildren inherit an inhabitable earth.

#COP21 is another step forward to the solution. And it’s going to take all of us. But in prayer at Notre Dame I realized that, despite what the critics or politicians say, the solution is not hopeless. Together, the people of God no matter their faith, background, or belief are here to raise awareness and to pray and to act. Together we can move mountains.

Peace and all good,

Jason Miller

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Published in: on December 5, 2015 at 9:39 am  Comments (1)  

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  1. […] community can move mountains, and that climate change is not a future proposition, but something affecting our brothers and sisters across the globe right now. Both of these things are still true. But now, as I reflect back on my time in Paris, I realize […]


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