|John Hill, left, of the United Methodist Board of Church and Society, talks with Daniel Obergfell, a Church and Society board member from Germany. The two are attending the climate change summit in Paris. Photo for UMNS by Rev. Lisa Garvin.|
During Thanksgiving dinner, Rev. Lisa Garvin’s family asked her why she was headed to Paris as part of a United Methodist delegation participating in the United Nations climate conference.
After all, what role can the church play in negotiations at the 21st Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, better known as COP21?
As Garvin noted in a video message from Paris, United Methodists are among the people around the world most affected by climate change.
“I’m proud to be part of a global church that reminds us of humanity’s responsibility for the stewardship of God’s creation and keeps that at the center of these conversations,” she said.
Providing advocacy, prayer support
Garvin is part of a United Methodist Board of Church and Society delegation now in Paris to advocate, with other faith groups, for climate justice. She is a member of the Mississippi Conference and acting dean of the chapel and religious life at Emory University.
A delegation from the United Methodist Board of Global Ministries also arrived Dec. 2 to connect with faith partners and offer worship and prayer support. The summit is scheduled to end Friday, Dec. 11.
Faith groups at the conference include the World Council of Churches, the Lutheran World Federation, ACT Alliance, Our Voices, the Conference of European Churches and the World Communion of Reformed Churches.
“The momentum towards change has come, and it might be stronger than we understand,” wrote Rev. Olav Fykse Tveit, the WCC’s top executive, in an Advent message just before the summit began.