Who wants to praise the Lord while suffocating in greenhouse gases and other pollutants? Not I — and certainly not the nation’s top church leaders. A thousand Black churches across the U.S. are teaming up with the U.S. Green Building Council and Green for All to combat climate change.
They call it the “Green the Church” movement.
When the Black church has got your back, you’re going places. “No major movement in this nation has been successful without power and leadership of black church,” said Ambrose Carroll, founder of Green The Church. And he’s right. From the civil war to the anti-lynching campaigns and the civil rights movement, success would have been elusive without Black church leadership.
“The black church has always joined hands with other faith traditions and stood on the front lines as they did in Selma, Alabama,,” Caroll added. “Likewise this must be true in the fight against climate change.”
The alliance will work on energy efficiency projects, urban farming initiatives and renewable energy. A lot of progress, Caroll said, can be made at the churches themselves. “We as a people may not own a lot of real estate in this nation, but we do own church buildings. All those buildings can be retrofitted for more efficiency energy use,” Carroll added.
Black churches and “go green” enthusiasts might seem like an unlikely pairing, but they do share one goal: Creating an inclusive, prosperous, stable society for everyone.
Bishop J.W. Macklin of Glad Tidings Church of God in Christ gives us insight as to why he’s joining the Green the Church movement:
“The question that must be asked is ‘who is our neighbor?’ We have to identify our neighbor as the one who shouts for us, who needs us. Right now communities affected most are those who are being hit by climate change. They’re calling for our help.”
Some congregants are already benefiting from the fight against climate change. Reverend Otis Moss of Chicago’s Trinity United Church of Christ noted that he was able to provide free solar power to an elderly member of the church.
“We were saved by the Son and now we’re powered by the sun,” Moss said.