The Story of the 7 Calls

by Steve Heinrichs

A crisis & calling for the church

When the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change 6th Report came out this past August, I immediately read through the summary for policymakers. I don't think I was surprised by the data and climate scenarios, for I've spent some years studying and reflecting on our ecological crisis. But the report, and the conversation around it, hit my heart especially hard. I wept for days as I contemplated this "Code Red for Humanity." I wrestled in prayer at night, trying to discern what next steps I and my community — the Mennonite Church — should take to respond... steps that would genuinely honour a "code red" situation.

For years, my beloved church family has known about the climate crisis. We've produced church statements on creation care, we've partnered with organizations that have sought to nurture gentle ways of being  (like Mennonite Creation Care Network), and we have a Sustainability Leadership Group that is focused on bringing an environmental lens to our current programs and ministries. 

But if climate change is a "grave threat" to humanity, as Pope Francis and more than 40 other world religious leaders have recently declared, are we doing enough? If "we are on the edge of an abyss,” as UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres asserts, then what must the church do to play our part in averting catastrophe?

I love our church. 

I know we can make a big difference. 

We have so much to offer. 

 

Yet we must confess that we have not done nearly enough; we have not honoured our calling to love and defend God's creation with risk and vulnerability. And that's why I, together with the help of a number of friends in our community (see below), crafted the 7 Calls to Climate Action for Mennonite Church Canada. It's a love-letter to our family, an epistle to "call-in" and "call-out-the-best." 

We must sound the alarm and wake up. Now is the time for our community of peacemakers to enter the climate justice struggle. We need Mennonite Church Canada to joyfully summon its bravery and make climate action a priority in its mission and ministry.

There is no time to waste, for it is too late not to act. This is our kairos moment. 

The 7 Calls Committee

Steve Heinrichs

Justin Sun

Katie Goerzen-Sheard

Mark Bigland-Pritchard

Anna Bigland-Pritchard

Nelson Lee

Stephanie Janzen-Martin

Randy Haluza-DeLay

Will Braun (Emeritus)

Mona Neufeld (Emeritus)

Josiah Neufeld (Emeritus)

Kenton Lobe (Emeritus)