For the last couple weeks an exciting new campaign has been emerging in collaboration with 350.org. Several Christian communities have begun ringing their church bells 350 times in an effort to sound their hope for achieving a safe and just climate. Among the leaders of this new effort is Rev. Jim Antal, President of the Massachusetts Conference of the United Church of Christ in the United States. Here’s his brief report from the start of this campaign…
“Beginning June 22, 2008, one by one, United Church of Christ congregations throughout Massachusetts have begun to ring their bells 350 times to educate their communities about the peril of global warming and our common cause to address it. Some of the church bells are too old to take 350 rings – and some churches don’t even have steeples or steeple bells — so hand-bells are used as substitutes. Our goal is to have 350 of our almost 400 UCC churches ring their bells before the 350th day of the year (December 15). Many say that the likelihood of that proportion of UCC congregations agreeing to do anything in common is remote, but I believe that this is an expression of the kind of hope that can give us the confidence that the human family can change our behavior to assure that our children can enjoy the same kind of Eden into which we were born.”
The Rev. Dr. Jim Antal, Minister and President, Massachusetts Conference United Church of Christ
Thanks to Rev. Antal and all the churches charging ahead with these actions.
This is a great example of communities offering their own flavor of action to this movement. We need all kinds of folks to spread the word about 350 and take action if this is going to work. Churches, mosques, temples…sports clubs, artists, youth groups, businesses, governments, individuals — we need everyone.