There Is Hope
As 2019 comes to a screeching end, it feels like a good time to look back on a year filled with big moments that may well come to define the last gasps of the 21st century's teenage years. And setting aside some of the more worrying trends, one of the bright lights must surely be the rise of popular climate movements like the Extinction Rebellion and the school strikers. It's refreshing to see true grassroots movements that start when a group of people realise that the world isn't the way it should be and who then actually do something about it.
I'm sure many people reading this article have participated at some level and the question then becomes - how can we do more? At Christian Aid we have talked for many years about the fact that climate change is a justice issue, that the communities we work with are the ones hit first and hardest by the effects of a changing climate. People who have done so little to actually cause the damage are the ones reaping the whirlwind of failing crops, increased flooding and unpredictable weather conditions.
So what does it actually mean to stand in solidarity with our brothers and sisters in the global south? It isn't about saving them. It's a dangerous and slippery slope to cast them as merely victims - people to be pitied and helped out of the goodness of our hearts. We have let that become the dominant media narrative for far too long. Solidarity means standing shoulder to shoulder with them. It means reminding ourselves that our humanity is wrapped up in theirs. That ultimately we stand and fall together.
With our new Prophetic Activist scheme we’re looking for a group of like-minded people to come on a journey with us as we try to unpick what solidarity truly means. How can we be of true service - both to our fellow humans and to the planet as a whole? What does our faith demand of us? The new scheme allows space to ask these questions - surrounded by a community of fellow travellers who are walking the same path. It's an exciting and slightly scary path for us - admitting that we don't have all the answers, that we've made some mistakes in communicating a message of hope - that interdependency isn't a weakness but a strength.
There's still time to apply for the scheme, still time to make a difference as we head into a whole new decade. The next ten years WILL decide the future of the planet - and it's so tempting to stick our collective heads in the sand. But as Christians we need to make a different choice - we need to stop walking and start running. We need to build that momentum and throw the weight of our faith into action.
Have a look at the application form and consider joining us. Maybe see you in 2020?