It was windy and frigid this afternoon as a prayerful group of people stood vigil in Union Square for climate talks being held this week in Lima, Peru.
Christian, Jewish, Muslim, Buddhist and Hindu faith leaders contributed prayers and meditations in turn, musicians lead the group in song, and attendees held signs signifying their faiths and denominations, as well as solar lights and candles. The atmosphere was one of strength, solidarity and resilience, grounded in a deep respect and love for one another and creation.
Meanwhile, protestors were gathering across the square to protest the unprosecuted homicide of New Yorker Eric Garner, as well as similar cases of blatant injustice across the country. At one point, one of the activists came over to offer solidarity with the vigil and point out that social justice and environmental justice are one and the same.
As a Christian who believes that God’s love binds all of humanity and creation into one body, I have to agree. Violence and harm to any portion of that body is violence and harm done to the whole. Whether the victim is a New Yorker, or a college-bound teenager, an eco-system, or a vulnerable family in the wake of typhoon Haiyan or Hagiput, injustice is injustice. It’s our job as those who believe in the power of love to do something about that.
In addition to the vigil in Union Square, dozens of vigils were held worldwide, organized by GreenFaith, an interfaith organization that has worked hard to build this movement. Currently Greenfaith is seeking millions of signatures to go to the 2015 UN Climate Summit in Paris. Please take a moment to add your voice to the outcry for a just, sustainable future.