Announcing our Global Voices Lent Series: The Climate Pollinator!
Are you concerned about climate change and wish you were doing more to respond? Do you want to be inspired by what Anabaptists like you are doing around the world?
We’ve asked dozens of Anabaptists how they and their churches are taking action for the environment, and we want to share their ideas with you.
Sign up for the Climate Pollinator to receive daily stories from Feb. 22 through Easter, like the one below from Ibague, Colombia, in your inbox. You will also find the stories on the ACC website. To spread the stories even further, share this invitation with your congregation!
Youth group sets bar for climate action
A Climate Pollinator story by Sierra Ross Richer
Youth from the Iglesia Cristiana Menonita Central de Ibague in Colombia could be found picking up trash in their city’s center earlier this year.
When they were asked by passersby what they were doing, Jose Antonio Vaca Bello, one of the leaders of the church, said their answer was: “We want people to see that it’s not okay to throw trash on the streets.”
The garbage collection project was part of the youth group’s focus on creation care this year. Other activities on the agenda include planting trees and organizing a recycling program for members of the congregation.
“When I was a young person in the church,” Jose said, “we never worried about (environmental issues).” So he is pleased to see his church’s youth take up the cause.
“The young people are the motor of change in our society,” Jose said. “They teach us with their actions and their commitments what all of us should be doing.”
The youth group is currently raising money to buy trees to plant along the waterways feeding into the city. The seedlings will come from a nursery run by the local environmental department and once they grow, they will help reduce erosion and flooding.
In the meantime, the group is working to promote the three Rs–reduce, reuse and recycle–among members of the congregation. Youth group members visit the homes of congregants to collect their recyclables and encourage others to bring their paper, aluminum, glass and plastic to a collection center at the church. They then take the materials to a collection facility where they receive a compensation that is put toward the group’s activities.
“The future of our churches is in the hands of our kids and our youth,” Jose said. Those hands are already hard at work.