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The Climate Report - Tearfund's landmark research on climate, young Christians and the Church.

Faith in a Changing Climate – Small Group discussion resource

Faith in a changing climate

Faith in a Changing Climate is a small group discussion resource developed by Susy Lee - author of Raising kids who Care.

1. Where we’re headed

To have small group conversations in church about climate change and its implications, so we can understand each other’s views and work together towards a faithful response.

2. Packing our bags: what we need to know

Tearfund’s recent research begins with this statement:

God’s vision for a flourishing creation encompasses all people and the whole of creation. Yet, climate change is robbing the world’s most vulnerable of their peace and hope for the future. Now is the time for a new conversation about climate change and what it means for the Church.

The research found that:

Young Christians in Australia are increasingly concerned about the impact of climate change on their future and they want to see the Church doing more.

Tearfund’s hope is that this research will help us have good conversations in our churches, especially across different ages. Then we can be a voice of hope in our communities and around the world!

It will help your conversation to have Tearfund’s report with you as you talk.

3. Reading the map: preparation

Before you talk together, spend a couple of minutes reflecting on your own feelings using these prompts.

  • Some people have strong opinions about climate change and others don’t care. Why do you think it has become such a heated issue?
  • Sometimes fear is expressed as anger. What might we be afraid of? What else?
  • How important is action to you?
  • What would you like to see happen in your church particularly?
  • How much do your future grandchildren matter to you when you think about climate change?

Pray for openness to others, clarity of thought, and guidance from the Spirit of God.

4. On the road: conversation

Let each member of your small group talk about climate change, without being interrupted.

Everyone should talk for at least one minute and no more than two – use a timer!

Now ask each other follow-up questions.

Work to understand someone who has expressed a different viewpoint to yours.

  • Next, discuss some of these questions together:
  • How much responsibility do we have to animals and plants compared to gospel and mission?
  • How much responsibility do we have to developing countries who are vulnerable to the effects of climate change?
  • How much should we rely on scientists to invent something or politicians to do something to stop climate change?
  • What actions would you like to participate in as a church body?

5. Unpacking

  • Was your conversation theoretical or did it get emotional for anyone?
  • How can we help those who are feeling afraid?
  • Did your small group match the research findings in any ways?

6. Practicing for the next trip

  • What questions were unresolved? What research can you do to follow-up?
  • Have you checked your carbon footprint at https://www.footprintcalculator.org/ ?
  • What will your church do to move forward with your discussion and your action?