“…You know, people of faith are often also people of prayer. I believe in prayer. I am a person of prayer. And I believe in prayer in a way I am sure you’re familiar with. I believe that we pray for the hungry and then we feed them. That’s how prayer works…”
On Saturday the Climate March for Kansas City took place on the Plaza with a march around the Plaza in the rain and a following rally at Unity Temple. Over a thousand people attended the rally.
Several speakers at the rally addressed climate change.
Sergio Moreno’s remarks at the rally at Unity Temple:
Sergio Moreno: When I heard earlier today about all of the things that have happened, some of the things, just a few of the things that have happened in the first one hundred days I was with you in that pain, that despair, and also that anger, that anxiety. It’s important to feel these feelings, to be angry, to be upset, and to stand up.
It’s also possible to be, to despair, to feel distress and perhaps even grow indifferent. And that’s when I’m reminded that I am surrounded by people like you. And I’m reminded of the power of music and song and the power of poetry and spoken word and dance [voice: “Yeah.”] and signs and art. Look at those beautiful banners. They’re not just beautiful, they’re powerful. I look at your signs. I want to see your signs again. Let’s see those signs. [applause, cheers]
This, this is the human spirit. And it is the human spirit that creates change for good. It’s the same spirit that creates change for bad. We are the ones who are responsible for the mess we’re in. And we are the ones that can get ourselves out of this mess. [cheers, applause] And this is the same spirit that has informed our faith, our spirituality, our communities for millennia.
From his holiness, Pope Francis, and his holiness, the Dalai Lama, spiritual and religious leaders, all around the world from every faith have raised their voices and have sounded the alarm for climate change. There is no time to waste. The time is now, the time is yesterday. Churches, mosques, synagogues, temples, all manner of religious communities have urged their faithful to become involved, to become concerned, to become educated and to take their part in this environmental responsibility that belongs to all of us.
But that’s not enough. It’s a good start. It’s a great start, but it is not enough. It’s not enough until people like you and people like me start taking action. This planet as we’ve heard, as we know for the foreseeable future, is our only home. The earth is what we have in common. We share it. Whether you’re Christian, Sikh, Muslim, Buddhist, an Atheist, a Humanist, maybe a Pastafarian, it doesn’t matter [laughter], we don’t need to agree on a whole lot to see that we are interconnected. We’ve heard this theme over and over again. Why do we have people representing so many different areas of life? Because it’s all interconnected. We are related. I am because you are. Because what we do here [applause] has an effect on what happens there. We are interconnected.
It’s [unintelligible] to see. And here’s something we don’t hear about enough. We’ve heard about it today, but we don’t hear about it enough. And it should be a great concern to people of all faiths and no faith alike. And it is that the poor of the world are the first to feel the devastating effects of climate change. [voice: “Right.”] There’s no question about it. [applause] The more fortunate, the wealthy, the privileged, people like you and me, we can manage to live and we’ll be fighting. But it is those who are already more than oppressed, more than burdened, who are the first to suffer the consequences of our communal disregard for our environment.
Science has shown this, a very long time. Uh, this is a frightening reality, climate change. There’s no question about it. But what we should also realize is that climate change goes beyond the environment. Beyond clean water, beyond clean air, clean energy, sustainable practices. Climate change has a direct impact on our society. On people, on economic and social issues, on wealth disparity, health, peace, war. It is all interconnected.
Now, today all over our nation, perhaps all over the world, I am not sure, I know that there are thousands of people marching and gathering at rallies across the nation, coming together to make this urgent statement. This is wonderful. Very encouraging. I’m so encouraged. I’m filled with hope and joy to be a part of this movement.
But the real work begins tomorrow. The real work begins as we leave this place. When we go back to our homes, our schools, our work, our communities of faith, our neighborhoods. You know, people of faith are often also people of prayer. I believe in prayer. I am a person of prayer. And I believe in prayer in a way I am sure you’re familiar with. I believe that we pray for the hungry and then we feed them. That’s how prayer works. [applause, cheers] I believe that we pray for the environment and then we take action, we effect change. [cheers, applause] We pray for our government, we pray for our leaders and then we make our voices heard in the ballot box [cheers, applause] with our representatives. With our e-mails, and our phone calls, and our Tweets, and our hashtags. That’s how prayer works.
So, I want to thank you today for the work that you’re engaging in. Not just today, but in the days ahead and the years to come. And I thank you and I hope that you will feel encouraged as you look around and you see all of these people who may not have a whole lot in common with you, but are here for the same purpose. To take care of this place that we share, to take care, ultimately, of one another.
Thank you. [cheers, applause]
A sign from the march and rally:
Climate March – Kansas City – April 29, 2017 (April 29, 2017)