Approximately 50 people came out in early November to watch a series of short films demonstrating the effect of climate change on people living and working in Kenya.
Kyle Meyaard-Schaap, creation care coordinator for the Christian Reformed Church’s Office of Social Justice, said the content of the films communicate more than just the science of climate change. “We wanted the videos to focus on stories,” he said. “Everyone’s heard the science, the statistics, and the predictions around climate change. The videos are a chance to meet people, not statistics; to hear stories, not arguments.”
World Renew and the Office of Social Justice cohosted the viewing at Wealthy Street Theatre in Grand Rapids, Mich. The aim, according to organizers, was to promote participation in a global conversation about creation care in accordance with direction from Synod 2012.
The event allowed open and honest discussion about the issue through the lens of others’ lives and the direct and visible impact of climate change. A panel of local and global experts joined the conversation. Meyaard-Schaap also expressed his own hopes and reactions about the films’ and their message.
“The issue of climate change tends to be discussed in grave tones without much hope. The stories in these videos teach us that our response to climate change can actually be joyful and life-giving,” he said. “Climate change is a threat, but it is also an opportunity to build relationships and to problem-solve in deeply creative and exciting ways.”
Most of the individuals featured in the films are partners or participants in programs currently hosted by World Renew. The videos are available on its website. The edited films and discussion guide will be available to the churches next February.