On Saturday, June 8, General Synod 2019 urged the denomination to take action on climate change. The recommendation, ONB 19-1, was brought by the Advisory Committee on Overtures and New Business in response to overtures from the Regional Synod of Albany, the Classis of Albany, and the Classis of Schenectady.

The recommendation urged the RCA to take steps to reduce fossil fuel consumption and work to transition to renewable energy.

In their overture, the regional synod and classes cited previous reports from the Commission on Christian Action (1993 and 1999) and current studies in the U.S. and Canada that show the negative effect of climate change on the environment as their reasons for the overture.

The recommendation instructed the General Synod Council (GSC) and the Advocacy initiative to encourage and equip RCA institutions, congregations, and members to reduce fossil fuel consumption.

It also directed the Commission on Christian Action, the Global Mission team, and the GSC to “prepare a preliminary assessment of the effects of projected climate change on RCA congregations, mission facilities, and programs and to suggest measures for addressing these challenges.”

The recommendation also advised the Commission on Christian Action to revisit and build on past reports on global warming and climate change from 1993 and 1999. The commission will report back to General Synod 2020 with additional resources to help equip the church “more faithfully care for God’s creation and be a bold and compassionate witness in a time of environmental and social crisis.”

Synod called for a reduction in fossil fuel consumption; one way to do that is to move to sustainable energy. Read how a New Jersey church moved to solar energy.