Good afternoon. My name is Shannan Vance-Ocampo and I serve Albany Presbytery as their Transitional Presbyter. I am also a Fellow with GreenFaith which is a national environmental organization committed to interfaith action to stop human-driven climate change from destroying our most precious gift—God’s beloved Creation.
I am here to speak personally in favor of Overture 15-01. Because I love God and there are not enough words to describe my gratitude for the gift of Creation, for what it has meant in my life—for how God feeds and sustains us—body and spirit—through the unimaginable, mysterious beauty of Creation. Because I watched a part of the Creation I love, be destroyed by Hurricane Sandy, including the place I learned to swim as a child and first fell in love with our Creator.
I also speak as one who has half of my family living in Colombia, South America. We are experiencing the cries of a tortured Creation. Our sisters and brothers through the World Council of Churches are engaged this year in what we call in Colombia an ayuna, a fast on the first of each month for the Creation. To join their voices and bodies together as those who follow God in Jesus Christ so that their spirits will be strengthened as they seek to heal the Creation. Our global Christian partners plea for us to take action now. Let us join them They are our church too.
We, the PCUSA must divest immediately from all fossil fuel companies. They are participants the torture of God’s Creation. We must end war, because our military is the #1 user of fossil fuels on this planet. This an overture for nonviolence as followers of the nonviolent Christ, which is what we are called to do as Christians. To love the Creation is to live into the opportunity before us to be bold and prophetic—which is what Jesus taught.
Thank you for your service as commissioners to our General Assembly.
I am praying for you.
God bless you.
Thank you Mr. Moderator.