Delaware Interfaith Power and Light

A diversity of faith community leaders in Wilmington Delaware share “THIS WE BELIEVE” statements. They express the urgent need for our nation to take bold action on climate change and to call on our sense of shared humanity, treating each other with fairness, respect and compassion. They also lament and protest the several ways in which the current federal administration has failed to do so. Full text included below. WATCH VIDEO HERE.

As Interfaith Leaders of Wilmington, citizens active in our faith communities, we are working side by side to nurture the faith, hope and welfare of our fellow citizens and protect our living environments. We believe we are our sisters’ and brothers’ keepers; that we are responsible to care for the wonders of Creation that delight and sustain us; that in caring for Creation, we are caring for ourselves. 

With profound respect for the intricate relationship we share with the natural world and with each other, and given our deepening concerns, we raise our voices here to recognize our role in protecting those relationships and in protest against those in leadership who threaten them.

FOR THIS WE BELIEVE:

– that everyone and everything in Creation is wondrously and inextricably interconnected; and that humanity threatens its own and all existence by not honoring this biological principle;

– that every human being has inherent dignity and worth, aptitudes and aspirations, rights and responsibilities that deserve our non-discriminatory consideration and nurturing;

– that the natural resources and beauty of the Earth were not created to enable some to enjoy comforts and riches that harm or disadvantage others, but to be used wisely and responsibly, to the benefit of all.

– that understanding the devastating implications of an ever-warming planet, and our role in causing this, makes climate change a defining moral issue of our times, calling us to action.

– that life on Earth presents many mysteries and challenges to human comprehension; that the preservation of healthy social systems and ecosystems requires our ongoing commitment to understand these mysteries and challenges and develop the means of assuring the kind of life we want for ourselves, for our children, for all Creation.

WE, THEREFORE, CHALLENGE THE CURRENT ADMINISTRATION’S:

            – Reckless disregard for the catastrophic risks associated with global climate change and denial of the scientific consensus regarding the causes, the escalating impacts, and the bold actions needed to turn the tide.

–  Appointment of Cabinet agency heads based on ties to institutions and industries they are charged with monitoring, or as rewards for personal/political allegiances, rather than on their ability to bring unbiased vision, knowledge and experience to the missions and interests they are charged with serving.

            – Blatant disregard and lack of respect for other nations, their faiths, their cultures, their histories, their economies; for our shared humanity and our common home.

            – Failure to respond humanely to those who seek asylum and refuge in our nation or to recognize and address those conditions from which they are fleeing.

            – Apparent disregard for the institutions, relationships and policies that have helped promote international cooperation, support planetary health, and maintain peace among nations.

            – Contempt for and abuse of individuals, groups and institutions that disagree with the President; inciting suspicion, hostility, bigotry and divisiveness among our nation’s citizens.

We believe we all have a responsibility to care for each other, to speak truth to power, to hold those who serve in leadership positions – and ourselves -accountable for words and deeds and consequences. 

We urge those in power – at all levels of government, commerce, and faith – to provide swift and bold leadership that respect these beliefs and address these concerns; to heal, to unite, to empower, to protect, to reverence; and to ensure a world, and a climate, we want for our children…for all the children.

Respectfully,

  • Edward & Jo A Klinge, co-convenors  InterFaith Leaders for Neighborhood Ministries
  • The Rev. David Andrews, Rector, Episcopal Church of Saints Andrew and Matthew
  • Rabbi Michael Beals
  • The Rev. Jason R. Churchill, St. Stephen’s Lutheran Church
  • The Rev. Charles Lane Cowen, Associate Rector, Trinity Episcopal Parish
  • The Rev. Thomas C. Davis, Commissioned Interfaith Peacemaker of 
  • New Castle Presbytery
  • Clem Dinsmore, Member, Trinity Episcopal Church
  • The Rev. Patricia Downing, Rector, Trinity Episcopal Parish
  • The Rev. Dr. Lyle J. Dykstra, Coalition to Dismantle the New Jim Crow; Presbyterian Church, USA, Retired
  • Elder Mercedes Fields, 200 Madison Street Block Club
  • Medard Gabel, Executive Director, Pacem in Terris
  • The Rev. Juan George, Episcopal Church, Retired 
  • Apostle Dr. J. T. Graham, Temple United Church
  • The Rev Robert P. Hall, OSL, Exec. Dir., DE Ecumenical Council on Children and Families
  • The Rev. Andy Jacob, Hanover Presbyterian Church
  • The Rev. Dr. Gregory Knox Jones, Westminster Presbyterian Church
  • Sr. Margaret Kertigern, Anamchara Fellowship
  • The Very Rev. William B. Lane, St. Nicholas’ Church
  • Dr. Kathryn Leep, Member, Neighborhood Planning Council
  • Dr. Melissa P. Lemons, Unity Lutheran Church
  • Lisa Locke, Executive Director, DE Interfaith Power and Light (DeIPL)
  • Pramod (Paul) Mathur, Hindu Temple of Delaware
  • LaVaida Owens-White, Faith Community Nurse
  • Irfan Patel & Faizal Chaudhury, Islamic Society of Delaware
  • Dr. Mark Perri, DeIPL, Wilmington in Transition
  • Rabbi Yair Robinson, Congregation Beth Emeth
  • David Ross, Director Education First Gold
  • The Rev. Shada Sullivan, The Church of the Holy City
  • John D Sykes, Unitarian Universalist Community Activist
  • Ann Tate, member, Episcopal Church of Saints Andrew and Matthew
  • Dr. Chad Tolman & Michael Rominger, Co-chairs, New Castle County Congregations of DeIPL

*Readers not included on list of signees of original letter were David Ross, Umar Hassan Ed and Nadine Limberry