EDMONDS — They were drawn together by their concern for the planet.
Members from three Edmonds churches held a special prayer service and processional last month as world leaders gathered in Paris to discuss climate change.
Participants wanted to ask God to give United Nation representatives the “wisdom and courage to make significant decisions about the future of the planet,” said Tom Quigley, a member of the Edmonds United Methodist Church.
By the end of the summit in Paris, nearly 200 nations, large and small, had reached a historical agreement to reduce greenhouse gas pollution in an effort to keep global temperatures from rising.
A week before the pact was signed, about 100 people attended the Edmonds prayer service. Participants later braved heavy rains for a candlelight processional that stretched from the Methodist church on Casper Street to the city center.
Quigley said the congregations came together after learning that each church was discussing climate change.
The retired reverend was part of a group at Edmonds United Methodist studying Pope Francis’s first encyclical, which primarily focused on the degradation of the environment and its effect on vulnerable populations, such as the poor, children and elderly.
“We wanted people in our congregation to read it, think about it and look at what our church should do,” Quigley said.
These discussions are taking places in churches all over the country, Quigley said.
About four people from the three Edmonds church organized the Dec. 7 prayer service and processional in a short amount of time. Quigley says he thinks that speaks to how strongly people care about the environment. Their churches may be different theologically and how they’re organized but they were moved to act quickly.
The group planned to meet again this month to discuss working together more on raising awareness in the community and their churches.
“I believe our faith has something to say about our life in the world and the responsibility we have to care for the earth given to us by God,” Quigley said. “We’re called to be good stewards of his creation and we haven’t been.”