Hello, my name is Mina Haddad and I am from the Presbytery of the Ohio Valley. I am speaking in favor of overture 08-04 [on Environmental Justice]
I am a proud Presbyterian and a proud teacher. This past year, through the Fulbright program, I had the honor of teaching English to 300 Muslim girls in India and, as the story goes, they taught me far more than I could have ever taught them. My girls taught me about hospitality, devotion, and struggle. They are the reasons I walked 212 miles in support of divestment from fossil fuels to be here, with you, today.
See, both literally and figuratively, my girls are stuck. They are living in the highly populated heart of Jaipur where, in October, the pollution rolls in and stays well into the month of March. This means they cough, a lot. Their hair is covered in black specks. They blow their noses and their mucus is black. Clean water is much harder to come by. Over the course of those 6 months, my girls are eating, learning, playing and sleeping in pollutants 24/7.
One day, I was talking with my student Raya and, in her broken English, she said, “Ma’am, in our life no fun, no enjoy. Sad life.” And, in that moment, all I could say, in my broken Hindi, was, “Raya, maaf kigiye,” which means, “Raya, I am so sorry.”
By approving this overture before you today, you can help me respond to Raya’s struggle and the struggle of countless other young children around the world. We need to acknowledge the need for environmental justice and take meaningful, bold steps towards alleviating the injustices because, quite frankly, it’s the least we can do.
by Cole Strickland
I walked for two days this summer with the #WalkToDivest crew to help send the message to the 223rd General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church (USA) that it is time to divest from the fossil
fuel industry. I hesitated to participate at first, knowing that all my friends and family would be
firmly split between supportive and critical of my participating in this #WalkToDivest. After all,
what difference would one more dude (me) make in the General Assembly’s decision on whether
to call for a divestment from fossil fuels?
The answer: I do not know for sure.
Luckily, my decision to show up wasn’t based on any cost-benefit analysis. Rather, my decision to show up was based on my own restless desire to stand up and say, “Hey, wait a minute, I don’t agree withwhat’s going on here!”I have a feeling most of us share that same feeling of restless desire
nowadays. I am thankful for the organizers of the PCUSA Walk for a Fossil Free World that provided a space for us to express it.
Participating in the #WalkToDivest also reminded me of the wonders of community. I only spent
two days with the crew, but that doesn’t mean they didn’t feel like family by the end of those two
We ate together, walked together, prayed together, camped-out in churches together.
I spent a lot of time reflecting on how today’s culture of wanting, achieving and displaying (a culture that I participate in daily) often doesn’t allow for this type of togetherness.
I don’t think God intended for us to behave this way - constantly at each other’s throats competing
for resources and individual achievement, but that seems to be the status quo now. In a way, this
walk was also an outlet for me to stand up and say, “Hey, wait a minute, I’m not cool with that
Maybe one day, when we’re a little older, we’ll spend a little bit more time walking, eating and praying together. So long as we keep standing up for what we believe in.
Thank you to the organizers for all the phone calls and emails that had to be made to make this
walk possible, and a big round of applause for those that completed the entire walk and presented
the resolution to the General Assembly. I hope to see y’all again one day soon.
These are the words rev. abby mohaupt spoke in open hearing at the 223rd General Assembly. Because the PCUSA did not vote to divest from fossil fuels, these words are a record of part of what was lost.
Good afternoon, my name is the rev. abby mohaupt and I am the moderator of Fossil Free PCUSA.
For the past five years, we have worked in our beloved denomination to call for divestment from fossil fuels.
In 2014, 13 presbyteries joined us.
In 2016, 31 presbyteries joined us.
Over the last two years, 40 presbyteries have lined up to support the overture that has become 08-01—more presbyteries than have ever supported an overture.
40. It rained and poured for 40 days and nights on Noah. The Israelites wandered for 40 years in the desert. Jesus spent 40 days fasting in the wilderness. When the number forty appears in scripture, someone is usually being tested.
I am also a PhD student focused on religious responses to climate change. I have learned from people in front line communities, communities who have already experienced climate change, communities who have asked me to continue to ask for divestment from fossil fuels—people who have become friends, people like Oluwatosin Kolawole, who you heard speak earlier today. He has asked me again and again to listen to the increasingly dangerous impacts that climate change has had on his community and call for divestment from the fossil fuel industry.
Tosin walked with us to St. Louis.
Will we walk with Tosin and others?
Will we stand with 40 presbyteries?
It’s time to do so—it’s time to divest.
you've found the blog for www.fossilfreepcusa.org