What was it like to be in Paris?

Dave Bookless, A Rocha International

‘A Rocha’s presence was a catalyst, bringing together national and international Christian organizations and many individuals who were present in Paris. There was a tremendous sense of excitement and engagement − of a global movement among evangelicals coming together. It was particularly exciting to see the media interest caused by the involvement of global leaders such as renowned Climate Scientist, Dr Katharine Hayhoe, and WEA Secretary General, Bishop Efraim Tendero.’

Chris Walley, A Rocha International

‘Helping to put together the A Rocha presence at COP21 was an enormous labour but the results were worth it. The seminar at Le Bourget allowed us to make a very strong Christian statement to a packed room of people, many of whom seemed to have only the loosest connections to Christianity or A Rocha.

The day-long conference at St Michael’s Church was a great success with over 170 people attending. Some very important links were made between individuals and organizations, helping to promote awareness of climate change issues and A Rocha. The conference may well have significance far beyond environmental issues. The French evangelical church has long been tempted to imagine that it can play only a marginal role in the culture. This event has proved that it can be a voice to be reckoned with.’

Bert van der Woerd, A Rocha Netherlands

‘For me, it was worth being in Paris for the emotional impact. But together, we added to the clamour for action. Also, the gathering of so many people from all over the world will stimulate action globally and locally, community-based and individually, to limit the rise of global warming to 1.5 Celsius.’

See Bert in a video made on 4 December at the Green Zone, Le Bourget (30 seconds).

 

Steve Tanner, A Rocha Switzerland

‘Being in Paris, with other Christians deeply concerned about climate change, was a strong source of encouragement to continue engaging the Swiss church in such a crucial issue.’

 

Samuel Chiu, East Asia Projects Coordinator

‘It was my delight to witness the two phenomenal events over the weekend (the panel presentation and the day-long conference) working with major international partners such as the Lausanne Creation Care Network, WEA and Tearfund to speak out to the church AND to the rest of world, as evangelicals, on the global significance of climate change.

It was also very rewarding to spend time at the Ecouen centre base camp and visit the multiple COP related sites; to listen to the daily briefings from official observers from our partner organizations with their insiders’ insights; to share in prayer and worship with them; to chat with some of the official delegates; to pray with a brother-in-Christ from one of the endangered Pacific island nations. These gave me some totally different perspectives which I could not have obtained by merely reading news reports at home. It will all help me to communicate the issues to my constituencies in Canada and East Asia.’

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