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Faith Leaders Shine Light Against Climate Change In Fairfield

Climate change vigil in Fairfield Photo Credit: Meredith Guinness
The Rev. Stephanie Johnson, center, lights a candle with a friend's. Photo Credit: Meredith Guinness

FAIRFIELD, Conn. — Holding a single candle against a steady breeze outside St. Paul’s Episcopal Church in Fairfield, the Rev. Stephanie Johnson told a small group gathered at a climate change vigil Wednesday evening to know they are part of a much larger and growing movement.

“We come at climate change from a different perspective,” she told the 18 people around her. “A perspective of prayer and possibilities.”

The interfaith music and prayer service, “The Light for Paris Vigil,” was sponsored by the Fairfield County Interfaith Alliance on Climate Change. The group planned the event in the wake of recent terrorist attacks, hoping to affirm “the fundamental goodness of life and the sanctity of our existence.”

Johnson called on those present to recognize their own involvement and responsibility on climate change. The group also pledged an ongoing covenant to working to reduce climate change in their own lives and in the world around them.

Connecticut State Troubadour Kristen Graves of Fairfield led those present in a rousing rendition of “We Shall Not Be Moved.” Then, Patrick Carolan, executive director of the Franciscan Action Network, explained what he saw just days ago at the 2015 UN Climate Change Conference in Paris.

“This is a crucial time,” Carolan said, adding that he wonders what sort of initiatives will come from the global conference. “It will look good on paper, but there won’t be much enforcement to it.

“It’s up to us to make sure it’s enforced.”

Therese LeFever of St. James Catholic Church in Stratford said she hopes the group’s message is heard during the buying frenzy of the holidays.

“Simplify and be happy with the things you have,” she said.

Oil production is a major concern for John Mahon of Trumbull.

“We need to wake up,” he said. “We have more than enough where we dig and drill now. We need less of stuff, not more.”

Carolan said seeing faith leaders mobilizing in Paris was heartening.

“Sometimes we look like a small group and not much,” he said. “But we do make a difference and that movement is not going to end.”

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