Prayers and Meditations for UNCOP28
An encouragement from : Ms Sarwat Tasneem and Bishop Philip Huggins, Members of the Interfaith Liaison Committee to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change.
UN Climate Change Conference 2023 (UNFCCC) Dubai November 30-December 12 2023.
Of your grace and goodness, please consider our invitation to you and request of you (and your faith community) on behalf of the Interfaith Liaison Committee:
We encourage people of all faiths to offer their prayers and meditations towards a beneficial United Nations COP 28.
Our prayer and meditation around the world has helped the previous COP’s. This was the feedback we have received. The picture above is of Prayer and Meditation at COP26 in Glasgow. Not pictured are those who offered their spiritual practice at that time from many other places in the world. Our invitation is that we continue what we have begun with a renewed sincerity of commitment.
The need now, as we all know, is urgent.
COP28 will continue the aim to keep global warming below 1.5 degrees and provide climate justice.
These are high aims, in problematic international circumstances.Our prayers and meditations are much needed.
We already are seeing the consequences of climate change.The experts urge us to act swiftly to avert a worsening climate emergency.
As people of faith we offer the unique contribution of our spiritual practice.
We know how our prayers and meditations can change the atmosphere and help with inspiration.
We all know the difference between a holy place of cordial relationships and a place fraught with human discord.
From now to the time of the Talanoa Dialogue and Interfaith Service on 30 November 2023 in Christ Church Dubai and to the end of the COP, please meditate and pray. We hope all who gather for this COP will feel they are on holy ground and act accordingly,for the sake of all creation.
How can you participate?Some suggestions:
During preparations for and whilst COP28 is held:
1. Be part of a ‘Spiritual Wave’ around our world, every day, at noon in your time zone, alone or along with others. A short, simple remembrance of COP28 in Silent Prayer and Meditation, with the symbolic actions of our traditions-whether it be the chime of bells, lighting a candle or silence – bowing, kneeling, standing or sitting in prayer.
2. Weekly local/virtual groups:
This involves Meditation and Prayer, in shared silence, according to our respective spiritual practice. Our experience is that these groups shape a quality of friendship that flows readily into service and advocacy. Our discernment and imagination are nurtured by each other’s company in silent prayer and meditation.
When? Choose a time that suits locally. Please let us know at the Interfaith Liaison Committee. Contact us at https://interfaithliaisoncommittee.carrd.co/ (see bottom of page)
The format? We encourage a gathering of people virtually or in-person. It need not take longer than 30 minutes.
- Organise for a participant to introduce the event and the focus for the session. This can be for a couple of minutes.
- A bell (for example) is chimed or the time is quietly introduced. Silence then follows for 20 minutes, allowing all to meditate and or pray/reflect silently according to their spiritual
- The sound of the bell or the voice of the session’s leader ends the silence.
- Those wishing to carry the silence with them leave the session; those wishing to converse, do so for a few more minutes.
This model has worked well. When this is done virtually, a variation is for a video depicting our beautiful earth spinning in space.
Through the Interfaith Liaison Committee we may be able to share particular concerns for prayer from our varied locations. We can also share short quotes for our mutual illumination and inspiration
Some matters for our prayer and meditation:
Our context is that we are members of faith communities across the world who join in prayer and meditation for meaningful decisions and urgent action at the climate conference (COP28) in Dubai.
*We give thanks for this unity of purpose.
*We give thanks for the beauty and wonder of creation.
*We give thanks for the lives and experiences which inspire and illuminate our commitment.
*We pray for courage and compassion to transform those human activities destroying nature and altering the climate system on which our lives depend.
*We pray in our hearts to reject fear and embrace love, hope and transformation for a more healthy, safe, clean and sustainable world.
*We pray for strength so that our lives are patterns and examples.
*We pray for the protection of climate activists and environmental defenders, who often risk their health, if not their lives, in advocacy.
*We pray for protection of climate scientists so they can work without intimidation and with sufficient funding and support.
*We pray for protection of the poor and most vulnerable communities, those least responsible yet most affected by our insufficient climate action.
*We pray that our leaders grasp the urgency expressed in the latest science, and guide our economic systems to reject dependence on extraction, exploitation and accumulation through dispossession.
*We pray for wisdom, courage and compassion in our climate negotiators at COP28. May they agree on shared solutions together that honour the needs of the poorest, while reflecting meaningful action from the richest and highest emitters.
*We pray the developed countries will lead as they promised in the Paris Agreement.
*We pray leaders in all countries will do all they can to rapidly reduce extraction and burning of fossil fuels, and promote sustainable economic, social and political systems to stabilize global temperature rise at 1.5C above pre-industrial levels.
*We pray that developed countries meet their promise of US$100 Billion dollars a year to help developing countries to implement climate action.
*We pray for sufficient finance for Loss and Damage, supporting those communities already profoundly impacted by climate change.
*We pray, from the Paris Agreement Rulebook, for ambitious, effective and fair compliance in common time frames and with transparency in reporting.
*We pray for human rights and Indigenous People’s Rights to be included and better protected, including protection of these rights in carbon trading schemes.
*We pray for an inclusive conference, in which the voices of the least powerful are heard alongside the most powerful.
*We pray that delegates attending the COP feel inspired and act accordingly.We pray they remain healthy and return home in peace.
We offer these thanksgivings and prayers with all that is in our hearts, some of this still making its way into words.
(These prayer biddings are an elaboration of a beautiful, poignant prayer of Ms.Lindsey Fielder Cook. Lindsey is a member of the Interfaith Liaison Committee and is the Quaker United Nations Office Representative on Climate Change)
We offer this invitation and request now with the assurance of our own loving prayers and meditations,
Ms.Sarwat Tasneem and Bishop Philip Huggins.
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Tags: Interfaith Liaison Committee to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change, Prayers and Meditations for COP28