Study Groups

Study Groups

Actions to Address the Climate Crisis

An introduction to the need for study groups…

Welcome letter from Fr Christopher Bender

“The heavens declare the glory of God; And the firmament shows His handiwork.” (Psalm19:1)

Dear Honored Hierarchs, Reverend Fathers, Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

Welcome to this new website, sponsored by the Orthodox Fellowship of the Transfiguration (OFT), which is dedicated to fostering awareness among Orthodox Christians and, indeed, all people of faith and good will around the world, of the serious spiritual and existential threat which global climate change poses to all of us. We hope that you will be inspired by and learn from our beautiful new film, The Face of God: The Orthodox Church on Climate Change, which was created and directed for us by the Rev. Father John Kaleeg Hainsworth, a dedicated environmental scholar, filmmaker, and Orthodox Christian priest, who currently serves the Holy Theophany Mission Station in Gibsons, British Columbia.

Our organization is an Affiliate Ministry of the Assembly of Canonical Orthodox Bishops of the United States. Our motto is: “Proclaiming the ecological mission of the Orthodox Church as the reconciliation of all things in Christ. ”We see our work as an effort to awaken our faithful to an awareness of the profound love which God has for this world, our home, and for all of humanity–past, present, and future. We have been working since 2002 to call attention to both the beauty and the fragility of God’s good creation–which is being threatened, in ever more serious ways (without us necessarily intending it), by human activity. Indeed, our technologically‐sophisticated modern way of life is poisoning and damaging the earth and killing billions of wild animals–all while also alienating us from our heavenly Father rather than drawing us closer to Him. That is because the emphasis of our world wide consumer‐oriented culture is more and more on the selfish satisfaction of human desires–especially wealth, entertainment, and pleasure. Our most serious concern in the OFT, meanwhile, is for our children and unborn generations to come, who will have to contend with the deadly consequences of the pollution, trash, excessive heat, barren earth, and whatever other detritus we leave behind…(read more)

How to Watch the Film

Go slow. Stop occasionally. Reflect on the meaning of various statements. How can you engage and apply the comments in the film? How might it associate with other factors in your life? How can one disengage from the consumer mentality and lead a more Christian and fulfilling life

Why the Need for Parish Study Groups?

This film is an introduction to Orthodox theology and its implications for the environment and climate change. To engage this issue more substantially, study, discussion and repetition are needed. Without personal effort, it will be challenging for anyone tobecome an effective solution to this dangerous and growing problem.Therefore we encourage your study, discussion and reflection. The better you grasp the nature of this growing crisis, the betterequipped you will be to protect your family and help your parish tobecome an effective witness to the solutions that are required.

What You Can Do to Moderate Climate Change?

The Bishops’ Guidelines to Address Climate Change

Please view our resource feed to find guidances on lifestyle solutions and changes for Orthodox Christian parishes and families, as well as more information on the climate crisis and actions to take to build a movement. These are important because with reflection on our theology and direction, a vision of the future is more easily discernible.

Additional Study Group Resources:

Creation: Being Good Stewards by Very Rev. Father Dr. Terence Baz

Food Production and Impacts on Climate change, 2021 by Dr. Atul Jain, Professor of Atmospheric Sciences, Univ. of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, and Dr. Xiaoming Xu, Postdoctoral Research Associate in Atmospheric Sciences, Univ. of Illinois at Urb-Champ.