Paulo Ueti reflects on the People’s Climate March and the interfaith service in New York

21 September 2014

The March was an amazing expression of the Latin American theology on faith being witnessed by walking.  
Just like Sarah and Hagar in the Bible, listening to God’s will results in them walking towards the unknown, believing that something good will happen if they simply continue the journey.  Even when the path was dangerous and uncertain, they kept going.
The march brought to the streets of New York, and other cities around the globe, the feet, arms, hearts and voices of those who are struggling for change now.
For me it was a dynamic and spiritual experience. Marching together with half a million people gave me energy and light to keep struggling for more equal and sustainable life on earth.
The march expresses our commitment to the fact that we are a part of the earth and only in working together can we survive.  The struggle to face climate change is driven by our shared faith that injust acts have put us in this situation and we must fight this injustice.  We only can do that together. Faith is the cement that bring us all on the same journey. Our voices and our march will be listened to and must continue. ‘A luta continual sempre’ – the struggle always goes on. 
Interfaith worship took place at the magnificent Cathedral of Saint John the Divine.  We prayed together and commited to life and to change: ‘mutatis mutandis’.
“We are prisoners of hope”.  This was one of the most repeated statement during the event. All leaders who made their public commitment said, “We must never give up, despite the evidence, we believe until the evidence changes.”
It reminded us again that mother earth is our source and not our resource to take advantage of.  Many nations, many faiths joined together to pray, mediate and reflect.  Most of all we committed to act together to build an economy – a way to order and manage the world – (Oikos – nomos) – based on human rights and stewardship of the earth.
People gathered express God’s glory (presence, energy, dynamos).  The community is the testimony that we can and we will work together for peace and Good Living (Sumak Kawsay, check:
All of the participants were invited to deposit a stone on the altar in the centre, the sign of our commitment and willingness to go together and change the world and ourselves.
I was amazed by the attitude of respect and wonder coming together within the cathedral and binding us all to go out in mission and with power to transform and be transformed.
In the picture: Faith groups gather in the streets of New York, led by an Ark that was built by local faith groups.