A 6-part guide to building spiritual, physical, and social climate resilience in your faith community.
Why this guide?
The climate crisis has arrived. Faith communities must not only react, but also prepare.
Over the last decade, hurricanes have intensified, wildfires have burnt stronger, and heat waves have baked our cities. These events can only be expected to get worse in the next decades. Most of our faith communities are not ready for these climate-driven disasters. Yet, the communities who will be most threatened by climate change also have an opportunity to play a pivotal role in building resilience in their towns and cities. Whether a church community has a large facility, land, social capital, or something else, those assets can be channeled into building climate resilience in preparation for the coming physical and spiritual storms of the climate crisis.
What is Climate Resilience?
Pathways to Resilience, a community-based collaborative effort to build resilience in U.S. institutions defines resilience as “bouncing forward to eradicate the inequities and unsustainable resource use at the heart of climate crisis.” This definition of resilience, which expands the traditional definition of “bouncing back” from a stressor or disaster resonates with the Christian mission of our churches: to build a Beloved Community, the Kingdom of Heaven, here on earth. Resilience, far from being a singular issue, involves social, physical, and spiritual factors playing together in concert.
Climate resilience is defined by the Center for Climate and Energy Solutions as “the ability to anticipate, prepare for, and respond to hazardous events, trends, or disturbances related to climate. Improving climate resilience involves assessing how climate change will create new, or alter current, climate-related risks, and taking steps to better cope with these risks.”
In preparation for the social, physical and spiritual storms of the climate crisis, faith communities must take a proactive stance towards resilience. As you go through this guide, consider how you are anticipating, preparing for, and “bouncing forward” into a just, sustainable, and resilient community.
 Pathways to Resilience. https://kresge.org/sites/default/files/Pathways-to-resilience-2015.pdf
 The Beloved Community is a term popularized by Martin Luther King Jr. that refers to a world “in which all people can share in the wealth of the earth.” More at thekingcenter.org.
 Center for Climate and Energy Solutions. www.c2es.org/