In this uncertain time, our hearts go out to everyone who is suffering due to the COVID-19 pandemic - from those who are ill or caring for loved ones, to those working on the frontlines in our communities, to those who are now without jobs or means to provide for their families. During these unprecedented and stressful times, these truths do not change: our ultimate hope is in the Resurrected Christ, his kingdom of justice and peace continue to break in all around us, and the evidence is everywhere once we have the eyes to see.
So we at YECA went looking, and what follows are 50 of our favorite examples of hope we are witnessing right now. If you’re as inspired as we are by these glimpses of resurrection, consider donating as you are able to make sure we can keep creating even more reasons to hope!
1. Our ultimate hope is in the Resurrected Christ, who even now is making all things new!
2. Christians now, as throughout history, are caring for others affected by this pandemic, displaying a confidence in life beyond death and the sacrificial service to which we are called.
3. Christians around the world are hearing the call to care for creation as a form of public witness and of loving our neighbors (see Laudato Si, NAE’s Call to Action on Creation Care, the Lausanne Cape Town Commitment, among many others!)
4. YECA Demonstrated for Climate Action at the 2020 National Prayer Breakfast.
5. People who haven’t felt ready to step into a church physically are viewing livestream church services, frequently by the invitation of a friend.
6. Throughout Scripture, we see the hope of God’s presence in the midst of difficulty and pain. Many of the psalms of lament, for instance, involve both naming real pain and also expressing trust in God in the midst of it (Ps. 13, 22, 51, 126, 130, and lots more!).
7. Some are reclaiming the Christian habit of removing themselves from the social world to draw into God
8. God uses broken people living in a broken world to do his work: Jonah runs away from God, Rahab runs a brothel, Paul persecuted Christians.
9. Although we are physically separated, the Church is still telling the same story.
10. All good work, for God’s people and his Earth, is ultimately God’s, and not our own. “It helps, now and then, to step back and take the long view. The Kingdom is not only beyond our efforts: it is beyond our vision. We accomplish in our lifetime only a tiny fraction of the magnificent enterprise that is the Lord’s work... We are workers, not master builders; ministers, not messiahs. We are prophets of a future that is not our own.” --Prophets of a Future Not Our Own, Bishop Kenneth Untener
11. Millions of people participated in last year’s youth climate strikes - likely the largest climate protest in history.
12. Greta Thunberg, 17 year old Swedish climate activist, was named TIME’s 2019 Person of the Year.
13. The Senate has a Bipartisan Climate Solutions Caucus, where 7 Democratic and 7 Republican Senators gather regularly to discuss common sense climate solutions.
14. More than 60 countries have now set goals to reach zero net emissions by 2050.
15. In the wake of COVID-19, climate strikes are moving online.
16. The EU recently voted to implement measures to move towards the elimination of single-use plastics.
17. New York City successfully passed the Climate Mobilization Act, an ambitious piece of legislation aimed at lowering greenhouse gas emissions.
18. The Senate recently removed subsidies for the gas and oil industry from the most recent coronavirus relief package.
19. Costa Rica has committed to decarbonizing its economy by 2050.
20. YECA has hired three new Field Organizers to work extensively in grassroots organizing and community-building during the upcoming 2020 presidential election season and beyond.
Hope at YECA
21. To date, YECA has mobilized over 20,000 young Christians to take action for God’s creation and our neighbor’s good.
22. Close to 30 new Climate Leadership Fellows will be working on their campuses in the 2020-21 academic year.
23. Previous Fellows have influenced tens of thousands of their peers through everything from recycling programs to campus solar panels to campus talks on creation care.
24. Last year, we saw over 7,000 young Evangelicals in Indiana alone declare that they are ready for clean energy.
25. Since our founding in 2012, we have brought our message to more than 100 campuses across the U.S.
26. Since 2012, we’ve had over 500 unique earned media hits (including The New York Times, PBS NewsHour, NPR, NBC News, ABC News), reaching millions with our message of faith-based, hope-filled climate action.
27. We hosted our first nonviolent direct action in January this year with our Climate Die-In in front of the White House.
28. Last year, Melody Zhang, YECA steering committee chair, testified on Capitol Hill.
29. Also last year, YECA testified at a Congressional hearing on the EPA’s Mercury and Air Toxics Standard.
30. In 2020, YECA started a Frontlines Community Grant program to support frontline groups as they lead the charge on climate action.
31. In August of last year, 220 million trees were planted in India in a single day.
32. The endangered mountain gorilla population is rising.
33. During this time of crisis, families and communities across the U.S. are planting more gardens.
34. More than 20 African countries are collaborating to plant trees across the continent.
35. After mass bleaching, Hawaii’s coral reefs are now stabilizing.
36. With continued environmental efforts, the hole in the ozone layer could be repaired in our lifetime.
37. America has more trees than it did 10 years ago.
38. Honeybee populations are starting to recover.
39. Some plants are beginning to grow again in the aftermath of the Australian wildfires.
40. Gardeners across several countries have committed to planting over a million gardens to enhance pollinator habitat.
41. Zoo animals are visiting each other.
42. Even as humans suspend their daily activities, the rest of creation continues its rhythm of rebirth and new spring life.
43. From Zoom Happy Hours to virtual board game nights, people are finding new ways to stay connected.
44. Frontline workers are the heroes of our lifetime, and people are finding ways to show them the appreciation they deserve.
45. Drive-through birthday celebrations.
46. All of these neighborhood walks are opening our eyes in new ways to the beauty of our own place.
47. The human need for community is more clear than ever.
48. Churches are not closing, they are adapting: prayer services via Zoom, increased time for pastoral care, etc.
49. This little town in Massachusetts is displaying hearts on its doors as a form of solidarity.