“You are called to be loved, and to love. It’s all that easy, and all that hard.”

—Rev. Hansen Wendlandt

On April 28, 2019, Reverend Hansen Wendlandt and I wove the Ribbon into Sunday morning worship at Nederland Community Presbyterian Church. The Sunday service was dedicated to “Creation Care”; parishioners were invited to write ribbons, tie them to ropes strung across the church altar, and take home someone else’s ribbon, becoming the guardian of that person’s story. The service included hymns praising the Earth, a sermon on what it means to really love one another and the Earth, and the writing and exchange of Climate Ribbons.

You can read (or download) the full order of worship, and you’re welcome to use it as a resource when planning to weave the Climate Ribbon into a Presbyterian or ecumenical service. Excerpts here:

The service opened with the following words from the holy fool of Assisi, St. Francis:

“I once spoke to my friend, an old squirrel, about the Sacraments—
he got so excited
and ran into a hollow in his tree and came
back holding some acorns, an owl feather,
and a ribbon he had found.
And I just smiled and said, “Yes, dear,
you understand:
everything imparts God’s grace.”

From the Climate Ribbon introduction:

The Climate ribbon asks us to think about our home and to share what we love and hope to never lose to climate chaos. A.J., a 10-year-old boy from the Rockaways in New York who’d been displaced by Hurricane Sandy, wrote: “My books, my toys, my best friend, my apartment, my mom.” He’d seen the ocean rise up and try to take all that away once; he didn’t want it to happen again.

Andrew, in NYC, wrote, "The kindness among strangers." As I imagine the flood of refugees and the panic and crunch of scarcity turning people cruel, this one feels like a very precious ribbon, a very heartbreaking idea.

I want to ask you to think about the place where we live here in the Rocky Mountains. What do you love about this land? About this place? I want to ask you to feel in your heart for the answer to this question: What do you love, and hope to never lose to climate chaos? Be personal and specific. What’s at stake for you? We invite each of us to take a good long silent moment to reflect on this…

A week after the service, Rev Hansen shared this story with me: “One of our church members brought his ribbon to coffee this morning. He randomly grabbed one from an “Erin,” who [indicated on her ribbon that she was] from Monroe, Michigan. And his whole family is from... Monroe, Michigan. He brought me pictures of their family reunion there, and told me how he didn’t notice where the person was from, until later that afternoon… Then he was able to really sink into some trust for the universe. How’s that for a spirited coincidence!”

God (and it seems the Climate Ribbon as well) works in mysterious ways!  

—Rae Abileah, Climate Ribbon co-creator