Willard Metzger, General Secretary of Mennonite Church Canada, was one of 20,000 people who gathered in Durban, South Africa, November 2011 for the United Nations Forum on Climate Change. “I came in response to a request to strengthen the presence of the Canadian Church leaders," Metzger explained in a November 28 blog.
During the 10-day climate change forum, Metzger kept a daily blog of his observations. “If the earth cannot sustain my neighbour consuming what I consume—then obedience to Christ must compel me to strive for a consumption practice that can also be shared with my neighbour,” wrote Metzger in his first blog entry from Durban.
On day four at the UNCCF, Metzger wrote of the frustrations and fragility of the conference. Metzger was feeling disheartened as the larger economies hesitated and the smaller economies grew impatient. Then he attended a global youth forum.
A teenage South African girl spoke, encouraging the leaders present to focus on the future. After first acknowledging the economic dynamics and financial costs involved in climate change, she was emphatic: “We need you to make the biggest decision of our lives," she said. "Forget about the money you have to save, you are in a big debt already…You owe this to us!”
On day nine of the ten-day blog, Metzger issued a challenge: “Creation care requires all the gifts and strategies we possess as a global family. We need new technologies. We need gifted entrepreneurs. We need committed governments. We need active sacrifice. With this portfolio of gifts, we have all we need to maintain a healthy global community.”
See the entirety of Metzger’s blog here.