Plans pivot because of coronavirus
By Jessica Brodie
COLUMBIA—The threat of COVID-19 means United Methodists and other people of faith in South Carolina are now planning a virtual gathering to celebrate this year’s Earth Day, April 22. It is the 50th anniversary of the environmental event.
Instead of an in-person gathering at the South Carolina State House, those plans have been postponed until the fall.
“However, we are working on various virtual opportunities for Earth Day—webinars, a media event and so on, possibly interviewing our speakers and presenting online teach-Ins,” said the Rev. Marvin Lare, retired United Methodist elder who is helping to organize the interfaith event.
Organized by the Columbia Circle of GreenFaith, of which Lare is a part, the now-virtual Earth Day at the Dome is designed to help people live into what it means to be good stewards of the earth in the way God intended.
Lare said they will focus on four themes: renewable energy as an alternative to extractive fuels; sustainable land and water use; environmental justice; and strategies to fight the climate crisis such as divestment.
Their website, EarthDaySC.org, notes the event is postponed, not canceled, and encourages people to participate online.
“What began as a dire cry for clean air and water fifty years ago has now reached a boiling point,” the website says. “The climate is in a state of emergency that can no longer be ignored.”