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With Lima Accord reached, climate attention turns toward 2015

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Negotiators from nearly 200 countries struck a deal early Sunday morning in Lima, Peru, marking the first time that nations, large and small, developed and developing, agreed that each will make pledges aimed at cutting global greenhouse gas emissions.

The agreement, known as the Lima Accord, concluded two days after the scheduled end of the two-week (Dec. 1-12) negotiations, held among delegates representing 196 countries at the United Nations’ annual climate change conference, formally known as the 20th Conference of the Parties.

A report on the two-bite Thanksgiving challenge

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Before Thanksgiving, I said in this space I would eat only two bites of everything at my family’s traditional meal. And I did just that. 

I so rarely complete a project or a resolve or an intention that I’d like to start there in my rejoicing. I did it, or as my grandson Caleb, age 5, would say, “You did it! You did it!  You did it!” He is obviously hyperbolic -- and what a terrible thing to be hyperbolic on behalf of minimalism.

Catholic bishops to Lima delegates: end fossil fuels, tend to vulnerable in climate deal

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Citing an order “to treat respectfully Creation,” a group of Catholic bishops have called for an end of the use of fossil fuels, and for negotiators at the United Nations climate talks in Lima, Peru, to lay the foundation for an internationally binding agreement next year in Paris.

“Humankind on the Planet Earth is ordained to live in equity, justice and dignity, peace and harmony in the midst of the order of Creation. Humankind is ordered to treat respectfully Creation, which has a value in itself,” the bishops said.

Meet the pope’s astronomer, who says he’d baptize an alien if given the chance

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With Christmas just around the corner, Br. Guy Consolmagno gets a lot of questions this time of year about the star of Bethlehem that led the Magi to Jesus in the manger.

Consolmagno is an astronomer -- a planetary scientist for the Vatican observatory, in fact -- who specializes in asteroids and meteorites, the very sort that may well have been the famous “star” described in the Gospel of Matthew.

Celtic retreat centers on rebirth, compassion

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John Philip Newell, the Celtic spirituality scholar and interspirituality disciple, served up a pre-Thanksgiving spiritual banquet in mid-November here at First Community Church.

Newell, author of 15 books including Praying with the Earth and his latest The Rebirthing of God: Dreaming the Way Forward, was the latest presenter in this local United Church of Christ congregation’s 25-year-old ongoing Spiritual Searcher series. The program seeks to “unite mind, heart and body in the spiritual quest.”

Panel dissects ‘depressing’ climate change survey

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A survey released at the annual meeting of the American Academy of Religion and the Society of Biblical Literature Nov. 22-25 here reveals that people of faith do not consider climate change the most important issue facing the United States today nor do they believe they will be personally harmed by its impact. But they do see it as a crisis demanding governmental action now rather than later.

The survey, conducted by the Public Religion Research Institute (PRRI) in partnership with the American Academy of Religion, involved telephone interviews with more than 3,000 people.

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