On Dec. 13, at 3 p.m. in Copenhagen, during the Climate Change Summit, Archbishop Desmond Tutu of South Africa and Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams will ring the bells of the Lutheran Cathedral 350 times. This is a warning for all that, according to scientists, 350 p.p.m. is the safe amount of CO2 in the atmosphere for humans. We are currently at 387 p.p.m. The World Council of Churches has put out a call for faith communities worldwide to ring bells, chimes, drums, gongs, or horns at 3 p.m. on the 13th in solidarity with this goal of reducing our carbon emmissions to 350 p.p.m.
Here in Manhattan, the Church of the Holy Trinity's Peace and Restorative Justice Community will ring Holy Trinity's carillon bells 350 times at noon, immediately following the church's main Sunday service. There will be tunes in addition to tolling: "White Coral Bells," "America the Beautiful," and "I've Got Peace Like a River." On the sidewalk in front of the church, Community members will distribute flyers to neighbors as well as to parishioners to explain the action.
Across Central Park, Riverside Church is also planning to toll its bells 350 times at 3 p.m. The main service will feature a sermon by Rev. Arnold Thomas that will discuss the warning the bell-ringing is meant to convey.
Both churches are active in the New York City coalition of Faith Leaders for Environmental Justice.
**submitted Susan Valdes-Dapena and the Church of the Holy Trinity - Peace & Restorative Justice Community, an organizational partner of NY Faith & Justice