The recent UN Climate Change Conference—COP28, held in Dubai—was the first such event to have an on-site Faith Pavilion, and members of the Diocese of Cyprus and the Gulf played a significant role in the gathering.
The Pavilion was hosted by the Muslim Council of Elders, in collaboration with the COP28 Presidency, the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), and a diverse coalition of global partners including the Interfaith Centre for Sustainable Development, the Episcopal Diocese of California, the Peace Department, the International Partnership on Religion and Sustainable Development (PaRD), and over 50 faith organizations. Pope Francis delivered an inaugural video address on 3 December.
The Faith Pavilion represented global and multifaith collaboration in addressing the human-made climate emergency. Situated at the heart of COP28 next to the World Climate Action Summit and negotiation zones, the Faith Pavilion hosted more than 60 sessions, bringing together religious and other civil society representatives, Indigenous Peoples, scientists, youth, and political leaders.
Christ Church Jebel Ali also hosted a number of events in cooperation with the Anglican Alliance, including an Ecumenical Service and Talanoa Dialogue about the impact of climate change and proposals for addressing this critical issue. Two webinars, hosted by the Province of Jerusalem and the Middle East under the theme “The Middle East, Climate Change, and COP28”, were attended by David Axtel of St Christopher’s Cathedral in Bahrain, Samer Najm of Christ Church Jebel Ali, Father Prem Mitra of Holy Trinity Dubai, and Father Jim Young of Christ Church, while Mother Christine Trainor of St Andrew Abu Dhabi served as an official representative of The Episcopal Church, USA, participating in a number of events.
The Reverend Jim Young, Christ Church Jebel Ali
Main photo: On Sunday 10 December Archbishop Julio Murray preached and celebrated at Christ Church, Jebel Ali, joined in worship by Martha Jarvis, UN Representative for the Anglican Communion and Archbishop of Canterbury; Lynnaia Main, Episcopal Church Representative to the UN; Canon Stephanie Spellers, Canon to the Presiding Bishop for Evangelism, Reconciliation and Creation at The Episcopal Church, USA; Melanie Mullen, Director of Reconciliation, Justice & Creation Care, Office of the Presiding Bishop of the Episcopal Church; Archbishop Julio Murray, bishop of Panama of the Anglican Diocese of Panama and Chairman of the Anglican Communion Environment Network and former primate of Iglesia Anglicana de la Region Central de America; Joel Kelling, Anglican Alliance Facilitator for the Middle East; Nicholas Pande, Anglican delegate, member of the Council of Anglican Provinces of Africa, Anglican Alliance Disaster Resilience and Response Lead and UN Environment Policy Lead; and Rachel Taber-Hamilton, Vice-President House of Deputies of the General Convention of the Episcopal Church