Church bells across the nation rang 350 times Saturday to sound the alarm on the threat of global climate change in observance of International Day of Climate Action.
The number 350 represents the limit of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere that scientists say is safe – 350 parts per million.
In addition to the bell tolling, churches in the United States served sustainable food dinners and distributed fluorescent light bulbs, among other activities.
Meanwhile, half way across the world in Geneva, more than 100 representatives of the Lutheran World Federation member churches observed the day by forming the number 350 after morning prayer, according to the Lutheran World Information.
Lutheran leaders from around the world were gathered for the LWF Council meeting on Oct. 22-27. On the council's agenda is to a discussion on additional efforts by member churches to reduce carbon dioxide levels in the atmosphere to 350 ppm.
In the council’s June 2008 meeting, it had resolved to further engage the LWF and its partners in promoting strong political commitments that would lead to lowering carbon dioxide levels from 390 to 350 ppm by the year 2020.
"We can no longer wait but must actively contribute to global ecumenical and interreligious initiatives to respond to this crisis," declared LWF General Secretary the Rev. Dr. Ishmael Noko in his report to the Council meeting on Friday.
Noko noted the organization will have a delegation at the much-anticipated U.N. Climate Change Conference in Copenhagen, Denmark, in December.
International Day of Climate Action is coordinated by 350.org, an international campaign to unite the world around solutions to the climate crisis. The campaign reported that people from 181 countries organized more than 5,200 events on Saturday to call for stronger action on the climate crisis.