‘Dear Tomorrow’ is a powerful, inspirational climate program, pastor says

Church to host program at potluck on Aug. 24.

The time is now to get involved with the “Dear Tomorrow” climate program, said pastor Roberta Rominger of Congregational Church on Mercer Island.

With Mercer Island High School (MIHS) rising senior and climate activist Anna Xie by her side as the church’s summer environmental justice intern, Rominger is set on engaging the community in an event that will feature people penning letters to themselves or to others in the year 2050 regarding their climate hopes, fears and promises.

The all-ages community potluck gathering will take place from 6-8 p.m. on Aug. 24 at the church, located at 4545 Island Crest Way. Kids will also have an opportunity to get involved by making sculptures out of recycled materials and drawing portraits of themselves 50 years in the future.

On the potluck front, and sticking with the theme of handing things down to others, people are invited to bring a dish that they made from a meaningful family recipe to share with attendees.

Bringing the international “Dear Tomorrow” program to the church continues Rominger and company’s community climate journey. The church hosts Earth Day events and had solar panels installed on its building to reduce its carbon footprint and inspire others to care for the environment and combat climate change.

“Climate change is really high on our agenda and that’s partly because this is God’s world and we see what’s happening and just want to respond out of our faith,” said Rominger, who will retire from her post on Oct. 2 after seven and a half years as the church’s pastor. She will continue working on climate projects in the future.

Rominger noted that “Dear Tomorrow” is a powerful, inspirational program.

“Instead of all the left-brain stuff that happens with climate action, this is just straight from the heart. It engages people’s feelings,” she said.

Added Xie, who expects to engage in discussions about climate activism at the event: “We really liked the idea because it was more of an emotional way of climate activism and less so logistics.”

Xie befriended Rominger while the MIHS student volunteer was sharing information about the Citizens’ Climate Lobby at the church’s Earth Day event and the seeds for the internship were sown. During her freshman year, Xie became involved with the MIHS Green Team and her interest in climate activism grew from there. She recalls experiencing heaps of pollution while growing up in China and that sparked her initial interest in wanting to help protect the environment.

During her internship, she’s worked on getting people involved in the city of Mercer Island’s climate challenge, has done outreach and interviews with environmental justice organizations and more. She said the internship has helped broaden her horizons in the climate activism realm.

To register for the event, visit https://forms.gle/PTdzj4mhVt1D2kui6.

For more information on “Dear Tomorrow,” visit https://deartomorrow.org.