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Last weekend I left with despair, but I returned from the People’s Climate March with renewed hope.

Three buses organized by 350.org and the Sierra Club departed from Madison on Saturday. We rode through the night to arrive in a very crowded New York City Sunday morning. (I had to skip out on my congregation!)

Estimates of participation were about 400,000. These numbers weren’t the only inspiring part. It was also the variety of response and passion. It’s evident climate change is making us rethink our food systems, foreign and economic policies, transportation methods and more.

People are responding as concerned citizens, as compassionate humans, as people who can -- quite litera -- turn the tide. We’re responding with ingenuity, humor and faith.

I was there among the marchers who believe “the earth is the Lord’s” (Psalm 24), not ours to ransack for quarterly profit statements or selfish consumerism or political expediency. That’s expecting a lot.

But as signs also said, “Either we change or the climate does.” This renewed my faith that we can change.

-- the Rev. Nick Utphall, Madison

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