2017 Rider Profile: Rev. Bret Myers

Bret Myers headshotMeet Pastor Bret Myers, third in our get-to-know-the-riders series.  The 2017 PA-to-DC ride  will take place  May 19-24.  

Hi, I’m Bret Myers — playful pastor extraordinaire.
I remember the first bike I had that I was excited about: It was an 18″ conventional bike I already had, but transformed with hi-rise handlebars and a glittering blue banana seat. Life couldn’t get much better than that!

Bret Myers collageOf course, until it did. Having outgrown it, I needed something more my size — only this time faster!  A 10 speed John Deere bicycle (yes, you read right!) not only kept the “cool” factor, but increased my ability to travel farther than previously imaginable.

Numerous country road trips, especially to a sacred place where my family used to boat and water ski, sated my love of nature while simultaneously cultivating my joy of riding.

While in seminary in Boston, I joined Cyclists Fighting Hunger, and completed a cross country ride from San Francisco to Boston while raising awareness about hunger and malnutrition. I upgraded my ride for that trip to an 18 gear touring bike which I still own and will be riding on the PA IPL trip.

My aforementioned love of nature gave me an inbred desire to protect the beauty and purity of our earthly habitat. I have advocated on her behalf since I can remember, having been appalled around 3 or 4 at the nerve of someone to have written graffiti on some rocks.

As a pastor, currently at Faith UCC in State College, I have always tried to speak Continue reading

2017 Rider Profile: Jeff Davidson

JeffDavidson formalMeet Jeff Davidson, second in our get-to-know-the-riders series.  The 2017 PA-to-DC ride  will take place  May 19-24.  

I’m excited to be a first-time rider for PA IPL! I arrive with some trepidation as a semi-trained cyclist, resolved to get better mile-by-mile with the great PA IPL team.

I bike for IPL because I believe that we can care for our world better and more joyfully.  Caring for the planet also cares for its people, animals and plants.  I bike to Continue reading

2017 Rider Profile: Pastor Ben Wideman

Ben WidemanMeet Ben Wideman, first in our get-to-know-the-riders series.  The 2017 PA-to-DC ride  will take place  May 19-24, though Ben can only get away for 1/2 the ride this year.  Ben was a 2015  through-rider and wrote a profile in 2016, too.

Shortly after graduating from college I was over at a friend’s home who had just got a new road bike. I rolled my eyes after learning how much he had paid for it, saying something like, “You paid that much for a thing you could get from Walmart for $100?” He looked at me with a smile on his face and encouraged me to take it for a spin around the block. Despite the fact that I was wearing jeans and didn’t have a helmet, I got on, coasted down the driveway, and did a single lap around the block. I remember this almost instantaneous feedback from the bike. Having only ever ridden on clunky department store bikes with fat tires, I was amazed that when I pushed the pedal that the bike seemed to respond and rocket forward. Not only was this way easier than I had imagined, it was Continue reading

Catch the bus! Join the action!

Register for the PA IPL bus from Chestnut Hill.  It departs from St. Martin-in-the-Fields, Philadelphia, and there will be a multifaith-friendly Shabbat service right on the bus!

Facebook Event page for the PA IPL climate march bus.

THis bus is very nearly full, but our friends at CAIR – Philadelphia have invited people of all faiths to join their bus, too!  Be sure to read all the information in the “about” tab on the linked page, and then click through to sign up with them.

Lots of groups are organizing!  Find sister events or transportation from your area to DC via the standard People’s Climate Movement website, including buses from Pittsburgh, Harrisburg/Hershey, Pine Grove, West Chester, Doylestown….more added all the time!

Check out faith resources from the march’s faith contingent hubor browse through bulletin inserts from several faith traditions —copy the same one for each bulletin, or copy several different ones to spark conversation.  Note that there is a Word version if you want to adapt yours.  THANK YOU to IPL DC.MD.NoVA!

List your event so people can find it when they search.
List your bus so people can find it when they search.

Another way to engage:  Faith Climate Action Week from Interfaith Power & Light.

Central PA’s People’s Climate Day in State College

Be there in prayer and spirit!Screen Shot 2017-03-29 at 12.15.47 PM

Prayer Flag project — complete as a congregation, a study group, or an individual as a way of participating in the People’s Climate March in Washington, DC, and sister events closer to home.   The project makes a terrific addition to any Earth Day or Faith Climate Action Week events you may already have planned.

Registration is open: Interfaith Moral Climate Advocacy Workshop – State College

This workshop is over, but watch for announcements about one in Bryn Mawr on Saturday, October 14, 2017 (beginning in the morning)  and Pittsburgh on Sunday, October 15, 2017(beginning after noon) . 

PA IPL will hold our 5th Interfaith Moral Climate Advocacy workshop from 9:00-4:30 on April 1 (no joke!), for the first time in State College, PA. REGISTER NOW

State College INTERFAITH MORAL CLIMATE ADVOCACY WORKSHOP

Join us to develop clear messages to bring directly to policymakers to support ambitious, legally-binding targets for carbon dioxide and methane emissions, energy efficiency and a just transition to renewable power.


Hosted by the Sustainability Circle at PA IPL member congregation
State College Presbyterian Church
132 W. Beaver Ave.
State College, Pennsylvania 16801
+ Google Map


           
Workshop Leaders include:

  • Justin Wright, Mediator and Negotiation trainer, Active Neutrals
  • Rob Altenburg, Director of the PennFuture Energy Center
  • Dr. Richard Alley, Department of Geosciences and Earth and Environmental Systems Institute at the Pennsylvania State University (lists of his stunning science credentials don’t include that he is the winner of Penn State’s highest teaching award — though you will see right away that teaching is clearly a talent in person)
  • Cricket Hunter, Director of Program and Outreach, PA IPL

People of faith possess the moral authority to be important and credible voices,  awakening awareness and responsibility for bold climate action among elected leaders and non-elected policy makers.

We seek to prepare people of faith who are willing to pro-actively initiate meetings with policymakers, electoral candidates and other religious leaders to build relationships and lift up the moral dimensions of this crisis as well as to support effective and rapid transition plans for a just, clean energy future in Pennsylvania and the nation.

SNACKS and a LIGHT LUNCH will be provided.  

Please bring a mug or water bottle for your drinks.
DISCOUNTS for people signing up as a small group from the same faith community or ministeriumScreen Shot 2016-01-08 at 4.22.09 PM

REGISTER NOW

See what past participants thought.
Download a flier to share
Use “Invite” on the Facebook Event page to spread the word!

Made possible in part through a generous grant from the Patricia Kind Family Foundation.

A Baha’i Reflection on the Beauty of God’s Creation

Carol Zandieh offered the following reflection on the glory of God and creation at the Spiritual Assembly of Baha’is of Harrisburg, a PA IPL member congregation.

The Words of God in the Baha’i Holy Scripture as revealed by Baha’u’llah, meaning the Glory of God, teaches that:

peacockGod created the universe and all of its creatures. To every creature, He has given one of His attributes, that is why we see His signs in every created thing. But He has given all of His attributes to humans and has commanded us to be the custodians of the earth. Now I would like to share a passage with you.

“All praise to the unity of God, and all honor to Him, the Sovereign Lord, the Incomparable and All-Glorious Ruler of the universe, Who, out of utter nothingness, has created the reality of all things, Who, from naught, has brought into being the most refined and subtle elements of His creation, and Who, rescuing His creatures from the abasement of remoteness and the pearls of ultimate extinction, has received them into His kingdom of incorruptible glory. Nothing short of His all-encompassing grace, His all-pervading mercy, could have possibly achieved it. How could it, otherwise, have been possible for sheer nothingness to have acquired by itself the worthiness and capacity to emerge from its state of non-existence into the realm of being?

“Having created the world and all that liveth and moveth therein, He, through the direct operation of His unconstrained and sovereign Will, chose to confer upon man the unique distinction and capacity to know Him and to love Him—a capacity that must needs be regarded as the generating impulse and the primary purpose underlying the whole of creation…Upon the inmost reality of each and every created thing, He has shed the light of one of His names, and made it a recipient of the glory of one of His attributes. Upon the reality of man, however, He has focused the radiance of all of His names and attributes and made it a mirror of His own Self. Alone, of all created things, man has been singled out for so great a favor, so enduring a bounty.”

Gleanings from the Writings of Baha’u’llah, p. 64-65

I would like to end with a prayer that was revealed by Baha’u’llah, especially for all parts of the earth, to remind us that we are the custodians and keepers of the earth.

“Blessed is the spot, and the house, and the place,
and the city, and the heart, and the mountain,
and the refuge, and the cave, and the valley,
and the land, and the sea, and the island,
and the meadow where mention of God
hath been made and His praise glorified.”

Baha’i Prayers, title page

_______________________________

The reflection was offered in December 2015, and shared here in 2017.

Above image is Copyright © Bahá’í International Community, and is used courtesy of the Bahá’í Media Bank.