In 2014, the Baha’is of Harrisburg once more participated in the national IPL Preach In on Climate Change, but they decided to use the Preach-In materials as a springboard to go a little deeper this year. They did a study series of relevant Baha’i scripture, then showed the Chasing Ice DVD twice — once in a public venue (a reservable library room they used for last year’s event) and then also convened at a member’s a home, where they could have a bit more time to both discuss what they had seen in depth. That meeting was on a weeknight at dinnertime — with Bring Your Own Pizza solving the dinnertime food challenge.*
The group reports: Together we studied the Baha’i Holy Scriptures on how to become better stewards of the earth on principles such as: origin of the universe, nature, ecological principles and balance, environment sustainability. We discussed topics and concerns such as: peace and water, the effect of climate change on our health, and the increase of illnesses, famine, environment, and what we can do individually and collectively to lobby our congressional representatives on these issues of serious concern. We also have a list of recommendations for how we can save and conserve energy resources and make things from items that we usually throw away.
It was a great workshop with everyone engaged and made contributions to the discussion. Everyone signed cards to be sent to our senators.
FURTHER FOLLOW UP: The group has now reached out for an initial meeting of Baha’i leaders from 6 communities in south-central PA and (following a rich discussion) enthusiastically planned a short term study for the group, using the 9-class study materials titled “Scientific and Spiritual Dimensions of Climate Change.” The materials were designed to be used by any faith group to extend their conversation and study in their own communities and beyond.
*Isn’t that a great idea to make a meeting less rushed? Everyone will have something to eat, and (as tastebuds and diets allow) people can share and trade for variety. It should be easier for many people than the logisitcs of a potluck on a “school night,” and create more community feeling than bringing bagged dinners.