‘From tears to hope.’ That’s how our Board chair, Rabbi Daniel Swartz, described the journey he and his wife, Rabbi Marjorie Berman, traversed over the past year. After seeing the film Racing Extinction*, together they decided to reduce their consumption of meat to lower their own carbon footprint — and raise their ecological consciousness. Grieving about what has been lost, and contemplating what is at risk, they found a path forward as they decided ‘we needed to take some action, however simple or symbolic it might be … to help be on the side of stopping destruction and not causing it.’
‘From tears to hope’ expresses what many people say when they find PA IPL’s programs and events — joining an Active Hope workshop, or helping remove invasive species as part of a Creation Care workshop; offering testimony at public hearings, or praying with people of many faiths before a march; participating in a Sustained Advocacy training, or attending a fuel bank energy efficiency class; participating in our Annual Conference An Environment of Justice, or visiting a public official after cycling from State College to Washington DC. Each time, with each step and every action, we move towards an affirmation of life, healing what is broken, building what is needed. Moving, collectively, from tears to hope.
Will you help us increase our programming and events, keeping them accessible, affordable and meeting the needs of communities and individuals of faith across Pennsylvania, with your end-of-year donation?
This year’s successes can be reported in numbers: more than 50 distinct programs, events and communications that directly reached out to nearly 9,000 individuals, and indirectly impacted another 4,000 — none of which would have been possible without people like you: friends, volunteers, supporters, donors. We hail our role in stopping destruction, with our Board’s ‘no new fossil fuel infrastructure’ resolution playing a significant role in the decision to not build out the Southport development on the Delaware River as a fuel depot. And we celebrate the new trees planted in Germantown, signs of new life and health. These are just two examples of where PA IPL has made a difference to our communities. Each is an opportunity to move from tears to hope.
Each of our successes is rooted in your generosity and help. Each time you say ‘yes’ to sponsoring a cyclist, attending an Earth Hour party, bringing a friend to an event, following up on a promise to visit an elected official, writing a letter to the editor, serving on the Board. Our work is made possible by your gifts, and we are so grateful. With every donation you make, we are better able to say ‘yes’ to the requests for our presence and participation.
We know, in the months ahead, there will be a great need to move from tears to hope. In months leading up to the election, and in the weeks since, we have had a glimpse of what is at risk of being destroyed. We know that more tears will be shed. We know we will be called to step up more boldly than ever. And we know that by continuing to do the work we’ve been doing for the last 6 years, we will sustain one another and the communities of which we are a part. We are counting on you for help and support.
Our year-end image for this year is a milkweed pod bursting with seeds about to float on breaths of air to start new plants. It is an apt image for the times, when each of us is called to be seeds of hope, sustenance and change!
*We have a copy of Racing Extinction to loan to PA IPL members for home or congregational showings. Back to top.