February newsletter: For the love of children.

Today, on this Valentine’s day, we invite you to love the next generations.  Love them by loving their world, and also by celebrating their examples, by reading with them, studying with them, and helping them find ways to act in hope.  We’ll help with a bouquet of new resources.  Select one you like, and learn a bit more. 

Love the expansive sense of urgency and possibility of children and youth.
We’ve already introduced you to the 1000 Teachings project — a faith-led effort to spread the word about, support, and learn from the 21 youth (ages 10-21) who are challenging us all to do a better job caring for our common home (and the finely balanced atmosphere that makes it habitable).  Now we have some inspiring, given-in-Pennsylvania sermons that have been generously shared with us and posted on our blog.   Check them out!  Have you given a sermon or led a study you’re willing to share?  Please do!

Expand your knowledge with a child, or a friend who sparkles with curiosity.
This book is not a book that draws explicitly on faith, but it is interesting, and hopeful, and may lead some adults off to learn more about some of the stories and ideas.  Wouldn’t it be interesting to do parallel adult and child studies, and then a multi-generational one?

The Tantrum That Saved the World by Megan Herbert and Michael E. Mann

A remarkable new picture book about a little girl who stares down the climate crisis, channeling tantrum power into positive action to save the world. An entertaining, empowering, life-affirming story for children (and adults) of all ages.

Megan Herbert is a film and television script writer and children’s book illustrator.  Michael E. Mann is an American climatologist and geophysicist, currently director of the Earth System Science Center at Pennsylvania State University, who has contributed to the scientific understanding of historic climate change based on the temperature record of the past thousand years, and he is a longtime friend of PA IPL.

Pray, reflect, and act with children.

Teaching Kids to Care for God’s Creation – Reflections, Activities and Prayers for Catechists and Families
by Mary Elizabeth Clark, SSJ

Based on Pope Francis’ Laudato Si’ (On Care for our Common Home), this book presents thirty well-designed lessons on learning what we can do—in the classroom, in the home, and in the community—to raise awareness and take action to ensure that our planetary home will be sustainable for future generations. The prayers and reflections in each chapter help us make care for the Earth part of our faith and spirituality.

Sister Mary Elizabeth Clark, SSJ, is the director of the SSJ Earth Center and Assistant for Sustainability to the President of Chestnut Hill College, ministered as an elementary school teacher/catechist prior to her many years in social justice/eco-justice ministry both nationally and locally, and she is a longtime friend and supporter of PA IPL!

Read imaginative work with a child or a child-hearted friendand maybe be inspired to create some art of your own.

Zazu Dreams: Between the Scarab and the Dung Beetle, A Cautionary Fable for the Anthropocene Era by Cara Judea Alhadeff and Micaela Amato Amateau

Zazu Dreams is a tale about the adventures of a Sephardic boy and his imaginary friend, a malamute husky, as they traverse the globe on a humpback whale across time and space, experiencing the marvels and mayhem of the relationship between humans and their environments (human ecologies). The authors integrate two seemingly unrelated topics: Jewish and Arabic philosophies with consumer-convenience petro culture. This cautionary fable incites transgenerational audiences to question the vast implications of the vital yet precarious concept of sustainability.

Cara Judea Alhadeff is an American photographer, performance artist, writer, and yoga teacher. Micaela Amateau Amato’s mixed media works incorporate painting, photography, sculpture, and text and she is a longtime supporter of PA IPL!

Get ready!
Faith Climate Action Week is April 14-22, but now is the time to preregister to get materials!  IPL’s national programs coordinator tells us that they are in negotiations to get access to a film for study and discussion again this year.   These things really go at their own pace, so It’s better to get pre-registered and even do some early planning now so you won’t miss out!  The theme this year is Charged with Faith: Leading the Way to a Clean Energy Future.

In January we shared a link each for Passover and an ecumenical Lenten resource.  Later that same day, the Global Catholic Climate Covenant released their calendar featuring faces and stories from around the globe.  There is a set of Stations of the Cross coloring pages that is around the theme of climate change.  (We’re linking you to the page with the pictures.  You can find your way to the purchasing page pretty easily, and check out About the Art and About the Project tabs, too.)

Even more Lent/Climate  and  Creation care resources have emerged since we published *this* newsletter.  Here are some highlighted by our friends at Creation Justice Ministries:

Finding your pictures and stories in our inboxes makes any day a Valentine!  Do share them. We promise we’ll ask before we publish.
May childlike love give us bold and hopeful courage, in this month, and going forward.