Tag Archives: Unitarian

Reflection: Living in a Time of Uncertainty

 

1916168_10207313793101028_7880170773515421357_nPA IPL board member Rachel Mark gave this reflection as one of three on the theme of Uncertainty at the Unitarian Church of Harrisburg on Sunday, April 10.  Reprinted here with permission.

To be alive is to be uncertain.  In our current time, we face political, social, financial, and health uncertainties. We seem to be on a precipice of uncertainties, all of which lead to increasing fear – fear of change, fear of strangers, fear of an unfamiliar world, fear of the future.

I recently asked a good friend who reads and studies history if he thought the current historical time period was more uncertain than any previous historical time.  He thought for a minute and responded that he thought this time in history might be uniquely uncertain because of the global impacts of climate change.   You would expect that response from me, but I certainly did not expect it from him.

An important question to ask is how we respond to uncertainty.    You may have heard of the quote from “Unknown”:   “Be decisive.  Right or wrong, make a decision.  The road of life is paved with flat squirrels who could not make a decision”.

If we are to respond, Continue reading

Praying with Paris — in Philadelphia and Harrisburg

The Paris climate talks (the 21st such talks) began on Monday, November 30.  People around the world held vigils and marches on 11/29 and 11/30 to show our leaders that we are with them in spirit, supporting the difficult, urgent, vital work that they are engaged in.  The people’s voices —including faith voices— have been vital in getting international leaders as far along as we are.

Check back here for a one-a-day series of actions and solutions from now until 12/11.

HarrisburgVigilMarch.11.29.2015In HARRISBURG, a multi-faith service hosted by Grace United Methodist Church was attended by about 120 people, and  made the evening news.  News coverage embedded at the bottom of this page (these links can expire quickly!)

Inspiring speakers included  Professor John Dernbach  (himself a Paris Summit delegate) and former PA Senator Franklin Kury (the author of Article1, Section 27 of our PA Constitution, and the recipient of our first PA IPL Visionary Award, back in 2011).   Father Jim Podlesny talked about the significance of the Pope’s encyclical and what it means for Paris.

 David Glasgow, music director of Unitarian Universalists of Cumberland Valley, provided opening music, with congregational singing of  We Would be One, This is My Song, and Blue Boat Home.    Harrisburg Drummers added color and energy.

Readings and reflections were offered by leaders from the Religion & Society Center, Baha’ís of Harrisburg, Lutheran Advocacy Ministry of PA, Hadee Mosque, and PA IPL. 

The event concluded on the Capitol steps with a rousing speech by former pastor and climate activist, the Rev. Jerry Miller, along with other testimonies, more drumming, and singing of Let There Be Peace on Earth.

IMG_5098In PHILADELPHIA , PA IPL member congregation First United Methodist Church of Germantown  hosted an afternoon multi-faith vigil on Monday, 11/30.  The vigil and prayer was led by Rabbi Malkah Binah Klein, the Rev. Cheryl Pyrch, and song led by Daniella Forstater.  Participants from many local congregations, including the Sisters of St Joseph, the Germantown Jewish Centre, P’nai Or, the Reconstructionist Rabbinical College, the Unitarian Society of Germantown, host FUMCOGSt. Martin-in-the-Fields Episcopal Church, the Shalom CenterSummit Presbyterian Church, and Good Samaritan Baptist Church and more!

in PARIS
Because of the attacks in Paris last week, planned marches and outdoor gatherings were not allowed, so the Place de la Republique filled with 10,000 pairs of shoes, “marching” without their owners.  Among them: Pope Francis’ shoes, and Ban Ki Moon’s shoes.

Nearly 10,000 people linked arms to form a human chain through Paris, stretched out along about 2km of the 3 km (2 mile) route of the planned march, rather than gathered in one spot.

Religious leaders delivered a multi-faith petition signed by nearly 1.8 million yesterday, and Cristina Figueres, the Executive Secretary of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change, broke out into a dance with Archbishop Thabo Makgoba of South Africa, who was among those delivering the signatures to the talks.

HARRISBURG Fox43 coverage:

MLK the RNC, and the climate gap

On the anniversary of Martin Luther King’s birth (his actual birthday, rather than his official national holiday) Interfaith Moral Action on Climate held a rally and interfaith service outside the Hershey Lodge in Hershey PA.  Why there?  The Republican National Committee was meeting there, and it is imperative that our national political leaders clearly acknowledge the growing harm coming from climate change, and move to both address the impacts and limit our continuing complicity in adding to the problem.  1

Continue on to read Rachel Mark’s remarks, and link on to a wire story about the event. Read last year’s excellent reflection on climate justice and the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. written by PA IPL board president Rabbi Daniel Swartz here And re-read Jacqueline Patterson’s remarks about race and climate change at our 2014 Annual Conference here. The Rev. Dr. Gerald Durley (board member of the national IPL) has also contributed importantly to this conversation.  Read his 2013 piece from the 50th anniversary of the March on Washington here.  

Rachel Mark, Secretary of the Board of PA Interfaith Power & Light, offered these remarks:  I speak today on behalf of Pennsylvania Interfaith Power & Light.  PA IPL is a community of congregations, faith- Continue reading