2017 Gratitude, Lament & Renewal: walking faithfully in a time of climate disruption

Gratitude, Lament & Renewal-SAVE THE DATE
PA IPL’s 2017 Annual Conference 
Sunday, October 29th
1:30 PM-5:30 PM
at the Church of the Good Shepherd
867 Grays Woods Blvd, State College, PA 16870

Do you feel despairing, or overwhelmed, disconnected, or unmoored when you think about the causes and impacts of climate disruption?  Without faith —and the connections it brings— enormous, knotty, moral challenges like climate change can erode our strength and creativity, and disconnect us from our work in the world.  

This conference offers first aid to carry us forward:

  • resources and practices from religious denominations and traditions
  • sustenance for our walk together in this journey through disruption, toward climate justice and renewal
  • a place to engage the tools our religions offer to help us recognize our pain, fear, and confusion in the face of climate change.  
  • Ways to connect deeply to one another, to the glorious world in which we live, and to the spirit and wisdom that feed our faiths and our active, engaged hope.

65509597_illustration_yin-yangish handsNew format this year!
Rather than a keynote session followed by anguished groans when we ask you to choose a single workshop from an exciting list, you will have the opportunity to participate in 2 workshops on our theme. (Don’t get too comfortable—we still plan to make the decision of which workshops to attend very difficult, even though you’ll get to attend twice as many.)  Workshops will be led by people from a variety of religious traditions, including José Aguto of Catholic Climate Covenant and Shantha Ready Alonso of Creation Justice Ministries.

Participation in two workshops will allow you to learn more about the resources available from a familiar religious tradition, as well as one less familiar to you.  Just as traveling to a new place helps us see home with new eyes, engaging with new beliefs and practices can illuminate our own traditions in exciting ways — and the dual experience will allow us all to be better cross-tradition collaborators as we walk faithfully together.

Walking Sticks image searchStart NOW – with art!
Create a Walking Stick for our Conference Gallery.

Walking sticks or staffs often signify wisdom or power.  More practically, they may provide balance, support, navigation through rough terrain; grounding, help, even protection. We need all these things as we journey forward on this bumpy path.

And so: we are creating a gallery of walking sticks, conceived of and made by YOU!  Gather with another person or a small crowd from your congregation or community and begin imagining, planning, and creating now!   

In the stories shared by the Abrahamic traditions, Moses’ staff was used to draw water from a rock and to part the Red Sea.  Walking staffs may be made of single, strong element, or by tightly binding elements that would be too weak or too sharp alone.  Where do you see staffs in your religious tradition? What words or images give you strength?  How might you share those on, in, or through a staff?

A search for walking sticks, hiking sticks, canes, and wizard staffs on Etsy, Ebay, Pinterest and Google Images will give you amazing visual launching points – you’ll find everything from Yoda and movie wizards, to art-carved hiking sticks, to practical hiking sticks inscribed with memorials or words of strength, and simple sticks scarred by their adventures — or  ornamented with markers of the places they’ve traveled.  

Your staff should be meaningful and faith-and-wisdom rooted. It doesn’t have to be postcard pretty or ADA approved! Size and materials are limited to something you can bring with you or mail to us. We will pay postage on standard postage tubes.  

Let us know it’s coming!
We want to prepare a place and have a label ready for your contribution to our gallery.  We’ll ask for the name of your congregation and religious tradition(s), for a brief description or interpretive note, and for a photo of the participants (names optional).  You may title your work of art if you are so moved!

logo square Gratitude, Lament & Renewal-Mark your calendar for October 29, and come to the conference!  You’ll leave inspired, energized, and newly connected with other Pennsylvanians who are reaching out in faith to act on climate change.  You’ll add new skills and ideas to your toolbox for adapting for your own work and contexts — we hope in collaboration with PA IPL.  We’re totally excited.  Don’t miss it.  Gather a van-full of registrants from your area and let us know as soon as you can — we’ll apply for transportation funding for your group.

Browse past conferences.
Conference fliers and bulletin inserts coming soon.
Locals can volunteer to help out on a conference team.