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.
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In 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.
In 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 FUMCOG, St. Martin-in-the-Fields Episcopal Church, the Shalom Center, Summit Presbyterian Church, and Good Samaritan Baptist Church and more!
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: