March 2020-The Cusp of Springtime

This was first published as March 2020 newsletter.  Now that we have fully entered this time of COVID-19, we trust that our members will use resources responsibly — virtually, in-household , or much later. As you will see in other posts, the newsletter included March and April events, an action idea, and a review of our February Annual ConferenceWe will be adding virtual connecting points and more.

The Cusp of Springtime

Although some would say there was no real winter in 2019-2020, nonetheless, the calendar heralds a change in the season.  Thoughts of springtime fuel our March newsletter’s opportunities, and yet we pause first to take in all that is alive and churning within us – and the myriad ways we are called to respond.

Today, like every other day, we wake up empty and frightened.
Don’t open the door to the study and begin reading.
Take down a musical instrument.
Let the beauty we love be what we do.
There are hundreds of ways to kneel and kiss the ground.

(The Essential Rumi, trans. Coleman Barks, San Francisco: HarperSanFrancisco, 1995)

Please join others around the state as we honor all the ways there are to ‘kneel and kiss the ground.’

Earth Hour

Have you made plans to host, or attend, an Earth Hour gathering?  It’s not too late! 
Since 2007, people around the world have paused on a Saturday close to the Spring Equinox – this year March 28th – to ‘power down’ and turn off the lights from 8:30-9:30 pm local time.  PA IPL encourages and supports all kinds of Earth Hour gatherings — concerts, house parties, vigils, and celebrations – all opportunities to show reverence for our planet.   Two special celebrations in Philadelphia and State College are fundraisers for PA IPL, helping us continue our programming, keeping it affordable and accessible. 

Bike Trip

NOW is the time for interested cyclists and volunteers to sign up for the 2020 Bike Trip.  We are seeking riders from several locations around the state, particularly Philadelphia, State College, and Harrisburg for the new Capital-to-Capital ride, our annual ‘minimal carbon’ event delivering a message directly to elected officials. This year’s trip takes place May 15-19, with a launch overnight on May 14.  If you know someone who might be interested in riding, or in supporting the riders, please encourage them to join us! Potential cyclists and volunteers can access a recording of the informational webinar; we’re asking for cyclist registration and commitments by March 31st.
Would your business, foundation, community group, or congregation like to sponsor the bike trip? Pass this information on by sharing this newsletter, or this 1/2 page print sheet.
PS – watch for the 2020 supporters’ prayer project which is forthcoming!

Faith Climate Action Week 

Congregations around the country are gearing up for Faith Climate Action Week April 17-26. This annual “week” of action organized by Interfaith Power & Light calls faith communities to preach, teach, and act for the climate.  This year’s theme is Love Made Visible, and includes activities around tree planting, art, and activism or civic engagement rooted in love.  There are downloadable resources, or you can order a print kit for a small fee.
This year’s suggested film is The Human Elementby filmmaker James Balog, who also made the powerful and beautiful film Chasing Ice.

Earth Day

The 50th Anniversary of Earth Day is on April 22nd.  The theme is Climate Action, and the day handily falls immediately before the Ecumenical Advocacy Days sponsored by the Council of Churches, which is also climate-themed this year

Engaging Active Hope

With more coverage of the growing phenomena of climate anxiety and despair, we are offering more opportunities to gather to strengthen our spirits and resolve.  We are just wrapping up our first Engaging Active Hope Virtual Workshop, and are about to offer an in-person workshop in Philadelphia. Would your congregation, school or organization like to host an in-person or online workshop?
Please be in touch.