June 2020 Newsletter-On the Horizon—

  • Practice with us!  Around the Spiral meets second and fourth Tuesdays: June 23; July 7 and 21. 
  • Advocate with us!  June’s Policy Update “call” will be summary only.  Have you submitted testimony to Pennsylvania’s proposed existing-source methane rule, or explored the Vision for Equitable Climate Action, laying out policies that would get us where we need to be?  If not, check out the May call summary.
  • Watch with us! An online screening and discussion of the critically-acclaimed film The Condor and the Eagle on June 28th. Learn more and register.
  • Celebrate with us! Our celebration of connection, action, and hope, Stories from the Road, debuts August 1st (Lammas Day), and concludes September 1st (Global Day of Prayer for Creation).  Invitations to join us are on their way!

June 2020 Newsletter-Responding to this Moment

IPL’s national board wrote of a Kairos moment —a time outside of our usual, chronos, clock-time moments that presents us with “God-moments” when there is ripeness, possibility for growth and transformation. Other religious traditions describe such moments of unforeseen openings, too. Writer Rebecca Solnit speaks of “the spaciousness of uncertainty,” and Buddhist teacher Joanna Macy speaks of recognizing the possibility of being “strengthened by uncertainty.” Such a time invites us to step boldly into spaces of moral imagination and reimagination.

This Friday, Juneteenth, IPL leaders across the country will be in attendance at the US Climate Action Network (USCAN) Virtual Annual Meeting. We at PA IPL, and all of the USCAN network invite members to actively participate in three days of action being lifted up by the Movement for Black Lives (M4BL). Members of USCAN know the creativity and courage of each person is needed to reimagine and recreate the just systems that we need to move us from systems that extract, expend, and punish, to systems that support, uphold, celebrate. For those ready to be outside in crowds with masks, there are opportunities to demonstrate in multiple ways, including commiting to dismantling structures of systemic inequity and racism —closing the green gap— particulate matter emitted by power plants and affecting neighboring communities. There are also opportunities to lift up creative, generative, and ongoing work without being in crowds.

  • Commit to M4BL actions on and around Juneteenth
  • Stand in solidarity with the Poor People’s Assembly and Moral March on Washington via a 2 hour program broadcast on Saturday, June 20th at 10:00am and 6:00pm, and again on Sunday, June 21st at 6:00pm. Sign up, and visit June2020.org to tune in.
  • Participate in the #GreenGapChallenge, a call led by USCAN member Nakisa Glover/Sol Nation, to all – especially culture workers – to highlight on social media the connections between racial justice and environmental justice through varied artistic forms of expression. This challenge will launch on Saturday, June 20; we’ll share more on our Facebook page. This video by artists Marcus Kiser and Georgie Nakema will give you a taste of creative, generative art meant to communicate harms, and lead us into new spaces.

If you are curious about connections between the Movement for Black Lives, and the work we are committed to, we invite you to read “If you care about the planet, you must dismantle white supremacy” by Tamara Toles O’Laughlin, and published in Grist just this week.

May Newsletter-Part 3: The New Carbon Footprint Calculator & Stimulus Priorities

New Carbon Footprint Calculator

The new Carbon Footprint Calculator national Interfaith Power & Light has been waiting for is finally here! And the developers describe it as “the most peer reviewed carbon calculator out there.”  Enter a few basics (like your zip code), and the calculator will automatically set the “default” average settings using information about electricity generation and weather patterns in your area.  Then there are a lot of places to play — see the impact of changes you’ve already made, and consider the next steps you might take.  Individual, household, and congregational changes are important because Changes we make serve as spiritual disciplines, linking us to stewardship, mindfulness, and gratitude.Individual steps, curious explorations of next steps, and celebrations of progress serve as invitations for others to join us in the work. Shared goals and actions serve to create and strengthen communities of support, curiosity, and care. Personal and community actions give us authentic voices when we speak with policymakers about the bigger changes we need. Some of you may have joined the webinar for a tour and intro.

IPL’s Cool Congregations webinar  is always available – you can watch it first, or just jump in to experiment with either the Household, or the Congregation version. 

If you think you might be interested in a future study group to learn together — and reach out in your own congregation — please let us know.

Stimulus Priorities

Are you wondering how we are engaging with lawmakers in these extraordinary times?  We are working with partners to articulate values and principles that should underpin any work on the urgent tasks of relief, recovery, and stimulus.  This use-right-now stimulus priorities sheet was developed by IPL leaders to use for our annual national-network Hill visits (by phone and zoom, this year); broader documents, signed by diverse values-focused partners, are in development. We believe all policy is a covenant with the future.  

Join our monthly Sustained Advocacy Policy Update calls — or just check out the summaries — for information and tools like holistic principles documents. 

May Newsletter-Part 2: Upcoming PA IPL Events

Engaging Active Hope: How to Do It


On June 2nd from 7:00 – 8:30 p.m., this one-session event is for people who are interested in leading a book study in a small group that they convene.  For several years, Pennsylvania Interfaith Power & Light has been offering practices from the book Active Hope: How to Face the Mess We’re in without Going Crazy by Joanna Macy and Chris Johnstone. Going around the Spiral of the Work allows people to rest in gratitude for earth; honor our pain for the world and ourselves as we go through this pandemic; see with new and ancient eyes what we are experiencing is part of the Great Unraveling and the Great Turning to a life sustaining society; and Go Forth with a new vision for the future and a sense of community support.  

Register now for this one-session event will walk through the outline and details of the 6-session, online book-study-practice series we developed, and which we hope you will now offer either in-person (as circumstances allow) or virtually in your own settings, and with your own audiences/groups.

Daily Sustenance becomes Sips of Sustenance 

We are so glad our daily missives have inspired, soothed, touched and stirred you since we started sending them out the week Pennsylvania started its stay at home restrictions.  Now it’s time to recognize we’re in a marathon rather than a sprint, and so we’ll be offering sustenance in ‘sips.’

Starting May 17th, watch for two emails a week, one on the weekend, and one mid-week – and, please still send us your suggestions for contributions!

Bike Trip

Some of you may have noticed that it’s May!  This is the month when our website and newsletter usually feature wheels, pedals and bike helmets.  For years, you have read and prayed as the intrepid groups of cyclists pedaled from Pennsylvania to Washington, DC; you’ve “ridden along” with us as we visit, work, eat, and sing with members of host congregations and communities between here and there; and you’ve followed cyclists as they carried their stories (and your commitments) to Capitol Hill for important conversations.  

With no opportunity to have an embodied 2020 event like the ones in the past, we are planning a unique bike event celebrating its history, and reflecting on its impact.  There will be opportunities for you to participate! Do you have a story about your involvement in our bike trip?  Were you inspired to be a rider?  By a rider?  Tell us about it! 

May Newsletter-Part 1: Connectedness

We never know how our small activities will affect others through the invisible fabric of our connectedness. In this exquisitely connected world, it’s never a question of ‘critical mass.’ It’s always about critical connections. 
–Grace Lee Boggs

In these upended times, connectedness is certainly taking new forms and dimensions.  In the past few weeks, we have met new friends from across the country at our Around the Spiral: Practices from the Work That Reconnects virtual workshops; attended the annual national conference of Interfaith Power & Light via Zoom; and received notes of gratitude and joy for the daily missives of inspiration we’ve been sending forth.  

As this pandemic stretches on, all of us are likely to be touched directly in some significant way.  If there’s any truth that shines clearly across the globe in this pandemic, it’s that we are truly, and inextricably interconnected, and interdependent. Again we embrace this truth: we cannot do what needs doing alone, and so are very grateful for all of you, and all you do; and we invite you to join us in these upcoming PA IPL events.

Faith Climate Action Week Videos

As Faith Climate Action week comes to a close, we can look back and reflect on this year’s theme, Love Made Visible, through a collection of videos posted by National Interfaith Power & Light.

A prayer for our Earth, Pope Francis, by Sr. Joan Brown, OSF

Join the the nationwide #ClimatePrayer at 12noon local on Earth Day, April 22nd. Sign up and download the prayer of your choice here: http://bit.ly/earthdayprayer
Then come back to FB to pray along! Why not say a prayer at 12noon local every day of Earth Week!
Sr. Joan is praying the Pope Francis Prayer for the Earth. She is a Franciscan sister and the Executive Director of New Mexico Interfaith Power & Light. She lives on a farm that supports many people and teaches sustainable living. You can hear the chickens and see the beehives behind her. She walks the talk of caring for the earth and one anothe #FaithClimateActionWeek #covid19 Ecumenical Advocacy Days 2020 COEJL Earth Day Network Lutherans Restoring Creation CA Yale Forum on Religion and Ecology Presbyterian Hunger Program @PresbyteriansforEarthCare United Church of Christ Parliament of the World’s Religions SojoAction Creation Justice Ministries Sojourners

Posted by Interfaith Power & Light on Tuesday, March 24, 2020

Rev. Patricia Mushim Ikeda prays the Shantideva Prayer

Join the the nationwide #ClimatePrayer at 12noon local on Earth Day, April 22nd. Sign up and download the prayer of your choice here: http://bit.ly/earthdayprayer Then come back to FB to pray along! Why not say a prayer at 12noon local every day of Earth Week! Rev. Patricia Mushim Ikeda, a core teacher at the East Bay Meditation Center in Oakland, CA is praying Shantideva’s Prayer. #FaithClimateActionWeek Ecumenical Advocacy Days Coalition on the Environment and Jewish Life Earth Day Network Lutherans Restoring Creation CA Yale Forum on Religion and Ecology Presbyterian Hunger Program United Church of Christ Parliament of the World’s Religions Sojourners Creation Justice Ministries
NC Interfaith Power & Light Minnesota Interfaith Power & Light Interfaith Power & Light (MD.DC.NoVA) Faith in Place

Posted by Interfaith Power & Light on Wednesday, April 8, 2020

We Hold the Earth, A Climate Blessing

Join Rev. Susan Hendershot, President of Interfaith Power & Light in praying the interfaith Earth Day Climate Prayer at 12noon local today. Download the prayer here http://bit.ly/earthdayprayer, and come back to FB to pray along with Rev. Susan Hendershot. Share this video with your friends and members of your congregation. Prayer transforms our hearts and opens us up to compassion. #FaithClimateActionWeek #ClimatePrayer

Posted by Interfaith Power & Light on Tuesday, March 24, 2020

Rev. Ambrose Carroll offers a prayer for Creation

Rev. Ambrose Carroll, Sr. Pastor of The Church by the Side of the Road, Berkeley, CA and Founder of Green The Church, offers a heartfelt prayer from the Eden of his own yard. #faithclimateactionweek #climateprayer

Posted by Interfaith Power & Light on Monday, April 20, 2020

Rev. Brooks Berndt prays Pope Francis’ Prayer for the Earth

Rev. Brooks Berndt, Environmental Minister of the United Church of Christ, prays Pope Francis’ Prayer for the Earth in honor of Interfaith Power and Light’s Faith Climate Action Week and the 50th anniversary of Earth Day.

Posted by Interfaith Power & Light on Tuesday, April 21, 2020

Rabbi Fred Scherlinder Dobb Prayer for the Earth

Rabbi Fred Scherlinder Dobb prays a beautiful prayer for the Earth from the Eden of his own garden.

Posted by Interfaith Power & Light on Tuesday, April 21, 2020