This September, we have an opportunity to follow our youth. Youth and young adults have been injecting fresh energy and youthful urgency into climate work across the globe, and they have identified September 20-27 for a Global Climate Strike. Adults are invited to support young people, holding space for their work, and following their lead. Now is a time for your faith community to listen to youth; to hear about their hopes and concerns for the future; and to ask how they would like to be supported in their movement. Youth who are interested in stepping out into the community to care for the shared spaces of our Common Home can tap PA IPL Board President Greg Williams’ passion and skills. Greg has offered to assist in organizing groups in supporting resilient and balanced ecosystems by removing plants and planting diverse native plants that also support fauna like insect pollinators and birds.
Are you an adult who has a skill to offer to youth? Let us know!
For many Christian traditions, September is theSeason of Creation. 2019’s theme is the Web of Life. The Season begins September 1st, and ends on October 4th, the Feast Day of St. Francis. You’ll find denominational resources, and a celebration guide at the website. Liturgical resources from Let All Creation Praise (the Spirit Series, Word Series, and Wisdom series) are rich and have many resources which can be lightly adapted for use in interfaith contexts, or as part of services in other religious traditions. This responsive invocation is one delightful example that Trinity Lutheran Church in State College used in their Soil Sunday celebration a few years back.
Leader: We invite the land to worship with us: People: wildflowers and mysterious mushrooms, swirling grasses and goldenrods. L: We invite the farmlands to sing with us: P: wheat fields, orchards, and vineyards, hay fields, gardens, and wetlands. L: We join with all the fauna of the fields in praising God: P: horses, sheep, and cattle, grass snakes and grasshoppers, eagles and crows. L: We invite the ground to stir deep below: P: life-giving microbes restoring the soil, beetles and worms preparing our food. L: We celebrate the song of the soil! P: Sing, soil, sing!
PA IPL’s staff and Board enrich our work with rare face-to-face time during a working retreat for two days each summer. This year we learned with, and from, Sara Ward, the recently retired director of Ohio IPL, a state with many of the same challenges we face in Pennsylvania.
In preparation for our conversations, we were invited to listen to this powerful talk by the Rev. Dr. Melanie Harris, We invite you to do the same. As we lean in to the work that awaits us, we hold her last words close: “Listening is an act of justice.” Where do her words lead you?
We survey our closed dominion until we look up in August to find comet dust flaring in the night. This vastness, this vertiginous awareness mocking gravity on our speck of now, wakes us with a recalibrating jolt.
The end of August is a time to move from the long days of summer to the more regular rhythms of our lives. Even when our households are not guided by the schedules of schoolchildren, communities and congregations tend to drift to the outdoors in the season of daylight, and greet each other in reunion and anticipation as September approaches.