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 at our conferences, workshops, and virtually. We knew we were laying a firm foundation to build resilience and support for the coming climate crisis; we could not have anticipated how meaningful this work would be right now. Going around the Spiral of the Work allows people to rest in gratitude for mother earth; to honor their pain for the world and themselves as we go through this pandemic; to see with new and ancient eyes that what we are experiencing is part of the Great Unraveling and the Great Turning to a life sustaining society; and to Go Forth with a new vision for the future and a sense of community support.
This one-session event will walk through the outline and details of a 6-session, online book-study-practice series we have 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.
This event is free and open to all – donations gratefully accepted.
The Sacred Space Between Us An On-Line Earth Hour Celebration Supporting PA IPL, the Earth and One Another March 28 from 7:45 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. Register now(free)
Come join Pennsylvania Interfaith Power & Light’s friends and supporters from all over the state as we fill our social distance with love for the earth and each other. This internet-based gathering over Zoom will include live music, earth prayer and reflection culminating with a candle-lit count down to Earth Hour.
How to tune in After you register, we’ll send you confirmation email. The day before, you’ll get a link for the Zoom conference. Have a candle ready as we’ll shut off our lights, and countdown to a candle lit Earth Hour, which begins at 8:30 p.m. Some of us will power down our computers and other grid-based electronics and spend the rest of Earth Hour in candle-light and heart-light in the sacredness of our own homes. Others will remain in our virtual gathering space to participate in 45 minutes of practices that will take us through a spiral of Active Hope from The Work That Reconnects.
Tips for marking Earth Hour offline:
Take a quiet or music-filled candle-lit walk outside with one or two others, honoring that loving social distance of 6 feet between people. If you can be in a dark place, and the night is clear, pause to look up at the sky more than once.
If your household is multi-human-ed and multi-aged (or more playful than mobile) ask Google about Shadow Buff, Bag of Nouns, Forehead Detective, and Fictionary to get you started.
How can we respond to the climate crisis unfolding in our world when it seems overwhelming? How do we deal with the pain, grief, and despair that accompanies our witnessing of environmental devastation? Active Hope addresses the challenges of climate change and will offer tools to help us face these challenges, to find strength, and to build community. The workshop draws on the work of the eco-philosopher Joanna Macy developed since
1970s. When our responses are guided by the intention to act for the healing of our world, the mess we are in not only becomes easier to face but our lives become more meaningful and satisfying.
No prior experience or reading is required.
The workshop is for anyone who is looking to re-ignite a sense of hope, care, passion and purpose to be able to respond to issues of concern in our community and planet. If you are already involved in climate activism and looking to feel re-inspired in your efforts, or you are searching for ways to personally and meaningfully respond to the challenges of climate change, you are welcome.
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 Conference. We 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.’
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.
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.
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.
Tuesdays, January 14, 28; February 11, 25; March 10, 24
Location: Virtual-Your Computer
Time: 7:00-8:15 p.m. ET
Cost: $30 for the series, scholarships available. Register Now!
The Engaging Active Hope workshop series explores practical ways to address climate change. The series draws on the work of the eco-philosopher Joanna Macy and is about finding and offering our best response to the crisis of sustainability unfolding in our world. At the heart of this workshop series is the idea that Active Hope is something we do rather than have. It involves being clear about what we hope for and then playing our role in the process of bringing that about. The journey of finding and offering our unique contribution to the Great Turning helps us to discover new strengths, open to a wider network of allies and experience a deepening of our aliveness.
These virtual workshops will be offered on the Zoom platform, and participants should have both audio and video available on their device when participating. Attendance at all 6 sessions encouraged, but not required. (Sessions will not be recorded, and not available if registrants are unable to attend.)
Registration is $30 for the series. Registration required. All participants should acquire the book Active Hope: How to Face the Mess We’re in Without Going Crazy by Joanna Macy and Chris Johnstone.