Opening Prayers 2013 Annual Conference: Sister Pat Lupo

The 2013 Annual Conference (One Creation, Many Faiths: A Call to Action on Climate Change) opened with a prayer from each of four faith traditions, selected and offered by our four keynote panelists.  image14521This was the prayer offered by Sister Pat Lupo of the Benedictine Sisters of Erie, PA. (Source links for prayer at end)

Who is fit to hold power
and worthy to act in God’s place?
Those with a passion for the truth,
who are horrified by injustice,
who act with mercy to the poor
and take up the cause of the helpless,
Continue reading Opening Prayers 2013 Annual Conference: Sister Pat Lupo

Opening Prayers 2013 Conference: Rabbi Mordechai Liebling

The 2013 Annual Conference (One Creation, Many Faiths: A Call to Action on Climate Change) image1424opened with a prayer from each of four faith traditions, selected and offered by our four keynote panelists.  This was the prayer offered by Rabbi Mordechai Liebling of the Reconstructionist Rabbinical College. (Source link for prayer at end.)

Elohei Haruchot,
God of all spirit, all directions, all winds
You have placed in our hands power
unlike any since the world began
to overturn the orders of creation.

Please God, give us wisdom
and skillful hands to heal Continue reading Opening Prayers 2013 Conference: Rabbi Mordechai Liebling

COOL chants!

Since our “kickoff” was in State College, on a Temple-PSU game weekend, we had a small team of cheerleaders on the downtown streets in the couple of hours before kickoff.  The cheers (and pom-poms) were provided by Barbara Ballenger, and she has given me permission to share them here.  You may use them, too, but please credit Barb when you do.  High tosses, human pyramids, and back handsprings are optional, but attention-getting! (If you’re not sure it enhances the message, check out this 2 minute video of rapping climate scientists  — use the closed captions to catch the lyrics.)

Cricket’s elementary and middle-school daughters have been caught chanting several of these to themselves around the house in the last year.  Neither is interested in cheerleading normally…

Ready! OK!
I say … you say
·      I say Pennsyl, you say vania…
Pennsyl … vania; Pennsyl … vania
·      I say inter  you say faith
·      I say power and you say light….
·      Put it together and say it right – Pennsylvania Interfaith Power & Light
Climate Change Cadence 
I don’t know but I’ve been told (echo)
The North Pole isn’t very cold
The Polar bears are really steamed
Had to buy an ice machine
Sound off…1 2 
Sound off … 3 4 
Take it on down  1 2 3 4, 1 2 3-4




It’s hot in hell or so they say…
I’ll tell you how it got that way
Lucifer that blind old fool
Runs the place on fossil fuel
Sound off …


So do something and do it well …
Join the PA  IPL
Make your carbon footprint small
So there’s a little left for all
Sound off
Lean to the left…
Lean to the left lean to the right
Pennsylvania Interfaith Power and Light
People of faith come join the fight
Pennsylvania Interfaith Power and Light

Win one for the planet

Hey Pennsylvania!
The earth can’t take it.
Win one for the planet
Before we bake it.  (repeat)
It’s Hot

It’s hot, it’s hot, it’s hot out here
There’s green house gases in the atmosphere!
It’s not, it’s not, it’s not a lie
The temperature is on the rise.

It’s hot, it’s hot, it’s hot out here
Green house gases in the atmosphere
It’s not, its not, it’s not so nice
Antarctica is losing ice.

It’s hot, it’s hot, it’s hot out here
There’s green house gases in the atmosphere
It’s not, it’s not, it’s not a blast
Climate change will cook your … grass

I’m just saying … 
I’m just saying, I’m not lying
Mother Earth is really frying
We can’t let it end this way
Got to reverse climate change


Push it back, push it back 
Way back, way back  2x

I’m just saying, I’m not lying
Congress isn’t even trying
Who’ll run our economy
When we’re all floating in the sea?


Push it back, push it back 
Way back, way back …

Ain’t no Power
Ain’t no power like the power of the people
Cause the power of the people don’t stop! uh!
Ain’t no power like the power of the sun
Cause the power of the sun don’t stop! uh!
Ain’t no power like the power of the wind
Cause the power of the wind don’t stop! uh!

One Year

Here at PA IPL we are preparing for our 1-year anniversary.  To celebrate, Barb Ballenger has given us permission to share her delightful song lyrics from our big Kickoff weekend in 2010.  Please feel free to use them, but, of course, credit where credit is due.  Look for her cheers next week…

The Climate is a-Changing

(To the tune of The Times They are a-Changing, By Bob Dylan)
Come gather round people wherever you roam    
And admit that the sea levels you have grown.
And accept it that soon you’ll be drenched to the bone
If the planet to you is worth saving.
You better start swimming or you’ll sink like a stone,
Cause the climate is a-changing.
Come scientists, pragmatists, beautiful minds
And add up the numbers a couple more times
While Congress ignores all the obvious signs
That we can’t win the game we’ve been playing.
Cause the temperature’s rising along with tides
And the climate is a changing
Come all you deniers and stand on the on the shore
Of an island that soon won’t be there anymore
And try to believe it’s a stunt by Al Gore
To make all the wealthy start paying.
Tell me how do things look from the new ocean floor?
Cause the climate is a changing
Come people of prayer and people of faith
Tell me how will you look own God in the face
When asked why we made such a mess of the place?
Did you stand like a prophet a raging,
Or did you step on the gas just to keep up the pace?
While the climate was a -changing?
Come mothers and fathers from throughout the land
Tell me what did you help your kids to understand
About the true cost of the purchase at hand?
Did you teach them the earth is worth saving?
Do they realize things won’t work out like they planned
If the climate keeps a-changing?
Now people of conscience and people of creed
Who cannot ignore how the earth cries with need
And who see what’s connected to all of this greed
It’s time that we began engaging
With people who long to reverse the degree
Of the climate that is changing.
The Cycle Round  — this one is great for a bike-to-worship celebration!
(sung to the tune of “Don’t throw your trash in my backyard”)
I. Don’t park your car in my driveway, my driveway, my driveway, don’t park your car in my driveway, my driveway’s full.
II. With one bicycle, two bicycles, three bicycles, four bicycles, fives bicycles, six bicycles and one built for two.
III.  Idling in traffic jams, traffic jams, traffic jams

Idling in traffic jams won’t get you very far. 


The Little Light of Mine
·       This little light of mine, I’m gonna let it shine …
·       Don’t need no ‘lectricity, I’m gonna let it shine…
·       To shed some light on climate change, I’m gonna
·       To build a world we can sustain, I’m gonna …
·       Put it under a bushel? No! I’m gonna let it shine
·       Ain’t no one gonna “poof” it out….
Sowing on the Mountain
(Guy Carawan, George Tucker)
Sowing on the mountain, reaping in the valley
Sowing on the mountain, reaping in the valley
Sowing on the mountain, reaping in the valley
You’re gonna reap, just what you sow.
Look at what their greed has done to our mountains…
You’re gonna reap, just what you sow.
Look at what their oil has done to our ocean.
You’re gonna reap, just what you sow.
Look at what our factories have done to our atmosphere…
You’re gonna reap, just what you sow.
Things are gonna change cause
There’s power in the people… 
You’re gonna reap, just what you sow.  
 The Garden Song

(Dave Mallet, Pete Seeger)

 

Inch by inch, row by row / gonna make my garden grow. /All it takes is rake and a hoe and a piece of fertile ground. Inch by inch, row, by row/ someone bless the seeds I sow. Someone warm them from below till the rain comes tumbling down.
Pulling weeds and picking stones/ We are made of dreams and bones. Need a place to call my own for the time is near at thand. Grain for grain, sun and rain, find a way trough nature’s chain
From my body and my brain to the music of the land.
Plant your rows straight and long.  Temper them with prayers and song. Mother earth will make you strong if you give her loving care. And old crow watching hungrily from his perch in yonder tree. In my garden I’m as free as that feathered thief up there.

 


For the Beauty of the Earth
(FS Pierpoint and Conrad Kocher)
For the beauty of the earth, for the beauty of the sky
For the love which from our birth
Over and around us lies
God of all to thee we raise
This our hymn of grateful praise.
For the wonder of each hour
Of the day and of the night.
Hill and vale and tree and flower
Sun and moon and stars of night
God of all to thee we raise
This our hymn of grateful praise.
For the joy of human love
Brother, sister, parent, child
Friends on earth and friends above
For all gentle thoughts and mild
God of all to thee we raise
This our hymn of grateful praise.
For each perfect gift of thine
To our race so freely given
For thy constant love divine
Peace on earth and joy in heaven
God of all to thee we raise 
This our hymn of grateful praise.

A Baha’i Perspective

Bill Sharp generously shared these words with us at the Interfaith Convocation service, teaching us first a bit about Baha’is, and then sharing exerpts from texts with his thoughts.
 
Bahá’ís are followers of the nineteenth century Persian teacher Bahá’u’lláh who spent most of his life in exile and his last days in what is now northern Israel where the Bahá’í World Center is located.  Today a terrace of gardens ascends Mount Carmel at the place he designated for the seat of a council that guides a virtual global Bahá’í congregation.
 

The Bahá’í Faith has roots in Shi’a Islam and the Sufi tradition but is an independent world religion with members in most of the world’s countries.
Bahá’ís believe that Bahá’u’lláh’s spiritual role is to confirms the message found in Genesis (chp. 45) that God will never leave or forsake the human race.  We call this Progressive Revelation.  Bahá’u’lláh said that his mission was to provide teachings for the emergence and eventual spiritual transformation of the modern world.
We are here in an interfaith gathering.  Let me recite a passage from Bahá’u’lláh that speaks to the importance of such meetings: 
“… [C]onsort with the followers of all religions in a spirit of friendliness and fellowship, to proclaim that which the Speaker on Sinai hath set forth, to observe fairness in all matters.
“They that are endued with sincerity and faithfulness should associate with all the peoples and kindreds of the earth with joy and radiance, inasmuch as consort­ing with people hath promoted and will continue to promote unity and concord, which in turn are conducive to the maintenance of order in the world and to the regeneration of nations.  Blessed are such as hold fast to the cord of kindliness and tender mercy and are free from animosity and hatred.”
There is another reason I am privileged to be here tonight.  My belief is that we are meant to live well and prosper physically and spiritually in this world, and germane to this is a statement from Bahá’u’lláh’s Tablet of the World
In regards to “… that which is conducive to the advancement of mankind and to the reconstruction of the world:”

First:  “It is incumbent upon the minister of the House of Justice to promote the Lesser Peace ….  This matter is imperative and absolutely essential inasmuch as hostilities and conflict lie at the root of affliction and calamity.”

Second:  “Languages must be reduced to one common [auxiliary] language to be taught in all the schools of the world.”

Third:  “It behooveth man to adhere tenaciously unto that which will promote fellowship, kindliness and unity.”

Fourth:  “Everyone, whether man or woman, should hand over to a trusted person a portion of what he or she earneth through trade, agriculture or other occupations for training and education of children….”

Fifth:  “Special regard must be paid to agriculture.  Although it hath been mentioned in the fifth place, unquestionably it precedes the others.”
This fifth passage is relevant to me because my vocation is sustainability and because my attention increasingly turns to how we draw sustenance from God’s Good Earth. This sentiment was echoed by an American contemporary of Bahá’u’lláh’s, Ralph Waldo Emerson, who said:  “Every man has an exceptional respect for tillage, and a feeling that this is the original calling of his race.”
At the heart of such passages is our respect for sustainability.  To Bahá’ís, how we live during our time on the Earth is as important to our spiritual development as the life in the womb is to our physical development.  
God created us to know and worship Him.  The Earth seems to have been created to support life as we know it for many millions of years to come.  Untold generations to be born will share our destiny of reverence to God and right living only if we fulfill our duty to God, and to them, to be good stewards. 
Emerson also wrote that fortunate is the man or woman who is awakened to worship by nature.  I believe that this worship is founded in the gratitude we each feel for God’s bounty of land and water and sun.  It is found in the work we do as well.  Bahá’u’lláh said that work performed in the spirit of service is worship.  Much of our work today, perhaps the most important work we have to do, is to preserve the bounty of the Earth.
I believe that we are meant to live well, to live in community, to live in peace and to prosper on the land, to draw from it, as Bahá’u’lláh said in a letter to physicians, not only our subsistence, but our health.  To do that we must learn to live sustainably, that is, to live within the means God has provided for our own well being and for that of all generations to come.  The future thus starts in the present moment.  It lies in our hands.

Litany of Common Action

At the close of our Interfaith Convocation service Bill Thwing, an ordained United Church of Christ pastor (and a certified Energy Auditor!) led us in the rousing litany printed here.  A litany is a leader-congregation call and response common to many Christian services.  You will also detect a nod to the fact that our kickoff was held in State College on a football weekend.

As we pause this week in Thanksgiving for all that we have, may this litany remind us that we ought not allow our own experience of bounty to come at the expense of another’s “enough.”  We must respond to the bounty in our own lives by acting as faithful stewards of all we have been given, that we and our neighbors might be sustained.  As Bill led us in September, we give thanks, and we ask for guidance…. We are Pennsylvania Interfaith Power and Light!
Thank you, Bill.

CALL TO ALL FAITHS TO SERVE THE COMMON GOOD 
We are Pennsylvania Interfaith Power and Light. We are a part of Interfaith Power and Light, a movement by people of faith who are putting aside their differences and choosing to stand together against a common enemy – the Changing Climate. I invite you now to stand and join in the Litany of Common Action by responding: We give thanks, and ask for guidance.
For the huge task ahead of us, one that will require  Men, Women, children, families,  couples, individuals, faith community  Leaders,  faithful followers, Christians, Jews, Muslems, Hindi, Buddhists, Bahai,  Native Spiritualists, other members of unnamed faith traditions working together.
We give thanks, and ask for guidance.
For the mission ahead of us that can be daunting, potentially paralyzing, seemingly overwhelming in its magnitude and complexity, but that we must somehow accomplish to insure the continuity of civilization, nationhood, family line, Biodiversity, life itself. 
We give thanks, and ask for guidance.
For the strength to face the changing Climate.  Change which is going to affect each of us – Our children, our grandchildren and countless generations into the future – equally.  Change which will cause all to suffer together if we simply do nothing and simply sit on our hands and wait for the worst.
We give thanks, and ask for guidance.
For fellowship. We cannot solve this gargantuan problem by ourselves.  We must do it together.  We must put aside our fears, doubts and misunderstandings of each other and we must learn to stand together as One against this common enemy – our Changing Climate – which,  like  the Mighty Glaciers only a few  thousand earth years ago buried much of our civilization under mountains of ice,  and which, now threatens Global Scorching which is already driving the most vulnerable species into extinction and which if left unanswered could result in the kind of Mass Extinction which unseated the Dinosaurs and almost all life only 65 million earth years ago.
We give thanks, and ask for guidance.
For the beauty of the created order – majestic Mountains, crashing oceans, placid lakes, swirling rivers, gently winding streams, giant Oaks offering their shade, sweet scented roses & violets, the robin who gathers food for her young in our yards and the Grizzly bear who shuns human contact, blazing sunsets that reveals Your glory and the gentle rains that waters Your earth;… for the infinite variety of life – human and biodiverse – that breathe the sweet oxygen laden air You have provided; ..for swarming fish, soaring birds, clouds of insects and billions of microbes with whom we share this common existence.  For all these, and a thousand more unnamed blessings which You have entrusted into our care.
We give thanks, and ask for guidance.
For men and women, children, parents and grandparents, families, couples and individuals of faith who honor their particular faith tradition with  worship, study, prayer, devotion, sacrifice, service and the common good within their families, communities and world;.. for the love, hope, wisdom, faith, trust, patience, endurance, generosity which they struggle to attain and
demonstrate to their communities and the world around them;…for their willingness to stand up, speak out, care, inspire, sacrifice, teach, enable, and learn in order to a be a force for good…For all these things we hold hands with one another and say:
We give thanks, and ask for guidance.
If you believe that this is the work ahead of us, please join your voices and say:  Amen…so be it.
Amen…so be it.


We are… Pennsylvania  Interfaith Power and Light…Would you please say that with me?
We are… Pennsylvania Interfaith Power and Light.
Again, please
We are…Pennsylvania Interfaith Power and Light!
Again…
We Are Pennsylvania Interfaith Power and Light!
Thank you