Share a highlight of a past bike trip. I loved being able to show up at scheduled breaks with snacks and water. Maternal feelings of concern and care for the riders were not typical of the ways in which I typically connect to other people.
How has the bike trip continued to impact or sustain you? I learned an important lesson about the power of working with other people. We can’t always do everything on our own. We are more powerful together. I witnessed the support of a rider who was struggling on a particular day by several other riders who stayed with him, even as he fell behind the main group.
In what ways are you continuing to reap inspiration and energy from your experience of the trip? I hope that I will be able to make the trip at some point in the future.
What you are doing right now to support the work of PA IPL in raising climate change as a moral issue? I run Germantown PA IPL Tree Tenders, an official tree planting group of the Pennsylvania Horticultural Society. The group advocates in the Germantown neighborhood of Philadelphia for the moral imperative of PA IPL’s message about the climate crisis through its spring and fall plantings.
What “call to action” would you encourage others to take regarding climate change at this time? Voting for strong environmental candidates, not just in the national election, but in the state and local elections is the most important thing to do this year!
Peter Dugas was a charter PA IPL Board member of PA IPL, and one of three inaugural cyclists in 2012. He is an engineer who knows a lot about energy efficiency, and a fine musician, which both played a part in his community connections during that 2012 ride! Peter now lives in Maine.
Share a highlight of a past bike trip. I had the pleasure of being one of three cyclists on the inaugural (2012) PAIPL bike trip and have so many memories. I remember the send-off in State College with the 20-plus cyclists who agreed to ride the first few miles with us. I felt a bit over my head because everyone was wearing cycling gear and shoes and I was the jerk who didn’t know any better and wore chinos and loafers.
How has the bike trip continued to impact or sustain you? I often remember the outreach we made to the kind folks along the way who opened their homes for us. No matter their opinion of climate action they were moved by our commitment, and we were moved by their hospitality.
In what ways are you continuing to reap inspiration and energy from your experience of the trip? I continue to lobby my national lawmakers for climate action and I will always carry with me the lesson I learned on that trip that caring for our common home is a bridge issue not a wedge issue.
What you are doing right now to support the work of PA IPL in raising climate change as a moral issue. Though I no longer live in PA I continue to support PA iPL and enjoy reading about their recent outreach efforts and bike trips
What “call to action” would you encourage others to take regarding climate change at this time? Call your Senators and Representatives, ask for specific policy like a carbon fee and dividend, invoke the climate stewardship messages from your faiths, share the En-ROADS Climate Simulator* with others and talk about climate care as often as socially acceptable!
*Note: The En-ROADS Climate Simulator is an online policy simulation tool that gives users the ability to explore the likely consequences of a variety of factors that affect climate change, such as energy, economic growth, land use, and other policies and uncertainties.
Friends, did you know? PA IPL includes a “Discussion Hook” in every monthly policy call update. These are timely articles that provide an entry point for learning and conversation around climate impacts, climate justice, climate solution, and related policies. There is always a little intro, a link, and often a little excerpt. They are suitable for conversations with neighbors, friends, family members and even congregational study or action groups! For a sample, check out the discussion hook in the end-of-April summary here.
Climate scientist and climate communicator Katharine Hayhoe has said that talking about climate change is one of the most important things that anyone and everyone can do. If we’re not talking about climate change, we’re not talking about solutions, and our policymakers aren’t hearing about their constituents’ concerns or hopes.
This week, listen as IPL founder, the Rev. Canon Sally Bingham, reflects on greeting the 2013 group of PA IPL cyclists on the day they arrived in Washington DC, and what their ride meant to those who had gathered from all over the country to learn and advocate as part of IPL’s annual National Conference.
Listen to Sally’s reflection here…
Other voices from the road: “A bridge issue, not a wedge issue”
Resist contributing to the waste being produced at this time by disposable masks, gloves, grocery bags. Sew masks, use reusable bags where they are allowed. And live in a way that respects and protects the life around you.
Connect with people that give you hope. For people living alone, like herself, she suggests getting off the computer and picking up the telephone to spend time with family and friends.
Sally says she takes long walks outside to restore her soul. “It gives me the hope I need to get through all of this,” she says.
And if you’re finding yourself stuck at home, take the time to read about climate change and, listen to podcasts. Sally recommends the weekly podcast Outrage + Optimism, co-hosted by Christiana Figueres, Tom Rivett-Carnac, and Paul Dickinson.
Turn to Prayer
In 2019 PA IPL supporters “paved the cyclists’ way with prayer”, submitting original prayers, poems and artwork to express the deep faith that underlies their commitment to climate justice and care. The cyclists shared a compilation of these prayers with elected officials in Washington, as part of their advocacy conversations. Each week we’ll feature a different prayer from the collection.
We ask that you hold PA IPL and the work of climate justice and care in your prayers through the week.
Creator God, in this very divisive time, let us all work together to protect our Common Home. Open the hearts, eyes, and minds of those who do not see or care to see the damage we have done to your wonderful gift, the Earth. You have given us the knowledge in recent years to understand how we can better care for our planet. Forgive us when greed and fear get in the way of us moving ahead to cleaner sources of energy. Give us all the courage to do the right thing. Amen. —George Dempsie, Huntingdon, PA, board member, Pennsylvania Interfaith Power & Light
Save the date— Stories from the Road Live Celebration, Sept. 1
On Sep. 1, the World Day of Prayer for the Care of Creation, we’ll culminate our campaign with a live zoom-based Stories from the Road Celebration, featuring live music, prayer, storytelling, and a chance to share your own stories of climate work with people throughout the state.
The event is free with a donation to PA IPL during the Stories from the Road campaign (June through August) Additional tickets can be purchased for $10. Seating is limited, so donate now!
Hop over to the Stories from the Road page to learn more about this online celebration we’ve been hinting at. Sign up for a weekly email with the new video and stories, watch this space, share with friends and neighbors, and join in!
The 2017 cyclists are training now! All the info you need and more on our Bike Trip page…. you can read about past rides and riders, see the profile series about 2017 riders contribute in honor of the riders, and more!
Whether you are a rider or not, you can join us for the blessing and sendoff in State College… this year’s site is at Foxdale, where resident clergy members will offer their blessings. There will also be cupcakes and cheering!
Gather for snacks at 3:40, blessing about 3:45, and sendoff by 4:05.
If you want to ride along on the first leg to McAlevy’s Fort be sure to let us know.
Reach out to PA IPL to plan a trip in or from your community, or to plan a Bike to Worship weekend.
This Board member profile is one of a series that will roll out from now through the early fall. Board members are active PA IPL volunteers who live and serve across Pennsylvania. Barbara Ballenger was elected to the Board for a 3-year term in October 2015, and currently serves as board Secretary.
Bringing to the earth and her changing climate the same urgent compassion that I have felt for people in poverty, for the victims of war and violence and for those who are the victims of injustice is something that I have come to gradually. Part of it has been in learning and understanding how climate justice intersects with all the issues that affect vulnerable people. And part of it has been the result of wiser people continuing to turn my attention to the complexities of climate change, when I wanted to wander off in directions a bit easier for me to understand.
My husband, Jess, is one of those people. I first got involved with the climate care conversation that ultimately produced PA IPL when I sat in for him on a local meeting to plan a climate change conference at Penn State University in State College. That’s usually how it begins for me — one meeting becomes another and another and I’m hooked. Maybe he secretly had that in mind.
The issue wasn’t new for me. It resonated deeply with my professional work as a pastoral minister, first in the Catholic Church and then the Episcopal Church. Engaging and empowering people of faith in the religious obligation to “do justice, love kindness and to walk humbly with God” (Micah 6:8)” pretty much sums up ministry for me.