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. Chuck Marshall is a charter board member who was re-elected in 2015. He cycled off the Board at the end of 2018. We are grateful for his service, and his faithful and continued work toward climate justice.
Chuck writes: My entrance of faith to Central Baptist Church was through the secular portal of environmental injustice for all environmental pollution, whether it be a local waste processing facility in Chester, PA or a global buildup of greenhouse gases. Along the way I have adopted creation care as a theological framework for climate change work. Our church’s Ecology Mission Group has fostered climate disruption efforts for at least 10 years since we first purchased wind energy for our church and our mission house. Our mission group, which guides our church’s beliefs and energy conservation practices, believes in stewardship and not domination. We installed solar panels in 2009 and as of August 2017 have generated 80,000 kwh of electricity. This work with solar panels brought us in touch with PA IPL and a continuing relationship among CBC, me and PA IPL.
I joined the board of PA IPL because I believed that PA IPL had the potential to be the most effective interfaith organization in Pennsylvania. I felt that the programs implemented by CBC over the years would give be experience and knowledge to contribute to PA IPL. I believe that the thousands of buildings operated by faith groups represent a substantial portion of energy consumption in PA and represent millions of people that can be reached to effect energy conservation and efficiency in their own lives.
Personally, I have been involved in implementing the installation of solar panels at CBC and reducing CBC’s carbon footprint to zero. I use LED lights at home. We are a one car family by choice, and we have increased our efficiency to the point that we only consume 4,854 kwh of electricity per year at our residence.
When I’m not working on climate change, I enjoy singing (not as a soloist) in CBC’s choir and a community choir called the Norristown Chorale. I raise funds for the chorale by recycling small electronic gadgets and sending to eScrip for recycling.
Want more inspiration? How about a personal reflection from another CBC member about the impact of their Getting To Zero — published in GRID Magazine.
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. Rachel Mark is a charter board member, and was re-elected to the Board for a second 3-year term in October 2014, and has previously served as board Secretary.
A panel discussion held at Unitarian Church of Harrisburg in 2007 was the event that sparked an interest that ignited an obsession about climate change. I began a ten-year journey of reading many books and articles, attending conferences and talks about climate change, an arrest (actually, a fine and release) in the Tar Sands civil disobedience event in D.C., attending multiple anti-fracking rallies and demonstrations, and volunteering with Gas Truth of Central PA, Citizens Climate Lobby, UUPLAN (Unitarian Universalist Pennsylvania Legislative Advocacy Network), and PA Interfaith Power & Light.
My concern about climate change and a growing awareness about the importance of interfaith work has led to my participation on the board of PA IPL. Working within an interfaith setting has allowed me to deepen my own understanding of what it means to act as a statement of faith. My own faith and sense of the sacred comes from a naturalist framework, but it is no less deeply felt, and I have learned that the heart of all faith traditions carries a respect and reverence for creation.
The work of climate change (and any justice issue for that matter) Continue reading Board Profile: Rachel Mark
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. Peter Winslow was elected to the Board for a 3-year term in October 2014. He begins his profile with a meditation.
Buckminster Fuller meditated repeatedly on the Lord’s Prayer and, in a process he described as “Ever Rethinking,” rewrote a version for himself each night. One rendition, from his book “Intuition” (6/30/71) is:
Who art in he even
Is your identity.
You have given us
Of your complete knowledge, Continue reading Board Profile: Peter Winslow
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 Donnini was elected to the Board for a 3-year term in October 2014, after filling an empty seat for 5 months.
When I was in college, I was seeking a new way to connect with faith and spirituality. I see the value and beauty in a weekly congregational meeting such as a mass or service, but wanted to go beyond what I already had experienced for many years of my life. College is typically a time that people explore their faith and other faiths more, so I was attracted to an ad from Pennsylvania Interfaith Power & Light for an intern. This is when the chapter was originally forming in State College, PA and I had the fortune of observing and participating in the exciting start-up phase. When I moved back to the Philadelphia suburbs, I took a break to start up my career and reconnect with old friends. Then a few years later when I was fully settled, I was notified that there was an empty board position, and was happy to accept!
Before joining, I didn’t know how many people were already directly suffering as a result of climate change. I had never heard the term “climate refugee” and didn’t realize that my actions directly contributed to this growing problem. [2014 link on a range of impacts; 2010 link on public health — articles from the years when Barbara was beginning to learn more about climate change.] Continue reading Board Profile: Barbara Donnini
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.
So I worked with other people of faith in Continue reading Board Profile: Barbara Ballenger