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. Bill Lochstet was elected to the Board for a 3-year term in October 2013.
When I first heard about a plan to explode an atomic bomb underground near Renovo, PA, I wanted to learn more about it. I learned that the project was intended to create an underground cavity to store natural gas during the summer that could be delivered to customers in the winter. I understood from my study of physics that radioactivity from the explosion would be released to the air and delivered with the gas to customers homes. This would be a threat to people’s health. My faith is about healing and feeding people, not doing harm. Many people came to realize the injustice of this idea, opposed it and the plan was canceled.
A few years later, a friend told me about a plan to build a nuclear breeder reactor plant in northeast Pennsylvania. A study of this plan revealed many hazards, including the release of radioactive materials, which were not taken seriously. When the details were discussed publicly, the injustices became apparent. The wisdom and faith values of the people of the area prevailed, and the proposal was withdrawn.
For several years, I sought to critique government assessments of the health impacts of long lasting radioactive materials. In such a situation, the number of people contracting cancer each year is small, but the hazard persists for millions of years. However, the government evaluations of harm to peoples’ health only extended over the first one thousand years. We are all brothers and sisters on this planet, including our many previous generations, and all of our generations of the future. This is the meaning of the “good Samaritan” story. There is no statute of limitations, all people count.
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. Greg Williams was elected to the Board for a 3-year term in October 2015.
After being plunged into despair that my beloved natural world was changing rapidly, as cities flooded and thousands were rendered homeless, I have come to an awareness that I am called to work to reverse our planet’s precipitous path to climate disaster. I have awakened to the horror that my granddaughter Talula and other three year olds will face a declining quality of life as they reach adulthood. I have been pulled out of a kind of denial that had led me to believe I was powerless in the face of such a catastrophe. I have been rescued from these depths by my faith that my God is powerful enough to somehow save the planet, again, but that I, and a boatload of other folks, need to find hope and get to work.
I found that boatload first in the Philadelphia cluster of Pennsylvania Interfaith Power & Light a couple of years ago. I was emboldened to organize a Climate Action Team at St. Martin-in-the-Fields Episcopal Church, and together we started the ongoing process of educating ourselves, changing, bit by bit, our bad environmental habits, and praying hard about ways we might respond together to this profound threat. I’ve eased into the uncomfortable (for me) role of rebel and have gone to public hearings fighting against pipelines and new refineries along the Delaware River in Philadelphia. I was humbled to be invited and delighted to join the Board 10 months ago, even though it meant more meetings—not my favorite activity.
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.
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:
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!