Global Climate Strikes (Pennsylvania editions)

Pittsburgh Interfaith Service prior to the youth climate rally

Scores of locations joined the Global Climate Strikes on Friday, September 20, and Friday, September 27, 2019, and PA IPL folks supported the events in so many ways. Meditations and services prepared the ground for vibrant youth-led events; a pair of rallies were set on the same day —noon and five— to catch the most passers-by; A Wake/Awake! For the Climate invited people to step boldly into a positive future. PA IPL folks brought a faithful presence, and shared faith practices and words as part of their witness, and those over thirty helped center and lift up youth in so many places and spaces.

Thank you for sharing your words and photos. There are a photos here on this page, but it’s worth browsing this album, too. Share Pennsylvania strike photos that are inspiring to you with us, and we’ll add them to the photo album.

The words
You can watch video of Hadassa’s speech in Philadelphia. Dasi is the teenager who invited you all to join the strikes via our blog and newsletter. Her invitation was referenced and cited in the rich and inspiring Rosh Hashana 5780 sermon of Rabbi Fred Scherlinder Dobb, a member of the national Interfaith Power & Light Board, and a rabbi at Adat Shalom, a Maryland congregation that has taken huge steps to walk more lightly on the earth, and whose warm and generous welcome of our PA IPL cyclists is a trip highlight every year.

The silent meditation in Pittsburgh will have to speak for itself!

In Altoona, Greg Williams spoke about the ways in which his work with young children and becoming a grandfather have created a relationship with the future for him. He also spoke about the importance of gathering in community to do this hopeful work, and of finding others who are supported by a relationship with the Holy.

In Harrisburg, where youth gathered on the steps of the state Capitol, Behzad Zandieh spoke about the work in front of us, referencing Baha’i holy writing and principles.

In State College at noon, Revs. Ben Williams and Kate Heinzel used two voices to lead people into 1.5 minutes of silence in honor of the 1.5 degree celsius warming limit target. At 5:00 PM, Marali Kalra and Cricket Hunter did the same.

As you move forward from these events we invite you to meditate further on the roles of the generations. This piece from Grist Magazine invites each of our generations to be better ancestors, anchoring that idea in the author’s own experience of an heirloom. Might it ground an interesting conversation in your study group or community? Or perhaps around your Thanksgiving table?

LEWISBURG Global Climate Strike-Sept. 20th

Location: The front of Bertrand Library at Bucknell University-701 Moore Ave, Lewisburg, PA 17837 (March to Hufnagle Park)
Time: 11:30 a.m.

Climate change action is a matter of faith for many people. The climate strike march will reflect that our faith traditions call us to stewardship of our Common Home and care for the most vulnerable among us.

Come represent your faith community in solidarity with others raising their voices to call our leaders to act boldly, with courage and hope now, before it’s too late.

The march will include an invocation for our planet written and conducted by a 7 year-old activist and other guest speakers.

Show up in the streets of Lewisburg at Bucknell University to join people around the world who are acting and demanding action to prevent further global warming and climate change. This is a non-partisan, non-violent event coordinated with the Global Climate Strike. All are welcome. #AllAreCalled.

PITTSBURGH — Interfaith gathering supporting Global Climate Strike-Sept 20th

Location: Trinity Cathedral, 328 6th Ave, Pittsburgh, PA 15222
Time: 11:00 a.m.-2:30 p.m.
11:00 Interfaith Gathering Service
11:30 Peace Walk to City Hall (10 min) and Silent Meditation
12:00-3:00 Permitted Student-led event at City Hall — poetry, essays, and music

Download a flyer to post and share!

On September 20th, please stop your day to hold space for, and join, the wise voices of our courageous children and youth.

There will be a gathering of faithful people to support a global strike, in 4000+ cities, by young people seeking action on climate change. Pittsburgh’s gathering will be preceded by an Interfaith Gathering Service, followed by a Peace Walk to City Hall (10 minutes) and a Silent Meditation led and supported by the Interfaith Community of Pittsburgh.  High school and college students have organized the city-permitted gathering at the City/County building. The students will be reciting poetry, reading essays, and playing music from 12 -3 pm.

Our friends and co-sponsors at the Buddhist Society of Pittsburgh have posted this event for their community here.

Please also read this important letter for all faith leaders!

Seeking forgiveness: an invitation from a 13 year old with wisdom that goes back a lot further.

Hi, my name is Hadassah. I’m a 13-year old climate activist and daughter of a Rabbi.  In just a couple of weeks we are going to celebrate Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish New Year, where we focus as a Jewish community on teshuva, the process of seeking forgiveness and becoming our best selves. Our ancient sages even claimed that this process of seeking forgiveness was created before the world itself was created! (Babylonia Talmud Pesahim 54a) But, in light of the damage we have caused to our planet, how does one seek forgiveness from the earth?

Perhaps we can draw from Maimonides’ guidelines on repentance by (a) fully acknowledging our transgression and taking responsibility (b) allowing ourselves to experience remorse, and (c) taking steps to repair the damage. 

That is why I joined the Sunrise movement — a youth-led organization whose goal is to stop climate change and create millions of jobs in the process. Sunrise recognizes that we must act before the possibility of a livable planet diminishes. Specifically, the movement is calling for a Green New Deal, a ten year plan to transform our economy by guaranteeing almost 100% clean renewable energy by 2030, a living wage job to every American who needs one, and progress towards ending oppression of minority groups. I created a Sunrise Hub in Northwest Philadelphia to bring the Sunrise activism to our part of town and to fight climate change with my community.

I hope you all can consider joining me on September 20th when I, along with thousands of other youth from around the country, will be striking and standing up for our generation’s future. As the sage Hillel taught, “it is not up to us to finish the work, but we can’t desist from it either.” (Ethics of our Fathers 2:21) Wishing you all a sweet new year and a better year for our planet!