BRYN MAWR *film showing* The Merchants of Doubt

in the Witherspoon Parlor of the  Ministry Center.
Merchants of Doubt, a film by Robert Kenner

Merchants of Doubt brings viewers into the world of how a small group of politically well-connected media-savvy men have sewn doubt and confusion in the public’s mind about the science of climate change. The film is directed by Robert Kenner (Food, Inc., When Strangers Click) and based on the acclaimed book of the same title by Naomi Oreskes and Erik Conway.

Free will donation.

Snowed in films

We’ve had to postpone several events due to the forecast, including a film.  If you’re at home with electricity and Internet we offer the following list:

  • Chasing Ice (the planned film) is streaming on Netflix now.
  • Home is streaming online.  Read more about it and link through from our Thanksgiving post.
  • All three episodes of Richard Alley’s series for PBS, Earth: The Operators’ Manual is available online.
  • Kirsi Jansa’s series Gas Rush Stories and Sustainability Pioneers are both streaming, too.
  • And the recipient of our 2015 Visionary Award, Rabbi Arthur Waskow, director of the Shalom Center sent this recommendation today:

Dear Folks,

As Tu B’Shvat (the midwinter Full Moon and the RebirthDay of Trees) approaches (beginning this coming Sunday evening), rent the film Avatar, and check out <>, <>, and <>. 

Why? Because a predicted blizzard for the Northeast Corridor from Washington to Boston is also approaching.. This may disrupt your present plans for communally celebrating the Tu B’Shvat Seder – the sacred meal of fruits and nuts that celebrate both the trees of Earth and The Tree of all life — one of the metaphors through which Jewish mystics saw the Holy Unity that breathes all life.

If you are facing cancellation of your communal Seder, or may not be able to get there yourself, a quick suggestion: Go NOW to rent the film Avatar, which celebrated sacred trees as the heart of a rebellion against the pharaonic power of a Crusher military force threatening the life of a planet/moon called Pandora and its blue-skinned indigenous people, the Navi (Hebrew for “prophet”). 

And check out those essays about Avatar on The Shalom Center‘s website — Then watch the film Sunday evening, munching on various fruits and nuts, drinking four cups of wine — red, rose, pink, white – pausing to thank the Source of All for this abundance – and turning this meal into a discussion of how Avatar applies to us today. — 

Good yontif, chag Ha-Ilan sameyakh — Arthur

Thanks at Thanksgiving, plus a little inspirational downtime

It seems appropriate this week of Thanksgiving to share our ways of giving thanks.  My family joins hands and sings a simple grace most nights as we gather around the table.

Evening is here
the board is spread
thanks be to God
who gives us bread

The one below  is longer, and we use it less often, but it’s one of my favorites.  It captures so much in so few words, and I am thankful for the miracle of renewing life that provides my food, and for all the hands that touch it from seed to mouth.  It can be sung in a 4-part round.

For sun and rain
for grass and grain
for all who toil
on sea and soil
that we may eat
this daily food
we give our loving thanks to God.

Does anyone else have favorites?  Please share in the comments!

Inspirational downtime
When you’re done with your dinner, your post-prandial walk, and as many games of Clue, charades and Bananagrams as you can handle for one evening, consider sharing some truly stunning scenery with your family.  It might even count for extra credit in earth science for your middle school relatives.

Several PA IPL members in State College recently attended a screening of the 93-minute video, HOME at Penn State.  The website description introduces the film in the paragraph below.  Reviews just call it “eye candy”   It’s available in several languages, so choose the one you know best, or one you’re learning. 

“Internationally renowned photographer Yann Arthus-Bertrand makes his feature directorial debut with this environmentally conscious documentary produced by Luc Besson, and narrated by Glenn Close. Shot in 54 countries and 120 locations over 217 days, Home presents the many wonders of planet Earth from an entirely aerial perspective. As such, we are afforded the unique opportunity to witness our changing environment from an entirely new vantage point. In our 200,000 years on Earth, humanity has hopelessly upset Mother Nature’s delicate balance. Some experts claim that we have less than ten years to change our patterns of consumption and reverse the trend before the damage is irreversible. Produced to inspire action and encourage thoughtful debate, Home poses the prospect that unless we act quickly, we risk losing the only home we may ever have.”

Arthus-Bertrand’s website GoodPlanet has more stunning film related to the International Year of Forests.  A series of free photo-art posters are available for schools and others wanting to host educational events about forests.  They’re gorgeous.  Would they spark inspiration, discussion, or prayer in the halls of your congregation’s building?