Interfaith Service and a Call to Action on Dr. King’s 86th birthday

Our friends at Interfaith Moral Action on Climate  have held public events calling for climate justice on Dr. Martin Luther King’s birthday (the actual one, not the federal holiday).  This year, that date coincides with a 3-day party retreat for Republican Senators and Representatives from Washington.  That retreat is at Hershey Lodge in Hershey, PA.

A Call to Action on Dr. King’s 86th Birthday
“We are now faced with the fact that tomorrow is today.
We are confronted with the fierce urgency of now.
In this unfolding conundrum of life and history, there is such a thing as being too late.
This is no time for apathy or complacency. This is a time for vigorous and positive action.”

—Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Interfaith Moral Action on Climate leaders plan to hold a public interfaith service outside of the Hershey Lodge, followed by a spiritual procession around the building. We will call upon those inside to remember what day it is, the day of Dr. King’s birth, and to reflect upon what they must do with their Congressional power if, like him, they are to be about justice, love and concern for “the least of these.”

2015 will be a year of unprecedented opportunity, with international climate talks set to conclude with an agreement in Paris in December.  The United States must lead the international community in dealing with the climate catastrophe we have done so much to create, and Congressional support for responsible climate policies here at home is an important part of that needed action.

We will invite retreat participants to join with us and the many millions of Americans who want to make a fast, fair transition from the profligate combustion of the 19th and 20th centuries, toward energy conservation, efficiency and renewable energy from the sun, wind and water.

In Pennsylvania fracking is a particular concern as massive methane leakage is intensifying our climate impacts here.  Fracking of PA shale stresses communities, endangers our drinking water and the air and land of those living near fracking wells, pipelines or compressor stations, and fracking of North Dakota “Bakken” shale produces the particularly caustic oil that is traveling in unsafe rail cars the length of the state.

Faced with the dangers posed by continued reliance on fossil fuels, our climate justice movement will continue to grow, with or without Republican Congressional support for, as Dr. King said, “we will not be satisfied until justice rolls down like water and righteousness like a mighty stream.”

This party retreat is an ideal time to remind Republicans that they can be good Republicans and seek decisive, positive action to limit climate change and step boldly toward a clean energy future.  We invite them to stand with Dr. King and millions of morally concerned Americans.

For more information about participating in this action and/or to endorse this Call to Action, please go to, or contact Cindy Harris at

Review PA IPL’s statement on fracking here:

Read more about Dr. King, poverty, and the environment in this piece by Rabbi Daniel Swartz.

UPDATE: Parking, meeting up, and signs & banners

Additional information from IMAC, reposted here: Meet outside the main entrance of Lodge (also Forebay Lounge entrance) – 325 University Drive.   Look for grassy area with gazebo and pond just outside the main entrance.

From University Drive, turn into Lodge entrance on Briarcrest Drive. 

Parking is legal and free where ever you can find a space at the Lodge.  We are told that it may be full (although there were spaces available today).   If the Lodge parking is full, we suggest you drive back on Briarcrest Drive, and cross over University Drive to the other side of Briarcrest.  On the right side of the street, there is a shopping mall with spaces.  You can also drive on Briarcest Drive to Centerview Lane.   Turn right and park on the street, OR turn left and park at Briarcrest Apartments.   Today there were many parking spaces not marked for residents.

All these places are a short walk to the Lodge entrance.

Regarding Signs:   IMAC will be bringing some banners and posters.  If anyone wants to bring a sign, general is better, such as Climate Change is a Moral Issue.   Signs that reference scripture and faith wisdom are also a great idea.

NEW: Invite Senator Toomey and your Congressman.
(Jump down below the directions to learn about the event)
How to send the invitation:

  1. Click to download the attached Word document: INTERFAITH MORAL ACTION ON CLIMATE
  2. Look up your Congressman using the link on the letter.  If he* is a Republican, copy his name in the appropriate blanks on the letter.  (The conference outside which the service will take place is a Republican Party Conference.)
  3. “Sign” the letter by typing your formal name and home address.
  4. Remove all highlighting, and save as a PDF.  Email it to Mr. Toomey’s scheduler, and to your Republican Congressman’s scheduler (Google to find right name) if applicable, using the formula
  5. Set a calendar alert to get yourself to the Hershey Lodge, or pause to pray from your own office at the appointed time.
  6. Shoot us an email to let us know you sent an invitation!

*Pennsylvania’s representation in Washington is now all male, so there is no need for inclusive language, alas.

climate speaker, transformative seeker: Michael Dowd

The Rev. Michael Dowd and Connie Dowd are traveling in conjunction with the extraordinary Great Climate March (from LA to DC — 35 full-time marchers are walking the whole way!)   They have connected with IPL and reached into their own networks to arrange an incredibly busy speaking schedule to engage people on climate change, and explore the links between climate action and faith, and inspire people to move forward in bold, active hope.  They currently have 6 PA dates.  If you want to open your doors, head for one of the following congregations, or look to link an event with your group in the same town at another time of day.  Watch or listen to previous programs linked from their past events page.

October 7 Unitarian Universalists of the North Hills (evening)
October 11 Unitarian Universalists of Meadville 6:30-8:15 PM
October 12 First Unitarian Church of Pittsburgh (morning and 6:00 PM)
October 18 Greater Pittsburgh Montessori Society
October 19 Unitarian Universalists of the South Hills (morning)
October 22 Unitarian Church of Harrisburg (evening)

Interfaith devotional gathering (Carlisle)

A statement from the Baha’i Office on the Environment asserts, “Only a comprehensive vision of a global society, supported by universal values and principles, can inspire individuals to take responsibility for the long-term care and protection of the natural environment. Baha’is find such a world-embracing vision and system of values in the teachings of Baha’u’llah, which herald an era of planetary justice, prosperity, and unity.”

In support of this effort, the Baha’is of Carlisle are hosting an interfaith devotional gathering in praise of the creation at 7 p.m. Friday, Oct. 3 at 402 Burgner’s Road, Carlisle. Everyone is welcome to attend and bring a reading, prayer, poem or song on this topic to lift our spirits and enhance our praise and worship of the Creator and His matchless creation.

Dee Dombach and her husband, Scott, are members of the Carlisle Bahai Community. They welcome comments at Visit them on at

Read Dee’s article in The Sentinel (Cumberland County) written in advance of the People’s Climate March (in New York) which shares  Baha’i teachings on climate change.