Earth Hour

This was first published as part 4 of the February 2020 newsletter.  Now that we have fully entered this time of COVID-19, we trust that our members will use resources responsibly — virtually, in-household , or much later. As you will see in other posts, the newsletter included March and April events, an action idea, and a review of our February Annual Conference. We will be adding virtual connecting points and more.

Since 2007, people around the world have paused on a Saturday close to the Spring Equinox to ‘powerdown’ and turn off the lights from 8:30-9:30pm local time.  This year’s Earth Hour takes place on Saturday, March 28th.

NEW: Virtual, statewide gathering on the evening of Saturday, March 28th with live music, prayer, and reflection. You will find (free) registration and all the details on this Sacred Space Between Us event page.

PA IPL encourages and supports all kinds of Earth Hour gatherings — concerts, house parties, vigils, and celebrations.

Two special celebrations in Philadelphia and State College, are fundraisers for PA IPL helping us continue our programming, keeping it affordable and accessible.  There’s room for many more events across the state!

Let us help you plan yours — we’ll help you with ideas, logistics, and publicity so you can join in the movement on March 28 from 8:30-9:30pm local time!

Below are some of this year’s Earth Hour events happening across the state. Let us know if you’d like to add your event to the list growing here:  :

This was first published as part 3 of the February 2020 newsletter.  Scroll up or down for more upcoming March and April events, an action idea, and a review of our February Annual Conference.

2020 Annual Bike Trip

This was first published as part 4 of the February 2020 newsletter.  For the moment, our bike trip plans are on hold.  We will review the situation with our volunteers, leaders, and hosts and update the bike page on April 10th. It’s still a good idea to register as an interested cyclist, or email as a way to let us know you may be interested in riding or volunteering.  We will be sure to be in touch directly with those who do.

As we look forward into the spring, there are so many things happening!  Jump in!

Our annual Bike Trip has a big, exciting change this year: it will be a Capital-to-Capital trip!  We hope to have folks from various areas of the state participate, which will involve some logistical planning to get folks to the start. 

If you are a potential cyclist, or would like to support the cyclists in some way, or know potential cyclists, we had an informational webinar for cyclists and volunteers on Sunday evening, February 23rd. It is now available as a recording.

Register to get the recording. (free)

This was first published as part 2 of the February 2020 newsletter.  Scroll up or down for more upcoming March and April events, an action idea, and a review of our February Annual Conference

Great Leaping Leap Year!

Leap year gives us an extra day in our calendars, and it comes this month!  What will you do with your one wild and precious ‘bonus’ day?

Thanks to more than 170 of you for joining us at our annual conference.  We have heard the sense of co-conferencing across regions was terrific.  As much as we were all disappointed not to have our planned plenary speaker with us, the history of Pennsylvania’s extraction —and the history of resistance and re-growth— was very helpful to many attendees.   We would love to share your reflections about the workshops you attended, and hear how the conference has continued to inform your thinking, conversations, or prayers. Send them to us at paipl.org, and let us know we have permission to share on Facebook or on our blog.

To hear from Colette Pichon Battle, who was unable to be with us, check out her recent TED talk and Law for Black Lives, both available online. 

This was first published as part 1 of the February 2020 newsletter.  Scroll up or down for more upcoming March and April events, an action idea, and a review of our February Annual Conference

October 2019 Newsletter-Part 3: Free Webinar on Tree Planting

Grab a friend or collaborator from your congregation and join us on Thursday, November 14th from 7:00-8:15 PM for a free webinar that will help you learn about siting and planting native trees on your land. Trees reduce mowing, act as windbreaks, provide shade and habitat, and provide a sense of time we simply don’t get from calendars or watches — and they are amazing carbon capture machines.  Brenda Sieglitz and BJ Small will join us from 10 Million Trees to share their wisdom, and let you in on some opportunities to apply for trees.  People and congregations in Lancaster, York, Adams, Franklin, and Cumberland counties, and areas in the Chesapeake Bay Watershed may have some additional opportunities. Registration is free but required.

We close with this excerpt or a prayer from Rabbi Arthur Waskow, and hope you will click through to read the whole prayer, carrying it with you as you move through your days.

We are the generation that stands between the fires:
Behind us the flame and smoke
that rose from Auschwitz and from Hiroshima;
From the burning forests of the Amazon,
From the hottest years of human history
that bring upon us
Melted ice fields, Flooded cities, Scorching droughts.
Before us the nightmare of a Flood of Fire,
The heat and smoke that could consume all Earth.
It is our task to make from fire not an all-consuming blaze
But the light in which we see each other fully.
All of us different, All of us bearing
One Spark.
— an excerpt from Between the Fires: A Kavvanah for Lighting Candles of Commitment, by Rabbi Arthur Waskow;
Read in full here.

October 2019 Newsletter-Part 1: Embracing the Fall

Photo credit: Michael Heimlich, Flick

If you Breathe in my quiet, 
Interbreathe with all Life
Still small Voice of us all —
You will feel the Connections;
You will make the connections
And the rain will fall rightly
The grains will grow rightly
And the rivers will run
So you and all creatures
Will eat well in harmony,
Earthlings / good Earth.
— Rabbi Arthur Waskow;
Excerpt from v’haya im shemo’ad: a Prayer in a Time of Planetary Danger.

See prayer in full, and in Hebrew

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Fall is finally upon us!  Leaves crunch underfoot. Mornings are crisp.  Apples and pumpkins abound.  At many of the Global Climate Strikes in Pennsylvania on those last Fridays of September, it didn’t yet feel like fall. But that visible and hopeful upwelling heard around the world was beautiful, new, and challenging—as it was meant to be.  We’ve gathered photos, videos and words you have shared with us in this blog post.  We’d love to add your pieces, particularly those  rooted in faith, or connected to the youth leadership of many gatherings across Pennsylvania. Thank you for being part of the clarion call!

August 2019 Newsletter Part 4-Youth

This September, we have an opportunity to follow our youth.  Youth and young adults have been injecting fresh energy and youthful urgency into climate work across the globe, and they have identified September 20-27 for a Global Climate Strike. Adults are invited to support young people, holding space for their work, and following their lead.  Now is a time for your faith community to listen to youth; to hear about their hopes and concerns for the future; and to ask how they would like to be supported in their  movement. Youth who are interested in stepping out into the community to care for the shared spaces of our Common Home can tap PA IPL Board President Greg Williams’ passion and skills.  Greg has offered to assist in organizing groups in supporting resilient and balanced ecosystems by removing plants and planting diverse native plants that also support fauna like insect pollinators and birds. 

Are you an adult who has a skill to offer to youth?  Let us know!

We close with these two lines, from Kahlil Gibran’s poem On Children, so beautifully sung by Sweet Honey in the Rock.

We can strive to be like them.
Their souls dwell in a place of Tomorrow.

Additional resources:
Flash sit from Earth Holders-Earth Holder Training
Worship materials from the Unitarian Universalists

August 2019 Newsletter Part 1-Inspiration
August 2019 Newsletter Part 2-Listen
August 2019 Newsletter Part 3-Season of Creation