REFLECTION: How Getting to Zero as a congregation changed me personally

T2016 05 iphone 196his essay is a (slightly) longer version of the back-page GRID Magazine article (June 2016) entitled Web of Life, and is reprinted here with permission of the author, Jane Dugdale. Our thanks to Jane, and to GRID for reaching out!

I think of myself as a pretty savvy environmentalist.  After I read Paul Ehrlich’s  Population Bomb in the 1970s I volunteered with Planned Parenthood. My Sierra Club card says I’ve been a member since 1976. But when the Ecology Mission Group at my congregation, Central Baptist Church in Wayne, decided to focus on climate change as a moral and spiritual issue, including a campaign for “Getting to Zero” emissions, I was in for a pretty steep learning curve. My participation in that effort connected me to efforts going on nearby and far away, made me aware how differently people of good will think about what can be done, and led to some happy realizations.

Nearby, in my own congregation, we have people like Andy Smith and Chuck Marshall, Continue reading REFLECTION: How Getting to Zero as a congregation changed me personally

Show up, and keep on showing up.

UPDATE November 2016: Governor Wolf announced that the port would be used to double the container shipping capacity of the port, and not  for fossil fuel processing or handling.

A coalition group that Philadelphia PA IPL is a founding and active member of, Green Justice Philly, has been actively engaging at multiple levels (public meetings, written testimony, conversations with leaders, and more) with the conversations about how Southport will be developed.  What happens now commits that area to particular kinds of use for a long time, and we want it to be safe for nearby residents, to  provide good, safe jobs, and to not add to the fossil fuel infrastructure which further chains us to the energy sources of the last century.   (Some of you may know that there is some exciting work happening in Philadelphia ports that is helping us move forward into the clean energy future we want, but that’s another entity at another site.)  Last night there was a public hearing on the issue, PACKED because of outreach by active and concerned folks.

Read the State Impact PA piece.
Read a piece written by Green Justice Philly member Meenal Raval which begins:

There’s a corner of Philadelphia that’s under-developed. It’s at the south east tip of our city, along the Delaware River, calledSouthport. It’s managed by a state agency called the PRPA (Philadelphia Regional Port Authority).

In southwest Philadelphia, there’s an oil refinery owned and managed by Philadelphia Energy Solutions (PES). For the past year or so, the CEO of PES, Phil Rinaldi, has been proposing expanding their operations into Southport, with the vision of Philadelphia becoming the Houston on the Delaware. For a full coverage of this plan, see our collection of local fossil fuel news.

Many (no, make that countless) Philadelphian’s are terrified with this vision.  Some groups have publicly expressed their positions; notably see published letters from Green Justice Philly, Philadelphia chapter of PA Interfaith Power & Light andPhysicians for Social Responsibility of Greater Philadelphia.

The PRPA team has been reviewing proposals for Southport’s development and narrowed it down to 6 companies. Their RFP (Request for Proposals) and other public documents can be found here. In brief,

  1. CenterPoint Properties Trust wants to  CONTINUE

Eat. Study. Preach. Pray.

preachinbreakfast.philly.2015.2Gather.  Eat.  Study.
Philadelphia PA IPL held what may be the first Preach In Preachers’ Breakfast to not be iced-out on the original date!  17 people joined in a text study of Exodus 23:1-3, the Torah portion for February 14th .(Preach-In on Climate Change weekend), with the discussion led by Rabbi Malkah Binah Klein (who took the photo) and Rev. Cheryl Pyrch.  Thanks to Susan Saxe for catering breakfast for the group!  Want to make plans for something like this in your neck of the woods before Preach In 2016? We’ll help you make the connections.

Pray where you are:
12 noon Saturday Feb.1410911302_10153004876994659_5797660026877960751_o

Interfaith Power & Light’s national Preach In has joined with the international Continue reading Eat. Study. Preach. Pray.

Workshop extravaganza!

Over in our Events calendar there is SO MUCH good stuff right now.  Check out a few highlights: 
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A series of workshops on involving your congregation or community in our work to respond to climate change as an urgent moral issue.

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A climate change art exhibit and auction at PA IPL member congregation Mishkan Shalom (featuring works by Philadelphia PA IPL member Peter Handler.

 Cheryl.MalkahBinahPreaching About Climate Change workshop on Tuesday morning, February 3 — for clergy and non-clergy alike.  Rev. Cheryl Pyrch and Rabbi Melissa Klein will lead a text study of Exodus 23:1-3 (the Torah portion for Feb. 14).  Download a PDF flier from the event listing.

MBW_full Our Earth/Our Story: Climate Change Calls Us to Heal Ourselves and the World workshop hosted by PA IPL member congregation Central Baptist Church on Saturday, Feb. 7. Speaker Charles Eisenstein, author of Sacred Economics and more) .Light lunch included! Download a PDF flier from the event listing

AdvocacyTrainingWorkshopHeaderClimate Disruption is a Moral Issue: Interfaith Climate Advocacy Training (remote or in-person participation) Feb. 19 9:00-5:00; registration required 

Faith, Climate, and Health- Creation Care for a Greener Future #ActOnClimate (1)Faith, Climate, and Health: Creation Care for a Greener Future conference to be held at Cabrini College on April 17.

agyemanAnd we recommend going to hear Julian Agyeman speak on Just Sustainabilities at the Penn Humanities Forum (rescheduled from January).