the power of song

At PA IPL’s 2014 Annual Conference, Climate Justice: Faith in Action  the Rev. Rhetta Morgan of the Ecclesia Spiritual Center drew participants in to the sanctuary for the keynote session by beginning her music in the sanctuary at Summit Presbyterian Church.  After a few announcements, she re-centered us and drew us close in Spirit for an excellent entry into our ably-moderated keynote panel.   Following the panel, Rhetta again led us in inspiring and energizing song, sending us forth from the keynote to the rest of the workshops.  Thanks to Peter Handler, you can get a taste of that here:

Prior to the workshops, participants enjoyed really fabulous refreshments from Weaver’s Way Co-op (with support from the Rock Ethics Institute), and fellowship and conversation with our Green Resources exhibitors.

We are capable of attention.

crocuses captured this week by PA IPL member Amy Ward Brimmer
crocuses captured this week by PA IPL member Amy Ward Brimmer

This poem crossed my desk as a forward of a forward.  It offers hope in beauty, in nature, in growth, which persist through the ugliness on which we sometimes dwell.  It seemed right for the first day of Spring when it’s so easy to be overwhelmed by the miracle of growth and creation.   You can find more of Rebecca Baggett’s work here.  This poem was originally published in Women’s Uncommon Prayers.

(for my daughters)

I want to tell you
that the world is still beautiful. Continue reading We are capable of attention.

Poetry on Social & Environmental Justice: A Reading and Discussion with Poets Cynthia Lowen & Hila Ratzabi

Members of Philadelphia PA IPL plan to attend this event.

Living in period of history where nuclear weapons and climate crisis are part of our mental landscape can be challenging, to say the least. While political activism is essential, the arts, and specifically poetry, play a role in how humans process the extremely complicated and often harrowing world we live in today. Offering a means for the imagination to manage and mitigate these difficult topics, poetry can serve as a voice of justice and hope. Poets Cynthia Lowen and Hila Ratzabi will read poems and lead a discussion on this topic. Lowen’s debut book of poetry, The Cloud That Contained The Lightning, addresses nuclear weaponry, and Ratzabi’s work-in-progress is a book of poems that responds to climate change. We look forward to an engaging discussion on the intersection of poetry and social and environmental justice.

Hot cocoa, cider, and snacks will be served.
Tickets: $5 in advance; $7 at the door Purchase Ticket

Note that if you are interested in the reading, but unavailable on 2/1, there is another reading including Hila Ratzabi on 1/31 at 7:00 PM.  Details here.

Bike Trip blog 2013.2: Send-off and welcome

This is the best way to begin our trek to DC. We arrived at Micah and Bethany’s farm (Plowshare Produce) about six p.m. after a short, but tough, 18-mile ride from State College. We had a short tour of the farm, saw the impressive Percheron draft horses that plough the fields, and cooed over the new lambs and goats. 

This farm is such an inspiration – from solar-powered pumps to a woodstove heating the greenhouse, this is what a low-carbon lifestyle is all about. Some 20 family members and friends joined us for a wonderful dinner and conversation – we even broke into song – seriously! Now we’re sitting around, relaxing and getting ready for bed (there are, however, three computers open and running). 

Many, many folks showed up to wish us off from Grace Lutheran Church. We loved all the hugs, well-wishes and prayers. Pastor Steve Lynn read from Ezekiel 1:19-20: “When the living creatures moved, the wheels moved beside them; and when the living creatures rose from the earth, the wheels rose. Wherever the spirit would go, they went, and the wheels rose along with them; for the spirit of the living creatures was in the wheels.” Most impressive, however, were all the prayers, drawings and well-wishes that were presented to Hannah – she’s carrying them in a bag over her shoulder! 

About fifteen people accompanied us on bikes out of State College, causing University students to spontaneously cheer us on. We even stopped traffic on Atherton (our main street) as our group crossed. It was a great atmosphere. But, gradually, we six were abandoned to face Pine Grove Mills mountain alone. 

We all made it, though not without scars (sorry, Ray); I was particularly impressed with Hannah and Jesse pushing their way up on the tandem! The view from the top is so great, though, and with the warm sun and light breeze, we felt a real sense of accomplishment. 
Huntingdon, where we’re looking forward to helping make the town more bicycle friendly. Tomorrow, we’ll do some weeding and other farm chores in the morning and then head to 

Jon (Andy, Dave, Hannah, Jess and Ray)