SCRANTON: Paris to Pittsburgh movie screening and discussion

Join us PA IPL Board member and Marywood University faculty member Melinda Krokus and others  for National Geographic’s realistic, hopeful film about climate action and solutions: Paris to Pittsburgh, and stay for a facilitated discussion.

When: Tuesday, April 9th from 7-9 pm
Where: Marywood University, The Learning Commons, Room 331/337

Students, faculty, staff, and members of the greater Scranton community are all warmly invited.

Download the poster to share.

…and scroll down to watch the trailer right now:

SCRANTON: Earth Hour Dinner in the Dark

Once again, the wonderful farm-to-table focused restaurant Terra Preta in Scranton is partnering with Pennsylvania Interfaith Power & Light, and Temple Hesed to celebrate Earth Hour.  NOTE: be sure to confirm Terra Preta’s address if you haven’t been in a while!

SCROLL DOWN to watch the WNEP16 piece about the event! 

Earth Hour, launched in 2007 in Australia by the World Wildlife Fund, is a chance for us to use our power to change climate change and help heal our Earth.

To bring awareness to climate change we will spend this one evening acknowledging how we can reduce our impact on our planet. For starters we will be turning off the lights to reduce our energy use.

Terra Preta will be offering local-sourced dinner features, and sharing a brief communal prayer.

In addition we will provide informational material for you to take home on ways you can continue to reduce climate change.

We will be joined with special live music by Brenda Fernandes, that will be sure to ease us into our candlelit dinner. 

Reservations recommended. Please call 570-871-4190

Facebook event page to share in your networks.
More about Earth Hour.

OpEd – “The better angels of our nature” … why Pruitt is wrong for EPA

daniel headshotOpEd by PA IPL board president, Rabbi Daniel Swartz, published in the Scranton Times-Tribune on January 10, 2017.

It’s a basic animal instinct to protect self-interests — your food sources, your life and your offspring. Especially at this time of year, we aspire not to mere base instinct, but rather to the “better angels of our nature” that President Abraham Lincoln spoke about. It’s a common theme of most religions: the moral course of action is to go beyond ourselves to protect those in need.

What is true for us as individuals is also true for societies and countries. A great and moral nation doesn’t just protect self-interests. It builds systems and institutions that protect the weak, the vulnerable and the powerless. One such institution in our country is the Environmental Protection Agency. The EPA protects our health, especially of the poor, who suffer first and most from the effects of environmental degradation.

So it is profoundly distressing to look at the record of Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt, President-elect Donald J. Trump’s choice to head the EPA. Mr. Pruitt has taken every opportunity to sue the EPA to stop the agency from acting to protect public health and natural resources.

For example, he sued unsuccessfully to stop standards for reducing soot and smog pollution that crosses state lines, pollution that increases asthma, lung disease and even reduces life spans, particularly among the very young and seniors.

Worse, he sued, also without success, to head off rules to reduce releases of mercury, arsenic, acid gases and other toxic pollutants. Even tiny amounts of mercury can cause birth defects and permanent brain damage. In these and other cases, Mr. Pruitt ignored the scientific evidence, backed by health experts such as the American Academy of Pediatrics, the American Lung Association, and the American Public Health Association. He supported the positions of fossil fuel companies.

Mr. Pruitt’s opposition to health and safety protections could have particularly serious repercussions for Pennsylvanians, including the 300,000 children who suffer from asthma and the many older Pennsylvanians who suffer from respiratory conditions. According to the American Lung Association, Pennsylvania already pays $9.4 billion in pollution-related health care costs each year. A Pruitt-run EPA also could abandon clean water safeguards protecting thousands of miles of Pennsylvania streams, which are sources of drinking water, fishing, and recreation.

Mr. Pruitt has demonstrated an … –-> continue reading at the Scranton Times-Tribune –>


Download Rabbi Daniel Swartz’ text study of Pope Francis’ encyclical Laudato Sî, including 1- or 2- session discussion options, and excerpts from Laudato Si with facing-page Jewish texts (scripture to present).  Written for Yom Kippur study, but appropriate for study by people of any faith, at any time of the year.

FILM and discussion: Racing Extinction

Join members of Temple Hesed for a special showing of the award winning documentary, Racing Extinction, from the makers of The Cove. Learn about why 50% of all species might go extinct in the next 100 years — and what we can do to change the future of our planet for the better. With special added scenes from Interfaith Power & Light and discussion to follow. Note: this film contains graphic and emotional scenes.

Share in your networks (and let Temple Hesed know you’re coming) using the INVITE feature on the Facebook Event page.

Rabbi Daniel Swartz says “When Rabbi Marjorie Berman and I saw this at the Parliament of the World’s Religions, we were incredibly moved —and it has motivated us to take on some life-changing actions. I hope you can join us at Temple Hesed for this important event— and can help us plan what our communities should do next!”

Live too far from Temple Hesed?  Through special arrangement by Interfaith Power & Light with the filmmakers, this film is available to PA IPL members.  If you can show it in a place with internet access, you can also show the 3 minute additional segment Racing Extinction: Faith & the Environment, which features IPL founder the Rev. Canon Sally Bingham, among others.

Diocesan Conference 2016: A Revolution of Tenderness

Scranton Diocesan Congress logoPA IPL will have a table at the Diocese of Scranton’s 2016 Congress, themed A Revolution of Tenderness.  (Rabbi Daniel Swartz will be one of the friendly faces behind the table), and the workshops include

3B – Laudato Si and the Call for a New Lifestyle (Jezreel) Pope Francis calls the earth our “Home.” And he beckons us to commit ourselves to a new way of living that measures the impact–positive and negative–of our lifestyle choices. We will explore the theme of simplicity and how our lives can be enriched by a more creation-mindful life.

Registration, and LOTS more info on the conference website.  Check out the really impressive list of workshops and presenters, and don’t miss the link to the Year of Mercy Concert the night before the Congress begins.   Concert registration is separate.

The keynote speaker, Jim Martin, SJ, has won writing awards and appeared on Comedy Central’s Colbert Report more than once.

University of Scranton directions and campus map.

SCRANTON: Care for the Earth Panel

Screen Shot 2016-04-04 at 8.24.44 PM Get a PDF of the poster.

The Care for the Earth panel is sponsored by Marywood Campus Ministry, Marywood University Science Department, and Marywood University Campus Studies, and will take place in the McGowan Room in the Swartz Center for Spiritual Life.

Together with our obligation to use the earth’s goods responsibly, we are called to recognize that other living beings have a value of their own in God’s eyes.
—Laudato Si §69

Panelists: 

BONUS: wildflower seed giveaway!