Celebrating the Journey

On September 1st a lively group joined for prayer, song, storytelling, gratitude, and a toast to the road we have covered, and to the adventures yet in store. We are happy to be able to share all of the prayers from that event, and both the lyrics and the mp3 song file of the song written for the project by our own Rev. Barb Ballenger.

We were delighted to have our new Executive Director, David Heayn-Menendez, participating in his first PA IPL event!

Thank you storytellers.

Thank you Board members

Thank you co-chairs.

Thank you donors.

Thank you participants.

Thank you, thank you, thank you.

Stories from the Road — I also recognize that the Ocean can only take so much…

This week Ray Najjar, a 2013 cyclist and Professor of Oceanography at Penn State University shares his story from the road as he reflects on some highlights from his trip and also on the fragility of our oceans and the communities at their edges. and the need to take action on climate change — and he offers hope from other environmental crises we have faced. Listen to Ray’s reflections:

For 8 years PA IPL has sent cyclists from Pennsylvania to Washington, D.C. as a low-carbon way to advocate for people and planet, connect communities, and financially support PA IPL. This summer we are telling stories from the road. See how our donation tree is growing here and help us meet our $30,000 fundraising goal.

Other voices from the road: Noah Droege, cyclist

Read Noah’s reflection.

Take Action:

Two ways to respond to climate change: adapt, and mitigate.

Adapt: prepare for challenging climate impacts now and in future.
In this week when thousands of communities are under flood watch, flood warning, or under water, check your home’s Flood Factor. Find out where climate-intensified torrential rains cause problems in your area. Flood Factor is a free online tool created by the nonprofit First Street Foundation that makes it easy for Americans to finally find their property’s current and future risk of flooding, learn if it has flooded in the past, and understand how flood risks are changing because of the environment.

Do you have boil-water advisories after strong storms? Many Pennsylvania communities do. Are there wet basement problems? How does that impact people’s insurance rates, or indoor air quality due to mold? These burdens are not borne equally. Is your neighborhood OK, but adjacent to one that floods? Who lives where? As we look at bigger storms, did you know that homeowners have access to recovery funds that are inaccessible to renters? What can you do? Ask your municipality about rain gardens, bioswales, and other adaptation efforts. Can you participate, spread the word, or help? Can your congregation?

Mitigate: cut climate-changing pollution.
Households and houses of worship can use the Cool Congregations Calculator tool to see their baseline emissions and set reduction goals. You start with your zip code, so the results are shaped around data from your area. Congregations can get certified as a Cool Congregation, or share their stories for an annual Challenge — a contest to inspire others, and maybe even win a prize!

Want to motivate own household and a small group of friends to cut climate changing pollution, and model a potential carbon policy at the same time? You might consider a Voluntary Carbon Tax Witness.

Turn to prayer:

Please hold PA IPL and all who are working toward climate justice in your prayers through the week.

In 2019, PA IPL supporters “paved the cyclists’ way with prayer,” submitting original prayers, poems and artwork to express the deep faith that underlies their commitment to climate justice and care. The cyclists shared a compilation of these prayers with elected officials in Washington, as part of their advocacy conversations. Each week we are featuring a different prayer from the collection. This week’s prayer was written by a member of the Philadelphia chapter of PA IPL.

Two Ways to Get your Donation Matched!

Supporters of PA IPL’s Stories from the Road Campaign have two ways to see their contributions matched! A group of generous donors has created a matching fund of up to $4,000, doubling the contribution impact of one-time givers during the August campaign. Those who make a three-year pledge will have their first year of donation matched through our For the Long Haul campaign. These opportunities come with immense gratitude for the generous people seeding our growing organization’s fundraising efforts. 

 Stories from the Road: Celebrating the Journey Zoom event, Sept. 1 at 7 p.m.

On Sep. 1, we’ll culminate our campaign with a live zoom-based Stories from the Road Celebration, featuring live music, prayer, storytelling, a chance to share your own stories of climate work with people throughout the state, and a chance to meet our brand new Executive Director, David Heayn-Menendez  The event is free with a donation during Stories from the Road. Additional tickets can be purchased for $10. Spaces are limited, so donate now!

Stories from the Road reflection— Noah Droege, cyclist

Noah Droege has been a youth cyclist in multiple rides, and welcomed, supported, and sent riders off in others. He is currently a student at Penn State University. Noah shared this reflection:

Please share a few sentences describing a highlight of a past bike trip. 
Jumping into the water at Cowen’s Gap after the long, steep ride uphill is always a favorite moment. The water is cold, really cold, but we do it anyways. And then there’s the 3-mile downhill afterwards. It’s like the trip itself. You start out with no idea how you will ride 200-plus miles. You just go.

How has the bike trip continued to impact or sustain you? 
The successes and failures of talking to people on Capitol Hill has probably had the biggest impact on me. The first time on the Hill I was super nervous. Now I realize that even when I “study up” and use good rhetorical language, at the end of the day they will listen or not, and that’s not up to me. It’s not an immediate thing where the legislators are going to say ‘OK we’ll do what you want.’ We’ve been having this trip for 8 years now, and we still need to keep going. Change is not going to happen overnight. It’s important to be patient.

What “call to action” would you encourage others to take regarding climate change at this time?
Do what you can. Be vocal. Individual action is good, but it’s not going to make the difference when 70% of global emissions are large companies. We need the government to act. Care and be loud about it.

Please share a few sentences on what you are doing right now to support the work of PA IPL in raising climate change as a moral issue.
I use every opportunity to bring up climate change. It’s one of the most annoying aspects of myself. Climate change is applicable to every issue and so much needs to be done that it’s always something that can be brought up as a topic of consideration.

Celebrating the Journey — Stories from the Road

Tuesday evening, September 1st
The participatory live-on-Zoom is from 7:00 -8:00 PM, Eastern. 
We will be open for tech checks and reviews beginning at 6:45.  If you will be joining from a less-familiar device, we recommend popping in early!

 

Please join PA IPL and the Stories from the Road team for a live-on-Zoom celebration with 

  • live song
  • prayers
  • storytelling and storyweaving
  • gratitude, and a glimpse forward
  • a chance toast to the road we have traveled and the spirit and community that continues to support and inspire our work together.

Our brand new Executive Director, David Heayn-Menendez will join us and offer an opening prayer.   Those who have donated to the Stories from the Road campaign have received invitations, and will receive the link on Tuesday morning, the day of the evening event.   We would love to have you there!

If you are a Stories from the Road donor, and did not get an invitation, please reach out to info@paipl.org right away.  If you have been meaning to donate, but haven’t yet— there is still time!

We will be checking email through 4PM on Tuesday 9/1.

Stories from the Road — Hope for what can be

This week we have two stories from the road, each from a cyclist who participated in the 2019 bike trip. Rabbi Meryl Crean, from the Philadelphia region, talks about environmental values formed as a Girl Scout and carried through to her work as a rabbi and environmental advocate. The Dr. Rev. Dean Lindsey of State College connects the local ride to its global implications for the environment, particularly for vulnerable low-elevation countries, like Kiribati — a perspective informed by his own deep connections to another low-elevation area: New Orleans as well as his sabbatical to Kiribas.

For 8 years PA IPL has sent cyclists from Pennsylvania to Washington, D.C. as a low-carbon way to advocate for people and planet, connect communities, and financially support PA IPL. This summer we are telling stories from the road. See how our donation tree is growing here and help us meet our $30,000 fundraising goal.

Other voices from the road: Joyce Breiner

Read Joyce’s reflection.

Take Action: advocate and vote

Sustained advocacy is building relationships with legislators with the idea that all policy is a covenant with the future.

We engage in respectful and challenging, non-partisan, solutions-oriented conversation with our public officials over time. Our conversations begin with shared values, and may frame moral dilemmas for our legislators and others.

We focus on legislation that ceases expansion of our fossil fuel infrastructure, and promotes renewable energy deployment and widespread use of energy efficiency technology and practice. We are clear that solutions must not increase energy burdens or continue to ignore “sacrifice zones“; policies should increase equity and repair past harms caused by our profligate energy use and choices.

Learn more by joining our monthly Sustained Advocacy Policy Update Zoom calls by phone or by computer. People on the list get the call summary one week after the call, whether or not they were able to attend, including a federal action item, a state action item, a discussion hook, positive news, and a closing meditation. The actions in the July call summary are still good ones! Because legislators are in-district in August, our “call” will be summary-only in August. Watch your inbox on August 27th! 

Make sure you and your neighbors are ready to vote!
We want you to be able to vote safely and effectively. Please share this information with your congregation, and with your community groups. We created a downloadable Word document of this information to link to your congregation’s newsletter or website.

  1. Register for a vote-by-mail ballot online (English and Spanish language applications available). Scroll directly to the bottom of the page, confirm that you are not a robot, and click “begin your application.”
    Your ballot will be mailed to you. You can track your ballot as your request is processed, then as it moves through USPS to your mailbox.
  2. Print the registration form, fill it out, and choose an option below

No matter how you vote, your vote must be complete by November 3.
Mail-in ballots must be at your county elections office by November 3.
Drop off your completed ballot in person at your county elections office before November 3, or mail it from a neighborhood with speedy mail service well before November 3. (Either way, you will seal the completed ballot in an unmarked inner envelope, then a signed outer envelope according to the directions.) Current rules say that postmarks are not enough; arrival is what matters.

Turn to Prayer

Please hold PA IPL and all who are working toward climate justice in your prayers through the week.

In 2019, PA IPL supporters “paved the cyclists’ way with prayer,” submitting original prayers, poems and artwork to express the deep faith that underlies their commitment to climate justice and care. The cyclists shared a compilation of these prayers with elected officials in Washington, as part of their advocacy conversations. Each week we are featuring a different prayer from the collection. This week’s prayer was written by a member of the Philadelphia chapter of PA IPL.

Two Ways to Get your Donation Matched!

Supporters of PA IPL’s Stories from the Road Campaign have two ways to see their contributions matched! A group of generous donors has created a matching fund of up to $4,000, doubling the contribution impact of one-time givers during the August campaign. Those who make a three-year pledge will have their first year of donation matched through our For the Long Haul campaign. These opportunities come with immense gratitude for the generous people seeding our growing organization’s fundraising efforts. 

 Save the Date for the Stories from the Road: Celebrating the Journey Zoom event, Sept. 1 at 7 p.m.

On Sep. 1, the World Day of Prayer for the Care of Creation, we’ll culminate our campaign with a live zoom-based Stories from the Road Celebration, featuring live music, prayer, storytelling, and a chance to share your own stories of climate work with people throughout the state.  The event is free with a donation during Stories from the Road. Additional tickets can be purchased for $10. Spaces are limited, so donate now!

DONATE

Stories from the Road reflection — Joyce Breiner host and community connector

Joyce Breiner has been welcoming cyclists to Poolesville, Maryland since the earliest rides. In her role as director of Poolesville Green, she has created many and varied opportunities for cyclists and community members to connect and learn. What that doesn’t tell you is that (1) she personally hosted riders until the ride got big enough that she connected us with the Am Kolel Sanctuary Retreat Center and (2) she cooks legendary breakfasts. Joyce shared this reflection:

Please share a few sentences describing a highlight of a past bike trip.
There have been a number of highlights over the years – 8 so far?! From small beginnings of hosting a handful of riders in our Poolesville home to showcasing progress on sustainable actions in our community, it has been years of fun and growth in faith and purpose.

How has the bike trip continued to impact or sustain you?
The bike trip has been a reminder of the importance of continuing the work to encourage and inspire a more sustainable future.

In what ways are you continuing to reap inspiration and energy from your experience of the trip?       
Thinking of the PA IPL friends we have met and hosted each year, remembering the conversations we’ve shared and listening to their experiences along the trip continue to feed the soul. Hopefully sharing our experiences has been inspiring in return.

Please share a few sentences on what you are doing right now to support the work of PA IPL in raising climate change as a moral issue.          
Last year I achieved the Climate Change Professional designation as certified by the Association of Climate Change Officers and the State of Maryland. I am a member of the Montgomery County Maryland Climate Planning Workgroup, which is determining how to achieve the county’s climate emergency goals of reducing GHG emissions 80% by 2027 and 100% by 2035. I am advocating to allow agrovoltaic Community Solar projects in the county’s Agricultural Reserve through adoption of a countywide Zoning Text Amendment.

PA IPL’s Sustained Advocacy group is following and promoting community solar legislation in Pennsylvania — it is bipartisan and in both houses! You can help!

What “call to action” would you encourage others to take regarding climate change at this time?

  1. Vote.
  2. Run for local office, even a church council position, PTA position or other.
  3. Adopt renewable energy sources or drive an electric vehicle. Look for ways that make it work instead of being put off by perceived difficulties.

Watch for a how-to webinar for choosing 100% renewable energy at PA IPL this fall —the “shoulder seasons” when we use less energy are the best time to shop.