Now Available: Video of March 31st Climate, Justice, & Jobs Rally at Philadelphia City Hall

Climate Can’t Wait! Climate, Justice, and Jobs in Philadelphia – Rally at City Hall

Climate can’t wait. Not in our state and not in Philadelphia. People across the state want bold climate action to protect our common home. We need bold action that supports families in our communities and addresses core moral concerns. This includes the most significant climate and clean energy investments EVER – that will create jobs and protect clean air and clean water for all. We can’t let our communities suffer from polluted air and water any longer.

We have a moral responsibility as a nation, and a sacred task as people of faith, to care for our climate and to leave a safe and thriving world for future generations.

On Thursday, March 31 at 12:30pm, Pennsylvania Interfaith Power and Light held a Climate, Justice, and Jobs Rally at the northwest corner of City Hall (JFK Blvd and S 15th Street).

Speakers include State Senator Sharif Street, Philadelphia Councilmember Helen Gym’s Office, Climate Action PA, Maurice Q. Jones from Par Recycle Works and more!

This is a time for action, to make our voices heard, and push our federal, state, and local officials to make investments in our health, jobs, and futures! Through petition signing, phone banking, and coalition building on the issues that matter most we will guide our community leaders to take action. Join us to learn about the PA legislators and local non-profits who are combating these inequities and how you can join us in the fight towards environmental justice and equity in Pennsylvania!

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!


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.


Stories from the Road — isn’t that about a million miles?

Learn about August’s Stories from the Road, see how our donation tree is growing and help us meet our $30,000 fundraising goal to lift and support our faith-grounded work toward climate justice.

This week, listen as IPL founder, the Rev. Canon Sally Bingham, reflects on greeting the 2013 group of PA IPL cyclists on the day they arrived in Washington DC, and what  their ride meant to those who had gathered from all over the country to learn and advocate as part of IPL’s annual National Conference.  

Listen to Sally’s reflection here…

Other voices from the road: “A bridge issue, not a wedge issue”

Read Peter’s full reflection – and catch more photos in this week’s blog post.

Take Action: Tips from Sally Bingham

Sally offers these suggestions for caring for the earth and maintaining hope during this time of uncertainty. (Hear it in her bonus reel here.)

  • Resist contributing to the waste being produced at this time by disposable masks, gloves, grocery bags. Sew masks, use reusable bags where they are allowed. And live in a way that respects and protects the life around you.
  • Connect with people that give you hope. For people living alone, like herself, she suggests getting off the computer and picking up the telephone to spend time with family and friends. 
  • Sally says she takes long walks outside to restore her soul. “It gives me the hope I need to get through all of this,” she says.
  • And if you’re finding yourself stuck at home, take the time to read about climate change and, listen to podcasts. Sally recommends the  weekly podcast Outrage + Optimism, co-hosted by Christiana Figueres, Tom Rivett-Carnac, and Paul Dickinson.

Turn to Prayer

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’ll feature a different prayer from the collection.

We ask that  you hold PA IPL and the work of climate justice and care in your prayers through the week.

Creator God, in this very divisive time, let us all work together to protect our Common Home. Open the hearts, eyes, and minds of those who do not see or care to see the damage we have done to your wonderful gift, the Earth. You have given us the knowledge in recent years to understand how we can better care for our planet.  Forgive us when greed and fear get in the way of us moving ahead to cleaner sources of energy. Give us all the courage to do the right thing. Amen.
—George Dempsie,  Huntingdon, PA, board member, Pennsylvania Interfaith Power & Light

Save the date— Stories from the Road Live Celebration, Sept. 1

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 to PA IPL during the Stories from the Road campaign (June through August) Additional tickets can be purchased for $10. Seating is limited, so donate now!