Praying with Paris — in Philadelphia and Harrisburg

The Paris climate talks (the 21st such talks) began on Monday, November 30.  People around the world held vigils and marches on 11/29 and 11/30 to show our leaders that we are with them in spirit, supporting the difficult, urgent, vital work that they are engaged in.  The people’s voices —including faith voices— have been vital in getting international leaders as far along as we are.

Check back here for a one-a-day series of actions and solutions from now until 12/11.

HarrisburgVigilMarch.11.29.2015In HARRISBURG, a multi-faith service hosted by Grace United Methodist Church was attended by about 120 people, and  made the evening news.  News coverage embedded at the bottom of this page (these links can expire quickly!)

Inspiring speakers included  Professor John Dernbach  (himself a Paris Summit delegate) and former PA Senator Franklin Kury (the author of Article1, Section 27 of our PA Constitution, and the recipient of our first PA IPL Visionary Award, back in 2011).   Father Jim Podlesny talked about the significance of the Pope’s encyclical and what it means for Paris.

 David Glasgow, music director of Unitarian Universalists of Cumberland Valley, provided opening music, with congregational singing of  We Would be One, This is My Song, and Blue Boat Home.    Harrisburg Drummers added color and energy.

Readings and reflections were offered by leaders from the Religion & Society Center, Baha’ís of Harrisburg, Lutheran Advocacy Ministry of PA, Hadee Mosque, and PA IPL. 

The event concluded on the Capitol steps with a rousing speech by former pastor and climate activist, the Rev. Jerry Miller, along with other testimonies, more drumming, and singing of Let There Be Peace on Earth.

IMG_5098In PHILADELPHIA , PA IPL member congregation First United Methodist Church of Germantown  hosted an afternoon multi-faith vigil on Monday, 11/30.  The vigil and prayer was led by Rabbi Malkah Binah Klein, the Rev. Cheryl Pyrch, and song led by Daniella Forstater.  Participants from many local congregations, including the Sisters of St Joseph, the Germantown Jewish Centre, P’nai Or, the Reconstructionist Rabbinical College, the Unitarian Society of Germantown, host FUMCOGSt. Martin-in-the-Fields Episcopal Church, the Shalom CenterSummit Presbyterian Church, and Good Samaritan Baptist Church and more!

in PARIS
Because of the attacks in Paris last week, planned marches and outdoor gatherings were not allowed, so the Place de la Republique filled with 10,000 pairs of shoes, “marching” without their owners.  Among them: Pope Francis’ shoes, and Ban Ki Moon’s shoes.

Nearly 10,000 people linked arms to form a human chain through Paris, stretched out along about 2km of the 3 km (2 mile) route of the planned march, rather than gathered in one spot.

Religious leaders delivered a multi-faith petition signed by nearly 1.8 million yesterday, and Cristina Figueres, the Executive Secretary of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change, broke out into a dance with Archbishop Thabo Makgoba of South Africa, who was among those delivering the signatures to the talks.

HARRISBURG Fox43 coverage:

Prayers for courage, imagination, and action, and a thunderclap!

World leaders are gathering right now in Lima, Peru, negotiating the details of the next climate change treaty to come forward in Paris in 2015.   Many opened the conference with fasting.  National leaders, climate change leaders, and faith leaders are all there, including PA IPL member Professor Don Brown, who is leading sessions on the ethics of Climate Change, and will offer a phone call and webinar for PA IPL members this winter.

People of all faiths from around the world are supporting the negotiations with prayer.  Please join them with a daily prayer moment of your own now through December 7.  Invite others to join you, hold a public vigil, or create a prayer or vigil in your own faith community, as part of an existing service, or as a standalone event.

You may find this video a compelling part of an invitation to join you in prayer.  It builds to a very strong ending that calls on each of us as individuals.

Philly-area folks may have a leg up on vigil planning, thanks to this week’s prayer workshop Continue reading Prayers for courage, imagination, and action, and a thunderclap!

Vigils for Climate Leadership: Light for Lima

light for lima globe logoThis December, as world leaders meet in Lima, Peru our future is on the line. Time is running out for our leaders to reach an agreement that saves us from devastating climate change. This is why faith communities worldwide are joining  OurVoices and organizing #LightForLIMA – a global, multi-faith prayer vigil. These vigils will show our leaders that we as people of faith are praying for their efforts to bring forth valid actions to start reversing the affects of climate change.

Leader after leader at the UN meetings in New York in September spoke of the size and vibrancy of the People’s Climate March, where people of faith formed the largest contingent of all.  That moral message was heard, and provided courage for leaders to speak boldly.  Now is the time to shine our lights again, urging those same leaders from speech to action.

On Sunday, December 7th, from 8:00pm-8:30pm worldwide, people from diverse faith and
spiritual communities will gather for public vigils — lit by solar lamps. There are currently vigils Continue reading Vigils for Climate Leadership: Light for Lima