Climate Action: What if it were easier? — Seth Bush of the Radical Support Collective

So many people wanted to be in more than one place at a time during our conference workshops, that we are inviting conference workshop leaders to contribute reflections for our blog. We hope that you will continue to engage with our workshop leaders, partners, and allies.

Climate Action: What if it were easier?

That was the title of a workshop led at the PA Interfaith Power & Light Annual Conference in Pittsburgh by Seth Bush, a coach for social change leaders working to heal the climate crisis.

And think about it for a moment, wouldn’t that be great if our work were even just a tiny bit easier?

Seth’s interactive workshop showed participants simple principles for taking climate action with ease rather than struggle, and they went home with a way to practice what they learned with their congregations.

Here’s what two participants had to say about the workshop:

“Being in Climate Justice work for the long haul can be very exhausting.   I have felt the heaviness, which is why I chose to attend Seth Bush’s workshop at our Pittsburgh PA IPL conference a few weeks ago.  I believe we need all the resources we can muster into our personal toolkits so we don’t get disheartened.  

Seth’s workshop did not disappoint.  I was able to come away with some simple, concrete steps that  I can take away to keep myself from feeling overwhelmed. One tip that I have already integrated into my daily life, thanks to Seth, is to keep a Gratitude journal.  I was not aware that the brain can’t handle anxiety and gratitude at the same time. Spending a few minutes every morning journaling has made an amazing difference in the management of the anxiety I was feeling.  

When my actions are frozen from feeling overwhelmed, another take-away from the workshop was to break a task that feels overwhelming into a smaller beginning step that I could easily accomplish so I will  be able to see a tangible result that will move me forward to the next step.

Seth’s workshop helped change my mind to see that in Crisis, there is Opportunity.  I would highly recommend his workshop.”

George Dempsie
Board member Pennsylvania Interfaith Power & Light

“PA IPL’s workshop with Seth Bush was a huge blessing in my life. The theme of doing meaningful activism with ease rather than struggle hit a chord with me. 

Activists often feel alone in their work, especially those working in faith communities. We have such high hopes and high expectations for our communities, but are often let down as complacency and fear of change are realized. Activist minded leaders see a beautiful future, but often struggle to know the small steps necessary to bring a community of people toward those potentials. Seth helped participants recognize the small steps that can be taken with ease to work toward big goals. I’ve already begun using what I learned and am excited to celebrate the small victories that will come as our church pushes, slow as it may be, toward a much greater goal of social and environmental justice.”

John Creasy
Associate Pastor, Pittsburgh Open Door

If any of this has you thinking, “Ease? I could use some of that!”, you might be interested in joining one of Seth’s Radical Support Circles. These by-donation, “drop in” coaching groups provide a space where you can get coaching to see ways to bring ease to your climate activism (and the rest of your life) amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

Read more about the Radical Support Circles here.

Or schedule a 30-minute interest chat with Seth to find out more about one-on-one coaching, group programs, and workshops.

You can read more about Seth and his work at www.radicalsupport.org/seth.

Conference breakout workshop preview: Civic engagement and watershed conservation (Scranton)

Have you seen the amazing workshops that will be part of our February 9th conference?

This is one of the breakout workshops planned for our Scranton location. Register now for the Scranton of The Long Journey: from Extracting the Past to Cultivating the Future.

The Scranton conference will be at the IHM Center, 1512 University Ave., Dunmore, PA 18509. The center is adjacent to the Marywood University campus. For GPS or Google Maps, use N41.43381 W75.63615 with the address, or these directions will get you there from any direction.

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Lackawanna Watershed Conservation Corps: Our Common Home, and Opportunities for Community Involvement
Bernie McGurl, LRCA

With a wealth of native, historical knowledge, Bernie McGurl will present the state of the Lackawanna Watershed followed by pragmatic stewardship opportunities that all inhabitants of Northeastern PA can enjoy. He will also introduce the Lackawanna Watershed Conservation Corps, a new initiative that will allow local people, businesses, and government to find common ground with their neighbors and safeguard their waterways. 

Bernie McGurl is a fourth generation native of the Lackawanna Valley.  Though he worked for many years in railroad and construction, most know him through the Lackawanna River Conservation Association (LRCA), where he has served variously as  co-founder, Board President, and Executive Director.  He also serves as a board member of regional organizations including United Neighborhood Centers, The Rail Trail Council of NEPA and the Eastern Pennsylvania Coalition for Abandoned Mine Reclamation (EPCAMR).

Bernie helped  establish the Lackawanna Valley Conservancy (LVC), which created a land trust in the Lackawanna Watershed, and also leads brownfield remediation work to restore damaged lands for recreation, conservation, and economic reuse.

In 2020, Bernie is leading LRCA work to develop Watershed Conservation and Greenway Trail plans along two critical Lackawanna River tributary streams, Leggett’s Creek and Roaring Brook. Both initiatives involve community volunteers to help implement the plans over the next 20 years.   Mr. McGurl may be contacted at the LRCA: 570-347-6311 or director@lrca.org.

There are three workshops per location. Find everything you need to know about the conference here.

Register for the Scranton location now.

Conference breakout workshop preview: Drawdown (Scranton)

Have you seen the amazing workshops that will be part of our February 9th conference?

This is one of the breakout workshops planned for our Scranton location. Register now for the Scranton conference-The Long Journey: from Extracting the Past to Cultivating the Future.

The Scranton conference will be at the IHM Center, 1512 University Ave., Dunmore, PA 18509. The center is adjacent to the Marywood University campus. For GPS or Google Maps, use N41.43381 W75.63615 with the address, or these directions will get you there from any direction.

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Drawdown: Two perspectives on this hope-filled work and what it offers  

The solutions-focused, research-driven possibilities presented in Drawdown (“the most comprehensive plan ever proposed to reverse global warming” ) has captured both of your workshop leaders.  They are ready to share the resource and ways that individuals and communities may engage with it and  act on some of the top 100 solutions. While Drawdown is a secular resource, we will include connectivity points — places where the work can be drawn into and supported by to liturgy, prayer, moral imagination, and beloved community.

Greg Williams early career was teaching children about the natural world in California, Ohio, and Pennsylvania. His “retirement career” of habitat restoration allows him to care for the earth, make a better world for his grand kids, and get to know the natural world even better. His gloves-on work with other people out in the air, land, and water of our Common Home keeps him going when he is doing other kinds of climate justice work.   Greg has served on the PA IPL Board for the last four years (including a term as Board President).  He currently lives in rural Williamsburg, PA, in Blair County.

Rabbi Daniel Swartz serves as the spiritual leader of Temple Hesed of Scranton  and as the Executive Director of the Coalition on Jewish Life and the Environment (COEJL).  He has a long history of leadership at the intersection of faith, climate justice and care of our Common Home.  He is the lead author and editor of To Till and to Tend:  A Guide to Jewish Environmental Study and Action.  His comparison of classical Jewish texts with sections of Pope Francis’ Laudato Si , “Laudato Si and the Sages,” has been used in congregations around the globe.Daniel served on the PA IPL Board for many years, including a term as Board President.

There are three workshops per location. Find everything you need to know about the conference here.

Register for the Scranton location now.

Engaging Active Hope Virtual Workshop Series

Tuesdays, January 14, 28; February 11, 25; March 10, 24
Location: Virtual-Your Computer
Time: 7:00-8:15 p.m. ET
Cost: $30 for the series, scholarships available.
Register Now!

The Engaging Active Hope workshop series explores practical ways to address climate change. The series draws on the work of the eco-philosopher Joanna Macy and is about finding and offering our best response to the crisis of sustainability unfolding in our world. At the heart of this workshop series is the idea that Active Hope is something we do rather than have. It involves being clear about what we hope for and then playing our role in the process of bringing that about. The journey of finding and offering our unique contribution to the Great Turning helps us to discover new strengths, open to a wider network of allies and experience a deepening of our aliveness.

These virtual workshops will be offered on the Zoom platform, and participants should have both audio and video available on their device when participating.  Attendance at all 6 sessions encouraged, but not required.  (Sessions will not be recorded, and not available if registrants are unable to attend.)

Registration is $30 for the series.  Registration required.  All participants should acquire the book Active Hope: How to Face the Mess We’re in Without Going Crazy by Joanna Macy and Chris Johnstone.

Register Now

 

Gathering to share warmth and light- PA IPL at the Winter Solstice

December 21, 2019
Winter Solstice


It was the longest night. People gathered from near and far, in small groups and large,
to share their fears and grief and the darkness in their hearts. A year like no other, this was, 
Testing us beyond what we’d ever imagined.
Day after day, week after week, we found ourselves growing and becoming sturdy because there was no other choice.
And the solstice fire was lit and the candles passed and the light of the new year’s dawning lifted our heavy hearts and brought us brightness and hope.
— The Longest Night, Julie Middleton

Over eons, as we have insulated ourselves from the natural world, it has ceased to mystify or worry us in the way it did our ancient ancestors; it also ceases to amaze us nearly as often.  
In letting the solstice pass by, we do more than leave behind some of our ancient history.  We also turn our backs on the season of winter. The media portrays the winter season as an enemy to be feared, fought and defeated.  Winter, we are told, is to be endured. Yet in wishing away the season of winter, we also wish away the time when we humans might view the world from a different perspective, even marvel at its mysteries, and re-awaken our quiet awe.  

Once in our collective history the winter solstice was a time when ordinary people gathered in the dim and dark.  They came together for support, and for comfort. “And then the Solstice fire was lit and the candles passed and the light of the new year’s dawning lifted our heavy hearts and brought us brightness and hope.”  Might this solstice be a marker of winter within as well as without — a time to gather, to hold the memories of all our human forbearers who faced the dark places in their own lives and the larger dangers of their time in history? 
May their commitment to follow the light be the spark to our own hopes today!

As we seek to gather our lights in the darkness, to nurture the Spark, we hope you will mark your calendar to join with us in community

  • Our conference The Long Journey: From Extracting the Past to Cultivating the Future takes place on Sunday afternoon, February 9th, in Scranton, Pittsburgh, or Philadelphia.  
    Learn more and register.
  • A “bookgroup plus” — a series of virtual workshops will allow participants to share and experience resources from The Work That Reconnects.  This series of six, 75-minute virtual, participatory workshops will take place on Tuesday evenings from January through March.  The virtual workshops will draw on the book Active Hope: How to Face the Mess We’re in Without Going Crazy
    Learn more and register.

Gather with us, and welcome the returning light,



Engaging Active Hope Workshop Series

Sundays, October 20, November 3, 10, 17 and 24, 2019
Location: Cranaleith Spiritual Center: 13475 Proctor Road, Philadelphia, PA 19116
Time: 3:30-5 p.m.
Cost: $20/session; Register Now

Download a flyer to post and share!

The Engaging Active Hope workshop series explores practical ways to address climate change. The series draws on the work of the eco-philosopher Joanna Macy and is about finding and offering our best response to the crisis of sustainability unfolding in our world. At the heart of this workshop series is the idea that Active Hope is something we do rather than have. It involves being clear about what we hope for and then playing our role in the process of bringing that about. The journey of finding and offering our unique contribution to the Great Turning helps us to discover new strengths, open to a wider network of allies and experience a deepening of our aliveness.

Presenter: Alison Cornish

Register Now!

Download a flyer to post and share!