The Long Journey —From Extracting the Past to Cultivating the Future

On Sunday afternoon, February 9th, 2020, PA IPL will hold a conference in three locations.  Each conference will have in-person local breakout workshops, and we will join together for a dynamic keynote speaker (livestreamed), and for the official presentation of our Visionary Award.  Mark your calendar, read on, and register! Plan to arrive as close as you can to 1:00 for some light snacks and networking. The plenary will begin at 1:25.

Scroll for location- specific workshop descriptions.  Get inspired, grab a small group, and register to join us on February 9th.  Your pre-registration helps us prepare! Pre-registration fees are lower than at the door, and offer options for people who can pay a little extra, or need to pay a little less. Scholarships are only available with pre-registration. Please reach out if you need one.

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Scranton workshops
 Philadelphia workshops
Pittsburgh workshops
Plenary Session

Plenary: Turning On, Turning Away, Turning Toward


Louisiana and Pennsylvania are neither in the same time zone nor the same climate.  One is coastal and flat, the other ridged and nearly landlocked; yet each is chained to a long history of extraction, beholden to economies tangled with ecological destruction, and perhaps not sufficiently ashamed of our willingness to turn a blind eye both to the harms caused to communities, and to the differences in the distribution of benefits and pain.  There are people and corporations now working to turn Pennsylvania into the Gulf Coast, recreating Cancer Alley in Cancer Valley. How can we reject the destructiveness of our histories while still celebrating our heritage? How can our diverse communities drawing on our strengths, create new ways of seeing ourselves and one another, and build communities and economies in which life, health, and interdependence are the bedrock?  How do we build small acts into the enormous movement we need? What can Pennsylvania learn from Louisiana? 

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Plenary speaker:
Colette Pichon Battle, Esq.
Colette Pichon Battle, Esq. is the founder and Executive Director of the Gulf Coast Center for Law and Policy, promoting just transition and ecological equity for communities of color on the front lines of climate change.  Her accomplishments are numerous and enormous, her preparations impressive, but neither can begin to communicate the ways in which Colette’s intellect, humor, energy, presence, and commitment fuel and lift those lucky enough to work alongside her.  Colette leads from the front of the room when she has to. She also listens intently, holds space for people to tell their own stories, and, with their permission, amplifies them.  

The Gulf Coast Center for Law and Policy (GCCLP) exists to promote structural shifts to advance climate justice and ecological equity in communities of color on the frontline of climate change. Colette develops and directs programming focused on Equitable Disaster Recovery, Global Migration, Community Economic Development, Climate Justice and Energy Democracy. 

Ms. Pichon Battle serves on the Board of Directors for the US Climate Action Network (USCAN), the Center for Constitutional Rights (CCR), and Gulf Restoration Network (GRN). Colette serves on the governance council for the Southern Movement Assembly (SMA), is an advisory board member for Communities Responding to Extreme Weather (CREW), Sunrise and is a member of the Experts of Color Network (ECON) working to address racial wealth disparities.

Scroll down for location- specific workshop descriptions.  Get inspired, grab a small group, and register to join us on February 9th.  Pre-registration helps us plan, and is cheaper than at the door. (There are no discounts or scholarships at the door.)

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Plenary Session

Scranton Location

The Scranton conference will be at the IHM Center, 1512 University Ave., Dunmore, PA 18509 Register now.

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.

Following our opening liturgy and livestreamed keynote speaker, we will break for three in-person workshops within the theme. As we always do at PA IPL, we aim to make your workshop choice very difficult (bring a group and split up!).

Drawdown: Two perspectives on this  hope-filled work and what it offers  
Greg Williams and Rabbi Daniel Swartz

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.

Bio Divina Jan Novotka

Bio divina is a contemplative way of reading and praying the book of creation. This experience will listen for and seek God’s presence in nature using the four steps similar to lectio divina  read, meditate, pray, and contemplate. (This workshop may take place outdoors, weather permitting.)

Jan Novotka is an internationally known retreat facilitator and songwriter  She has ministered as a high school religion teacher, a high school campus minister, and a pastoral associate. She is passionate about spiritual consciousness and Earth consciousness. Jan is certified in Earth Literacy, is an organic gardener, and a longtime member of the IHM EarthCARE Committee.

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.

Plenary Session

The Scranton conference will be at the IHM Center, 2300 Adams Ave. Scranton, PA 18509 Register now.

Get a Scranton-location conference flier: b&w or color.

 

Philadelphia Location

The Philadelphia conference will be at the First Presbyterian Church of Germantown, 35 Chelten Ave., Philadelphia, PA 19144. Register now.

Following our opening liturgy and livestreamed keynote speaker, we will break for in-person workshops within the theme. As we always do at PA IPL, we aim to make your workshop choice very difficult (bring a group and split up!).

Resisting: One Family’s Story
The Clatterbuck Family, PA IPL Visionary Award Recipients

  • Mark Clatterbuck, Associate Professor of Religion at Montclair State University in New Jersey
  • Malinda Harnish Clatterbuck, Associate Pastor at Community Mennonite Church of Lancaster and Community Rights Coordinator for the Community Environmental Legal Defense Fund
  • Ashton Clatterbuck, freshman at Bennington College in Bennington VT
  • Hannah Clatterbuck, Junior at the Stone Independent High School in Lancaster

Our Visionary Awardees, the Clatterbuck family, recount their reaction, and ultimately response, to a gas transmission charted to go through their community.  Founders of Lancaster Against Pipelines, the Clatterbucks will recount how standing up to the bullying of a large corporation empowered the community to bond together – to become stronger- and how the community they are a part of creating continues today. Malinda, Mark, Ashton and Hannah will invite us to consider what we are capable of, and what we are willing to do to stand up for what we believe in.  What are the spiritual underpinnings we hold that ground us in the work that we do, and continue to do? Read more about them in the New Yorker.

To Thrive is to Grow! 
Tree Planters, Tree Tenders, and Gardeners of Philadelphia  

Increasing the city’s ‘green footprint’ battles climate disruption on several fronts: trees create shade and moisture, cooling overheated neighborhoods; green spaces absorb CO2; and community gardens and urban farms provide locally-grown and consumed food, shaving emissions from trucking produce from miles away.  These are just a few initiatives alive and well in Philadelphia. Making these, and other carbon-reducing, heat-relieving options available to all Philadelphians is an empowering, and necessary, step to achieve equity as we face the coming climate crisis.  Our panelists will give an overview of projects-in-progress, and offer information to participants to be involved in local, hands-on work.

Turning On, Turning Away, Turning Toward:  What does it mean for people of faith in Philadelphia? 
Leaders of Philadelphia PA IPL 

The Rev. Cheryl Pyrch, Philadelphia PA IPL chair

This workshop will be a deep dive into the keynote.   We’ll explore what we bring as a faith community, what we’ve done in the past and how we may do things differently in light of the questions and insights raised by our speaker.   This will be a structured conversation, led by facilitators who have studied the keynote.  We’ll pay special attention to how we may be allies to people in frontline communities.  All are welcome, whether or not you have been involved with PA IPL!  Come join us for the rich and provocative conversation.    

Plenary Session

The Philadelphia conference will be at the First Presbyterian Church of Germantown, 35 Chelten Ave., Philadelphia, PA 19144. Register now.

Get a Philadelphia-location flier: b&w or color

Pittsburgh Location

The Pittsburgh conference will be at the Pittsburgh Theological Seminary, 616 Highland Ave., Pittsburgh, PA 15206. Register now.

Following our opening liturgy and livestreamed keynote speaker, we will break for in-person workshops within the theme. As we always do at PA IPL, we aim to make your workshop choice very difficult (bring a group and split up!).

Climate Action: What if it were easier?
Seth Bush, Radical Support Collective

All of the successful changemakers who have come before us have had one thing in common: the ability to sustain themselves and stay present to what is meaningful through the pain, challenge and hard work that is an inevitable part of transforming the world.This interactive workshop, led by Seth Bush from the Radical Support Collective, will show you 4 simple principles for walking a path of ecological and social stewardship with ease rather than struggle that you can practice in your own life and bring home to your congregation. Learn to take small, sweet steps toward what’s meaningful to you and make an impact that other people want to be a part of because they’re lit-up by it, not overwhelmed.

Seth Bush is a coach for social change leaders working to heal the climate crisis. He has managed and organized grassroots campaigns for clean air, renewable energy, and environmental justice for the Sierra Club in Baltimore and as a community activist in Pittsburgh where he now lives. Seth’s dedication to community, equity, and stewardship grows from his roots as a Quaker, and he delights in helping leaders do bold, visionary work that is sustainable for the long haul. Read more about him and his organization at Radical Support Collective

Listen, seek, serve, grow.
Pastors Cynthia and John Wallace, Oasis Project

Come hear the story of one congregation’s  response to the fraying of opportunity and community in their neighborhood.  With deep listening and  real appreciation for all the community has to offer, their work has fruited:   there is vibrant community space, places to share skills, and spaces and occasions to care for one another, body and soul.  These vibrant,  resilient, and still-growing results invites us to pause for joyful, slow work of listening and building, so that we can build the spirit and trust-anchored  partnerships we need to fuel a truly just transition.

Dr. John Wallace, Ph.D. is the David E. Epperson Chair and Professor, Center on Race and Social Problems Senior Fellow for Research and Community Engagement at The University of Pittsburgh (with joint appointments in theKatz School of Business, Department of Sociology and the Dietrich School of Arts and Sciences) as well as serving as  the Senior pastor of Bible Center Church in Homewood.

Over the past 30 years work has focused on the well-being of African American children, youth and communities. He is the principal investigator on the University of Pittsburgh Center on Race and Social Problems’ Comm-Univer-City of Pittsburgh Project, an integrated program of research, teaching, and service. He is also the principal investigator on the Healthy Living, Healthy Learning, Healthy Lives project — a community-based participatory research project that  examines the correlates, causes, and consequences of disparities in children’s asthma.

Dr. Cynthia Wallace Ed.D. oversees the administration and management of Bible Center’s ministries, personnel, and finances in consultation with the Pastor and Leadership Team. She is also the Executive Director of the Oasis Project which includes oversight of Oasis Transportation, Everyday Cafe and our community programs. Pastor Cynthia has a B.A. in Behavioral Sciences from the University of Chicago, a M.A. in School Administration from the University of Michigan, a M.A. in Counseling from Geneva College and an Ed.D. in Education Leadership from the University of Pittsburgh.

From checklists to spiritual practices: a tool for congregations growing into climate justice work.
Cricket Hunter, PA IPL

Yours is not the only congregation that has taken a step or two and then gotten stuck or overwhelmed.   Come join a rich discussion of possibilities and approaches, and try out a tool that can help root your congregation’s actions in its gifts, and draw more people into climate justice engagement.

Cricket Eccleston Hunter is PA IPL’s Director of Program.  Her work with congregations and communities across Pennsylvania has taught her again and again that we can do more, and more effectively, when we tap into our assets, grow movement where our goals align, and invite more people to join us.

Plenary Session

The Pittsburgh conference will be at the Pittsburgh Theological Seminary, 616 Highland Ave., Pittsburgh, PA 15206. Register now.

Get a Pittsburgh-location flier: b&w or color

 

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