St. Francis and the “universal house”

 This post by board member (and past president) Sylvia Neely first appeared on the Creation Corner page of  the Episcopal Church in Central Pennsylvania’s website.1913244_10106188579394174_2017794221_o

Some years ago, I was a member of a group at my church that got together to discuss environmental issues.  We read and discussed a book that somebody had recommended that I truly disliked.  Environmental questions were presented as cultural questions that required us to rethink the way we lived and that especially extolled eastern and Native American spiritual values.  I kept protesting to the group that we surely had strong Christian traditions that would help guide us to a better way of living in God’s creation.  Several years later, another group at the same church read a book that exemplified what I was looking for.

CareForCreationcoverThe book is entitled Care for Creation:  A Franciscan Spirituality of the Earth.  Two of the authors are steeped in Franciscan learning.  Ilia Delio, O.S.F., is a professor and author.  Keith Douglass Warner, O.F.M., teaches in an interdisciplinary Environmental Studies Institute.  The third author, Pamela Wood, is a retreat facilitator whose expertise provides a strong practical side to the book.  So the book, though challenging at times, balanced a strong understanding of science with a wonderful expression of Franciscan spirituality and the way to incorporate it into one’s life.

For me, one of the most important concepts discussed in the book was Continue reading

Fracking and the Green Stuff

Bill and Tabitha fracking rallyLoretta and LoraxRachel Mark with signPA IPL speaks about fracking as we do all things: as it relates to climate change, and from there, as it affects Creation and particularly the most vulnerable people.

Jump down to hear about a couple of recent public demonstrations that PA IPL leaders participated in on May 6 and June 17 (including a prayer by Rev. Loretta Collins), check out our statement on fracking ( Marcellus Principles Sept.19.2011PAIPL Marcellus Exec Summary), or read on for a bit of current background.  When you’re done, pop over to Interfaith Power & Light’s action page to add your name to the list of people of faith urging the EPA to tighten restrictions on fracking. Continue reading

Prayer and Protest

BiYlsVSIMAAy9l0a guest post by PA IPL member Eileen Flanagan (in the purple coat, left)  We invite members to share their stories of experience at the intersection of faith and climate change.

Two times now, I’ve publically prayed in the midst of a potentially scary protest, and both times have been powerful experiences, convincing me that rooting my work for climate justice in my faith is not only right, but more effective than the secular activism of my youth. Both experiences came through my work with Earth Quaker Action Team (EQAT, pronounced “equate”), but I think the lessons could apply to any faith-based activism.

Founded by Quakers with the mission of using nonviolent direct action to work for a just and sustainable world, EQAT had agreed to lead civil disobedience in Philadelphia to show the depth of public Continue reading

Longest Day Solar: national day of action.3

This post is the third in our Longest Day Solar series.  Learn more about the National Day of Action. #PutSolarOnIt

Rev. Morgan flips the switch after the new solar installation is connected at MLUC

Rev. Morgan flips the switch after the new solar installation is connected at MLUC

“Solar Shingles” Roof Installation at Main Line Unitarian Church On February 27, 2013 Main Line Unitarian Church (MLUC) in Devon, PA turned on the largest solar shingle array in the Northeast US. As a Unitarian Universalist Green Sanctuary congregation, when MLUC’s sanctuary roof need work in 2011, this earth friendly, carbon emission conscious , environmentally activist congregation naturally noticed that the South facing, unshaded expanse would be a perfect place to further reduce their carbon footprint. The Green Sanctuary/Earth Concerns Organization committee sponsors many education, hands on, and community creation centered programs. They also participate the Mainline Interfaith Green Group, many PA IPL activities and IPL national efforts, and together with other congregational leadership had already completed efforts to provide energy efficient lighting, renewable energy sourcing, motion sensor controlled lights in most rooms, programmable thermostats, and other energy saving changes as well as environment friendly landscaping. MLUC also worked with Central Baptist Church in Wayne, PA to distribute low energy CFLs to low income families in Radnor County. MLUC continues to provide financial support for the ongoing CBC program.

By the Numbers:
estimated system life………………25 years Continue reading

Longest Day Solar: national day of action.2

This post is the second in our Longest Day Solar series.  Learn more about the National Day of Action.

207826_214699188546806_5287405_nSolar Panels of Central Baptist Church, Wayne PA
During the week of April 6, 2009 Conergy of Paoli (formerly Mesa Environmental) completed installation of solar panels on the roof of the education building at Central Baptist Church (CBC) in Wayne, PA. On May 5th of that year PECO Energy, CBC’s utility, installed a sell-back meter that made the panels fully functional. When the panels are producing more energy than the church is using Continue reading

Longest Day Solar: national day of action.1

Bald Eagle State Forest, PA, Joe McDonald image source

Want solar technology that’ll cost you about $40 for 2 units and will pay for itself and save you money inside of a year?  It’s not a dream!  This technology is proven, with options to fit any situation, including rentals and places with restrictive homeowner covenants.

Factual joking aside, Interfaith Power & Light affiliates across the country are joining an effort by national, regional, and local partners to celebrate a National Day of Action  on June 21 (the longest day) to show support for switching to clean energy, fighting climate change, and the power of bringing solar power to communities all across the country.  We’re joining the #PutSolarOnIt effort with a posts about solar congregations in PA, and we hope you’ll share the news and info, plug your household in to solar by air- or sun-drying a load of laundry and be inspired to learn more about solar (PV) power in (and for) your community.  If you already know a lot, let this be the nudge to jump on the bandwagon!

Our friends over at Citizens’ Climate Corps (now Communitopia) have released another of their fantastic Do Something videos for the occasion.  Watch below!

Links to resources named in the Do Something! video: