If future generations are to remember us more with gratitude than sorrow, we must achieve more than just the miracles of technology. We must also leave them a glimpse of the world as it was created, not just as it looked when we got through with it.
--Lyndon B. Johnson

Water Justice: A Global Event

Texas Impact's Sam Brannon is among the presenters at the Trinity Institute 2017 Water Justice Conference to commemorate World Water Day. The event will be held on March 22-24, 2017, live in New York City and webcast around the world.

World Water Day is coordinated by UN-Water in collaboration with governments and partners around the world.  The day focuses on taking action to tackle the global water crisis.  Action is needed now more than ever, as climate change’s effects on the global water cycle threaten to increase the water crisis.  With a sharp focus on the need for water justice initiatives in areas of access, droughts, pollution, rising tides, and flooding, Trinity Institute aims to offer actionable guidance for individuals, congregations, and the larger faith community surrounding these issues. 

To commemorate World Water Day, faith communities worldwide will lift their voices to draw attention to our obligation to care for God’s sustaining gift of water in all its forms.  In addition to Texas Impact's Sam Brannon, environmentalists and theologians who will speak at the conference include Barbara BoxerChristiana Zenner PeppardWinston HalapuaThabo MakgobaKatharine HayhoeMaude BarlowDavid ToomeyKim Stanley Robinson, and others.

Watch their presentations here.  

Climate Change - It's About the Kids!

On Saturday, February 25, 2017, join the Northern Texas-Northern Louisiana Synod of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America for a discussion about environmental stewardship, climate change and actions that Christians can take to care for the earth.

This conversation will examine theological and biblical mandates to care for the earth with a focus on climate change. Participants will discuss steps governments and individuals can take to preserve and protect the planet for the good of their children and grandchildren.

The event will feature a keynote address by Dr. Barbara Rossing, New Testament professor, Lutheran School of Theology at Chicago; action steps from Texas Impact’s Bee Moorhead and Rev. Sam Brannon; and presentations by several other outstanding speakers.

The event is $13 in advance and $20 at the door. Childcare will be provided for attendees: Ages 0-6 free, ages 7-12 $10 each to cover lunch.

Find more information and RSVP here.

TXIPL Participates in U.S. Climate Action Network Press Conference

In the wake of the U.S. election results in November 2016, Americans attending the 22nd Conference of the Parties (COP22) to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change started getting a lot of questions from their global colleagues.

What do we think of the president-elect?”  

What positions will he take on (name your issue)?”  

Who will he appoint to be in his Cabinet?”  

But mostly—since we are here at a conference focused on international cooperation on dealing with our shared planetary climate crisis—the question was, “What does the election mean for U.S. action on climate change?

After fielding these swirling questions for a full day, the U.S. Climate Action Network (USCAN) decided to dedicate their daily press conference on November 10th to the topic, and they asked the U.S. faith delegation to provide religious leaders to speak.  Interfaith speakers at the press conference included: The Right Reverend Marc Handley Andrus, Bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of California; Rev. Jenny Phillips, Minister for Environmental Stewardship and Advocacy for the Pacific Northwest Conference of The United Methodist Church; Imaad Khan, Policy Analyst, Texas Interfaith Power & Light; and Texas Interfaith Center Associate Director, Yaira Robinson, representing the Coalition on the Environment and Jewish Life (COEJL).

Yaira said, in part:

"Jews have too often experienced broken dreams, lost lives, and fractured community. We know that climate change will cause more stress, suffering, and migration—and already today, we see too many people all around the world experiencing loss and brokenness, too many having to leave home and seek welcome in foreign lands. 

Where there is brokenness, we are called to mend. This is tikkun olam: connecting, healing, mending. As Jews, we dedicate ourselves to building climate resilience in our local communities; to advocating for strong action on climate mitigation and adaptation at the state, regional, and national levels; and to being responsible global citizens through strong support for the Paris Agreement."

Read Yaira's full statement here.

Imaad said, in part:

"Texas is home to some of the worst climate disasters in the United States and it’s critically important that rural communities, inner city communities, impoverished cities along the border, are connected to civil society and faith leaders in the broader climate movement.  

For these vulnerable communities, local congregations are often a primary convenor, and we are working all over our state to resource and connect local congregations. The faith community has and will continue to assert that the voices of the most vulnerable to the effects of climate change must also be central in shaping our climate solutions."  

Read Imaad's full statement here.

Watch the full press conference on YouTube.

Cathedral of Hope Religion and Environmentalism Forum, April 23, 2016

On Saturday, April 23, the Cathedral of Hope will host a forum on Religion and Environmentalism. From Cathedral of Hope: "We will explore questions such as: What is the role of organized religion in protecting the planet? What people of faith have to say about this critical subject? What is our role as Christians? What can we do now?"

Panelists include: 

Rev. Samuel D Brannon | Outreach & Engagement Specialist, Texas Interfaith Center for Public Policy

Rev. Dr. Neil G. Cazares-Thomas | Senior Pastor, Cathedral of Hope

Green Dallas | Dallas Zero Waste Division

Dr. Melanie Harris | Associate Professor of Religion and Environmental Ethics, Texas Christian University

Dan Peeler | Secular Order of St. Francis and St. Clare, Cathedral of Hope

The event is free and open to the public. Learn more and RSVP here.

Texas Climate Action Activism Training in Fair Park, April 22, 2016

Our coalition partners at Environment Texas will host Texas Climate Action Activism Training in Fair Park, April 22, 2016, as part of the celebration of Earth Day. Bee Moorhead will present at the event.

Tackling the climate crisis takes skills and we're teaching them! Learn from top climate scientists, regulators and activists about the current state of climate science and policy and learn the skills necessary to beat the polluters, stop global warming and move Texas to 100% clean, renewable energy. Learn how to work with the media, build coalitions, recruit new volunteers and more.

Guest speakers:
Dr. Katharine Hayhoe and Dr. Jenni Vanos, Climate Science Center at Texas Tech University
Ron Curry, Regional Administrator, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
Tom "Smitty" Smith, Public Citizen
Luke Metzger, Environment Texas
Bee Moorhead, Texas Impact / Texas Interfaith Center for Public Policy

Learn more and RSVP for the free event here.

Join Dallas and Forth Worth Interfaith Power & Light at Earth Day Texas, April 22-24

Will you be in the Metroplex April 22-24? Come to Earth Day Texas to visit with members of Dallas Interfaith Power & Light and Fort Worth Interfaith Power & Light at their booth! They'll have information about how communities of faith can act on climate, as well as engaging activities and friendly faces--we hope to see you there!

Austin Interfaith Environmental Network Wins Austin Water Conservation Award

On Friday, March 25, Interfaith Environmental Network (IEN), the Austin chapter of Texas Interfaith Power and Light, won an award for Excellence in Water Conservation from Austin Water. The awards, presented by Austin Water Utility, recognize business and non-profits involved in water conservation and environmental stewardship.

IEN and other award winners were recognized at the Friday banquet, described in a story on Time Warner News. Congratulations to IEN for their dedication to environmental stewardship and creation care!

Faith Community Resources for Climate Action around Earth Day

Earth Day is a great time to engage your religious community in a call for action on climate! This year, join with communities of faith around the country to learn, reflect, and act during Faith Climate Action Week, 2016.

Learn

Paris Agreement

Latest climate science

Reflect

Act

Is your religious community planning an activity around Earth Day? Whether it’s a religious school class or a sermon, a festival or a trash-pick-up, a local foods potluck or a letter writing campaign, register your event at the Faith Climate Action Week website

Events


(Photo ”Texas Bluebonnets” by User Jeff P. used under a Creative Commons Attribution License.)

People of Faith Gather around the State for Interfaith Climate Vigils

As international leaders met in Paris for COP21, religious leaders in our state came together in a similar act of solidarity. On December 3, 2015, interfaith groups across Texas hosted events during which members of various faith communities shared their traditions’ perspectives on climate change and discussed what it means to come together in pursuit of a common goal: climate justice and sustainability.

The vigils—which took place in houses of worship in Dallas, Austin, San Antonio, and Houston—opened with readings of excerpts from various traditions’ declarations and statements on climate change. Whether the words came from the Rabbinic Letter on the Climate Crisis, the Islamic Declaration on Climate Change, Pope Francis’s Laudato Sí, or a host of other faiths’ statements, they all communicated consistent themes: religious conviction, solidarity with the most vulnerable, a shared concern for the natural world, and a vision of hope.

Some of the vigils also participated in a call with Bee, Yaira, Austin Mayor Steve Adler, and Austin City Council Member Leslie Pool, who shared stories and encouragement from their time at COP21. The vigils closed with a time of reflection and discussion during which religious leaders grappled with big questions—How do we continue to effect change at a local level? Where do we find hope in the face these challenges?

Now, COP21 has come to a close. The Paris climate agreement signals a profound moment in the history of international climate work, and the presence, witness, and efforts of the faith community helped make this agreement a reality! 

Media coverage of the vigils:

TXIPL is Going to Paris for COP 21

Texas Interfaith Power and Light is going to Paris! We (that’s us, Yaira & Bee) will be there for the first week of UN climate talks, November 30-December 6, 2015. As leaders from 196 nations meet to hammer out a binding and universal agreement on global climate action, we’ll connect with activists, scientists, and religious leaders from around the world in order to bring real-world climate justice stories home to the Texas faith community through videos, photos, and blog shorts in a special series we’re calling “Boots ‘n’ Berets.”

Learn more about COP 21 here. Follow Bee and Yaira's adventures here.

Local, state and national faith groups from around the U.S. are sending delegates to the talks. Meanwhile, back home in Texas, we know you’ll be calling for climate action in all kinds of ways:

Texas Climate Vigils

On Thursday evening, December 3rd, we hope you’ll join with others in your community to hold an interfaith vigil for climate action. These events will provide dedicated time for reflection, community connection, and shared commitment…plus, we’ll video-conference in from Paris to provide a live update! So far, Dallas, San Antonio, Austin, and Houston have events planned—and there’s still time to host a vigil if there’s not one already planned near you!

In the wake of the devastating terror attacks in Paris, some of the public actions planned for Paris won’t be possible. This makes global grassroots action—your action!—all the more important. Large and small, from Nacogdoches to El Paso, Amarillo to McAllen, our actions matter and can help make a difference.

As world leaders struggle toward agreements to protect the climate we all need to survive, faith voices are crucial. Faith groups from around the world are issuing calls for strong action, like this statement from the World Council of Churches/ACT Alliance. In the face of daunting challenges, the world needs faithful voices of hope. Join us!

Learn more about the Paris climate talks and ways to take action here.

We will be providing updates 2-3 times per day from November 30 until December 6. Join in the conversation on Twitter #BootsNBerets or follow @TexasInterfaith for news from Paris. You can also keep up with Bee and Yaira's travels on the TXIPL Facebook page or at http://texasimpact.org/Paris-2015.

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