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

January Interfaith Environmental Conference Call: How to Start a Green Team in Your Congregation

Our first interfaith environmental conference call of 2012 is scheduled for Wednesday, January 25th at 12:00 p.m. For this call, we are excited to have Robin Nelson, Environmental Stewardship Manager for the Unitarian Universalist Association, as our guest presenter. In honor of a new year and new possibilities, Robin will give us some tips on "How to Start a Green Team in Your Congregation."

And if your congregation already has a green team, we hope you'll join the conversation to lend some of your expertise, too. As always, we will have some time for callers to ask questions, share ideas and connect!

January Interfaith Environmental Conference Call

Sign Up for the 2012 National Preach-In on Global Warming

This year's National Preach-In on Global Warming will be over Valentine’s Day weekend, February 10-12, 2012. Clergy of all religions, lay leaders, and green team members from across the country are invited to participate, and when you sign up to preach, teach, or host an event, we'll make a variety of support resources available in January, including:

The Olive Trees and the Menorah: A Chanukah Teaching on Sustainability from Rabbi Neal Katz

The Chanukah menorah is a variation of the classic menorah—which traditionally only has seven branches. The nine-branch Chanukah menorah was designed to accommodate the eight day celebration of the festival, but the seven-branch version was the original biblical design. In the book of Exodus, and elsewhere in the Torah, we find repeated commandments to build a seven-branch candelabrum with very specific design instructions, including special floral patterns and cups that had to be beaten into the all-gold menorah.  The menorah would stand in the desert tabernacle, and later in the Temple in Jerusalem.
 

The Holy Land Garden and the Headwaters Sanctuary, San Antonio: A Guest Blog from Sister Martha Ann Kirk

One does not save what one does not love. To save God’s creation, we need to help the younger generation fall in love with its beauty. The ecological problems of over consumption and destruction of the environment cannot be solved by science alone. They demand spiritualties of recognizing the common humanity of the other and putting the common good before one’s selfish interests. At the University of the Incarnate Word (UIW) in San Antonio, the Holy Land Garden, a place of common ground, is used to invite students and all to deeper spirituality.

COP 17 - International Climate Talks in Durban: Information & Religious Resources

Government leaders, scientists, lobbyists, activists, and yes--religious leaders--are meeting in Durban, South Africa from November 28 - December 10, 2011 for international climate negotiations. On this page, we've collected links to information about the conference and the issues, as well as news about how people of faith are involved.

If you have stories you'd like for us to include, please send us an e-mail!

 

Self-Sustaining Advent Calendar from Earth Ministry

The 2011 Self-Sustaining Advent Calendar from Earth Ministry, home of Washington Interfaith Power & Light, is now available! On the calendar, you'll find one tip for each day that will help decrease stress and increase meaningful celebration this holiday season.

Click here to download the calendar as a pdf. Happy holidays!

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Photo by Jennifer Spengler (Attribution via Flickr, Creative Commons)

Sustainable Holiday Ideas

Christmas and Hannukah are, among other things, about deepening our connections to family, friends, and faith—but sometimes it can seem like the main focus of the season is shopping, stress, and stuff! Here we offer some ideas to cultivate appreciation this season and celebrate in ways that are more sustainable for both you and the planet.

There are a lot of ideas here, but please don't feel overwhelmed. The best approach might be to add one or two new practices each year, and grow into a more sustainable holiday season over time. We wish you much joy this season!

If  you have suggestions for other ways to celebrate sustainably or resources to share, please e-mail us to let us know.

November Interfaith Environmental Conference Call: In a Time of Darkness, Light

Our November interfaith environmental conference call is scheduled for Wednesday, November 30th at 12:00 p.m. On this call, we'll focus on some religious themes and teachings of the upcoming Jewish holiday of Hannukah and Christian holiday of Christmas, and connect them to our work of caring for Creation. Both holidays have a theme of light and hope emerging in a time of darkness, and we'll wonder what these teachings might mean for us today.

We are delighted to have as guest speakers on the call, Rabbi Neal Katz of Congregation Beth El in Tyler, Texas; and Sister Martha Ann Kirk, a professor at the University of the Incarnate Word and member of the Sisters of Charity of the Incarnate Word in San Antonio.

As always, we will have some time for callers to ask questions, share ideas and connect!

November Interfaith Environmental Conference Call

     Wednesday, November 30, 2011, 12:00-1:00 p.m.

Texas Impact Supports Proposition 8

Texas Impact (of which Texas Interfaith Power & Light is a part) is among a broad, diverse group of statewide and local organizations that has pledged its support for Proposition 8 in this November’s state constitutional election. Proposition 8, known as the Water Stewardship Amendment, will create an incentive for landowners who manage their property in a way that conserves and protects water for future generations of Texans.

Proposition 8 was passed unanimously by the Texas Legislature with bipartisan support and will provide private landowners another tool as stewards of the state’s natural resources. Currently, Texas property owners who use their land to promote agriculture or protect wildlife are eligible to have that property assessed as agricultural land, which tends to reduce their property taxes.  Proposition 8 would extend a similar tax incentive if they choose to manage their land to conserve water and protect water quality.

Rev. Sally Bingham's Visit to Austin, 2011

On the weekend of October 21-23, Reverend Canon Sally Bingham, Founder and President of Interfaith Power & Light, brought to the Austin religious community a strong message about our shared responsibility to care for creation. Through a series of events, people came together to listen, learn, share, and connect.

The weekend kicked off on Friday evening at All Saints Episcopal Church with a community celebration of art and music, "Under the Same Sky," featuring an interactive performance by the Drumsistas.

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