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

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.

Rev. Sally Bingham's Message to Austin's Interfaith Community

This message was delivered by Rev. Canon Sally Bingham to an interfaith gathering in Austin on Saturday, October 22, 2011.

We are living at a difficult time in history, but at the same time, it is an exciting moment to be alive.  Things around us are changing very fast. There have been uprises in the Middle East, but I am not referring to the death of Osama Bin Laden, or Qaddafi or the trouble in Syria and Afghanistan, but rather the revolutions in both Tunisia and Egypt and now taking place on Wall Street and around this country. None of these events would be so successful without the aid of social networks. They have changed our lives. We are having to create “new norms for a new reality.” In the meantime, we are dealing with economic recession, terrorism, severe environmental degradation all over the world and along with that, the increasingly scary signs of runaway global climate change which is what I am here to talk about.

This Saturday in Austin: Community Conversation on Climate Change with Rev. Sally Bingham and More

Join us at All Saints Episcopal Church, Austin, on Saturday, October 22nd at 9:00 a.m. for a Community Conversation on Climate Change, featuring the President and Founder of Interfaith Power and Light, Reverend Sally Bingham, and including three other great speakers: Dr. Camille Parmesan of the University of Texas at Austin, Ilan Levin of the Environmental Integrity Project, and Amanda Yaira Robinson of Texas Interfaith Power & Light. Read on for more information about all four participants, and we hope to see you on Saturday!

About Sukkot and Our Work to Care for Creation

At the end of each month's interfaith environmental conference call, we close our time together with a prayer. Often, I'll ask a clergy-person to lead us. Today, though, the theme of this month's call--"greening" the holidays--had me thinking about the current Jewish holiday of Sukkot, which ends today at sundown. What follows are the words I offered at the close of today's call.


Today is the last day of the Jewish festival of Sukkot, during which we are commanded to go outside and sit in temporary dwellings, open to the elements. This act of moving outside for seven days is a reminder of our impermanence and fragility, our connection to the natural world, and our responsibility to be engaged with and active in the larger world, outside our comfort zone. All of that might sound pretty heavy.

But during this festival of Sukkot, we are also commanded to be happy and joyful!

October Interfaith Environmental Conference Call: Greening the Holidays

Our October interfaith environmental conference call is scheduled for Wednesday, October 19th at 12:00 p.m. On this call, we'll focus on upcoming winter holidays and explore environmentally-friendly ways to celebrate on the individual and congregational levels. We'll also include information about ongoing programs, upcoming opportunities, and policy updates. If you or your congregation already does something green for the holidays--or if you don't but are looking for ideas, please plan to join us!

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

October Interfaith Environmental Conference Call

     Wednesday, October 19, 2011, 12:00-1:00 p.m.

     Dial-in number: (712) 432-3066 

     Conference Code: 424548

Interfaith Service of Public Prayer and Purpose Kicks Off Austin's Keystone XL Hearing

September 28, 2011

AUSTIN—Texas religious leaders led an interfaith prayer service at the LBJ Fountain on the UT Campus this morning immediately before the start of US State Department hearings on a controversial international oil pipeline. Worship leaders representing Catholic, Protestant, Buddhist, Unitarian Universalist and Jewish traditions offered prayers, readings and meditations that highlighted the interconnected nature of life on earth and called for renewed stewardship of our shared resources.

Interfaith Service of Public Prayer and Purpose before Austin's Keystone XL Hearing

Please join us in Austin on Wednesday, September 28th at 10:30 a.m., before the U.S. State Department hearing on the Keystone XL pipeline begins, for an interfaith prayer service. Religious leaders of different traditions will frame the day by offering words and readings, prayer and meditation. This interfaith service of prayer and purpose will be held just outside the LBJ Library. Please join us and invite others.

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