Embracing Sustainable Celebrations

candles-64177_960_720

Americans collectively throw out one million tons of trash every week between Thanksgiving and New Year’s. That’s 25% more on average than any other week of the year. We desire to spend this time gathering with loved ones to remember with gladness and thanksgiving the goodness that fills our collective life. Yet, our cultural experience of this festival season more aptly reflects a time of frenetic activity marked by overconsumption, over-spending and over-reaching boundaries.

GIPL has consolidated some sustainable tips so that we can return to what matters most this time of year: celebrating the goodness found in our relationships with others and with our Earth.

Continue reading

Inspiration from Voices for the Earth

earth1-1-7

Rev. Woody Bartlett, GIPL Co-Founder and current Board Member, wrote this text for Holy Trinity Parish‘s Voices for the Earth event on November 5th. Please enjoy these inspiring words and view more event photos here


The 18th Century English hymnist, Isaac Watts, states as well as anyone that God is everywhere present in the Creation. God is behind the mountains, the stars, the creatures, everything. “Everywhere that I could be, thou, God, art present there.” Let us sing together one of Watts’ most compelling hymns, “I sing the almighty power of God”.  

But our present day experience is far from the awe-inspiring vision of Isaac Watts. We humans have often had a crushing impact upon the Earth. Just take Muhlenberg County, Kentucky, as it is described by John Prine in “Paradise”.

Continue reading

Join the Green Team Registry

green-team-logo

Does your congregation have a Green Team? A Sustainability Committee? A Creation Care Team? Whatever the name, GIPL wants to know all about it!

We are creating a registry of Green Teams from congregations across Georgia. This registry will help us better understand the needs of Georgia’s faith communities as we strive to create programs and resources addressing sustainability and stewardship. Green Teams on the registry will connect with the growing network of sustainably-focused faith communities to share ideas and support!

Continue reading

A Prayer of Awe & Thanksgiving

2016-07-26-14-09-55

O God of all that is and was and is to come, you have placed us in a Universe of Wonder,

From wildly spinning galaxies in the night skies
To oh-my-gosh sunsets seen from the back porch
From the intricate webs of spiders in the nearby forest
To the busy order of ants going about their business in our front yards.

Continue reading

GIPL is Launching a Green Team Registry!

Thomas Torbit, center, gets some help from his brother Michael Torbit, left center, and grandson Dylan, right, as he pulls the Red Oak tree from the pot, as grandson Tyler Torbit, left, looks on and grandmother Sharlene Torbit holds her youg grandson Joesph, during the tree dedication at Eden Mill in memory of the boys' mother, Amanda Torbit, who died in 2012.

Does your congregation have a Green Team? A Sustainability Committee? A Creation Care Team? Whatever the name, GIPL wants to know all about it!

We are creating a registry of Green Teams from congregations across Georgia. This registry will help us better understand the needs of Georgia’s faith communities as we strive to create programs and resources addressing sustainability and stewardship. Green Teams on the registry will connect with the growing network of sustainably-focused faith communities to share ideas and support!

Continue reading

Celebrating Our Luncheon with Dr. Mary Evelyn Tucker

dsc_0152

Last Friday, over 80 people representing many faith traditions joined together for a luncheon and conversation with Dr. Mary Evelyn Tucker of Yale University and The Forum on Religion and Ecology.

After enjoying beautiful and delicious vegan stuffed pumpkins catered by Joy Cafe, attendees were treated to an engaging and challenging discussion on Pope Francis’ encyclical, Laudato Si. Arguing that this document is the most impactful of the last 30 years, Dr. Tucker spoke about its deep resonance with the current environmental movement. Scientists and activists are looking to the faith community for resilience and hope. Now is the time to join the movement! Dr. Tucker emphasized that together, as an interfaith community, we are stronger. Let us heed this powerful call to action, banding together in hope to bring forth a sustainable and resilient future!

Continue reading

Fair Trade For All

352017_orig

Do you know where your coffee, chocolate, or spices come from? Do you know the work conditions of the producers? Do you know how your purchases impact the environment? Do you know what “fair trade” really means?

fairtrade_chocolate_yum-yumMany consumers in the West would answer these questions with a resounding ‘no’. We are often worlds away from the sources of products that we enjoy every day. From this distant vantage point, it is easy to dismiss Fair Trade Certified products as merely ‘trendy.’, which many of us are quick to do. When we aren’t faced with the reality of our decisions’ impacts, we choose the cheapest product over the ethically-sourced one.

Continue reading

Creation Care Champion: John Hitchins

BOUTIQUE BLOOMS FLOWER SHOP

GIPL is excited to announce a new initiative to share the stories of individuals who have been our partners, allies, and inspirations in this work of caring for creation.  These “Creation Care Champions” have worked diligently in their communities drawing the connection between environmental concerns and their various faith traditions, revealing a common appreciation for the community of life, justice, stewardship, and awe. We hope that you are inspired by their stories and learn from their journeys.

John Hitchins is a development/fundraising professional with a passion for sustainability programs. Advocate for conservation with experience in fundraising, education, outreach and event management. He has sixteen years of experience in non-profit and for-profit focusing on delivering 100% client, guest and donor satisfaction.

Continue reading

Toxic Coal Ash in Our Communities

13713018604_73ab81df09_b

An often unspoken byproduct of coal-fired power is coal ash – this toxic waste that is stored in “ponds” around power plants across the region. In the aftermath of Hurricane Matthew, there is great concern over the flooding of coal ash ponds in North Carolina. The stress of extra water on the dams could cause a massive leak of the toxic waste, or the floodwaters could spread the toxins through miles of waterways, contaminating communities as the toxic waste spreads out of control.

After coal is burned in power plants, the byproduct, coal ash, is collected and stored in ponds or dry landfills across the southeast. Coal-fired power plants in the US produce 140 million tons of coal ash waste each year. This waste contains heavy metals and toxic contaminants, including arsenic, lead, mercury, selenium, cadmium, and chromium. Many of the storage facilities, especially the ponds or ‘lagoons’, do not have waterproof liners, and this toxic ash can leak into groundwater and public drinking water supplies.

Continue reading

Responding to Hurricane Matthew

(Photo: Dieu Nalio Chery, AP)

In the wake of another extreme weather event, we again ask ourselves: What can we do? How will we respond?

The effects of climate change on seasonal weather events are clear, and will only intensify. The human suffering caused by Hurricane Matthew is a glimpse of what the future will bring. These realities are frightening, and can cause us to turn away and isolate ourselves, or turn to despair.

As people of faith, we must resist and stay close to our humanity.

Continue reading