More than a financial burden, Plant Vogtle a bad business decision for Georgia

Mike Sizemore is a long-time GIPL friend and supporter.  He reflects on some of what is wrong with Plant Vogtle.  This article originally ran on May 6, 2018 in the Saporta Report.

By Guest Columnist MICHAEL M. SIZEMORE, founding principal of Sizemore Group and a Fellow of the American Institute of Architects

What makes a good business decision? After running a successful architecture firm for decades, I’ve learned a thing or two about what guides good business judgment, and the importance of making sound decisions in the best interest of one’s clients. Continue reading

Sightings from the Treehouse: Mugged by Reality

Are houses of worship prepared for the current and coming natural disasters caused by climate change? If not, they need to be. During 2017, the faith community was in the heart of the hurricanes in the east and the wildfires in the west. They provided comfort and support to their ravaged congregants and local communities. They need to be prepared to do more and not be lulled into complacency by lack of awareness or political bent. Continue reading

Celebrating a Sustainable Ramadan

Our guest blogger today, Seema Ahmed, is a member of the West Cobb Islamic Center in Marietta, Georgia, sharing her practices during Ramadan that inform her commitments to Earth care.

Ramadan, which begins Thursday, is the holy month in which Muslims refrain from eating and drinking from sunrise to sunset. This is a month where one can evaluate where they are in life and how to be a better person, while strengthening their relationship with God. It is also a reminder to count your blessings and to give charity to those in need. Continue reading

Rev. Michael Malcom Named Environmental Justice Representative for Southeast Conference

by Michael Malcom

Peace and blessings,

I wanted to take some time to introduce myself. I am Michael Malcom and I am the newly appointed Environmental Justice Representative for the Southeast Conference. I am the Senior Pastor of Rush Memorial Congregational Church UCC in Atlanta, GA. I am also the Director of South Carolina Interfaith Power and Light. I consider myself an impassioned neophyte in manners of creation care. I heard, believe, and evangelize the message of creation care however I am new to the movement. This, for me, has placed me in the best position in this movement. I know just enough to follow the conversation yet; I am proficient enough in the novice language to interpret in a way that is manageable.

It is my passion to shape the language of creation care in a way that it calls all of our attention to the issue so that that the masses become environmentally conscious. I found myself drawn to this work through my experience with Sustaining Way which is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization that teaches about Sustainability and Creation Care. I found that the voice of the faith community (in particular, the African American faith community) is very sparsely represented in the conversation of Environmental Justice. I realized the importance of the voice of the Faith Community shaping the language of Environmental Justice to reach the masses and weave a message of hope throughout the language of Environmental Justice and Climate Care.

Continue reading

Why is Environmental Racism an Issue of Faith?

A reflection by Valerie Rawls

African-Americans developed what in modern terms might be regarded an environmental ethos long before the environmental justice movement, before the civil rights movement, and before they were emancipated and had citizenship rights conferred upon them.
– Mart A. Stewart, To Love the Wind and the Rain

Since 1987, the environmental justice movement has been trying to address inequalities that are the result of human settlement, industrial contamination, and unsustainable development. The United Church of Christ Commission for Racial Justice (CRJ) published a decisive report exposing the gross disregard for people of color as toxic waste landfills were sited in their communities throughout the nation. Toxic Waste and Race in the United States proved to be a critical foundation for the environmental justice movement that continues today. Continue reading

Celebrating Earth Day Through Diversity

Earth Day 2018 was April 22, and we are thrilled that so many of you celebrated!  GIPL invited congregations and houses of faith to share their plans for their Earth Day Celebrations.  Over the coming weeks, the GIPL team will be sharing a few of those stories.  The youth of Roswell Community Masjid reflect below on the interfaith Earth Day commemoration they hosted this year.  Continue reading

Guardians of Gaia Reflects on their Four Directions Fund Grant

In 2017, GIPL was pleased to provide a seed grant through our Four Directions Fund to the founders of Guardians of Gaia. One of ten grant recipients, Guardians of Gaia is a theatrical show infused with music and multi-media which combine to convey a powerful environmental message. It was conceived, co-written, directed and produced by Angela Bennett of Roots Productions, and was co-written and originally performed by The Pacha Mamas Continue reading

Green Team Summit Featured Sponsor: The Green Queen

As part of our 15th Anniversary celebration, GIPL hosted the first annual Green Team Summit at The Temple.  With over 125 participants and 57 congregations represented, the Summit offered workshops and special presentations on sustainability as a faith practice.  This inaugural event was hugely successful and in large part because of our supportive event sponsors. One of those sponsors was The Green Queen, founded by longtime GIPL friend Jennifer Hankey.   Continue reading

Care for Animals & The Laws of Kashrut

Today’s guest blogger is Bella Hoffner-Martin, a congregant of Congregation Bet Haverim in Atlanta, where she just celebrated her bat mitzvah last weekend. Bella now has become a full-fledged member of the Jewish community which includes embracing the moral responsibility for one’s own actions; eligibility to be called to read from the Torah and lead or participate in a minyan. 

When young teens are presented for bat mitzvah in the Jewish community, it is customary that they write a reflection on a portion of the Torah.  Last Saturday, Bella used the occasion of her ceremony to inspire the congregation gathered to live differently among G-d’s creatures. The GIPL Team thought her reflection was great inspiration for this Earth Day weekend! Continue reading

Our Beautiful Earth by GIPL Board Member Gary Garrett

Gary Garrett is a GIPL Board member and attends Kirkwood United Church of Christ in Atlanta. In honor of Earth Day, the GIPL blog features Gary’s reflection on the impact of his own church’s commitments to stewardship and sustainability. Kirkwood UCC won the GIPPY Light award in 2014 for excellence in worship and education for implementing their denomination’s Mission 4/1 Earth program. Continue reading