GIPL Board member and frequent guest blogger, Susan Varlamoff offers her favorite eco-friendly tricks for the holiday season:
Make Natural Decorations: Rather than buying plastic ornaments, wreaths, and decorations shipped from overseas, make your own from pine cones, holly, seashells, river stones, and evergreen branches. Christmas tree lots often will give away branches they’ve trimmed off the bottom of trees. Continue reading
Solarize Newton-Morgan is a community-based solar photovoltaic group purchasing program that helps homeowners, businesses and nonprofits save on the cost of solar by leveraging the power of bulk purchasing — the more that participate, the greater the savings! Sara Vinson is one of our Solarize Newton-Morgan Ambassadors. She reflects… Continue reading
On October 20, the GIPL team gathered with forty Creation care champions for the first ever Coastal Green Team Summit. The Rev. Dr. Jennifer Ayres from Candler School of Theology kicked off the gathering reminding us that we are “profoundly located.” And indeed, we were profoundly located at First Baptist Church Saint Simon’s Island. For that we are deeply grateful! Continue reading
Last week was a real doozy. I was just beginning to digest the intense news that came from the United Nations’ IPPC latest report on rising global temperatures and the fact that we have far less time to turn this ship around. Then came Hurricane Michael, delivering a catastrophic blow to people and places I love along the Gulf Coast & South Georgia. I join countless others now feverishly praying for those enduring the intensity of this massive storm. I am shaken by the profound vulnerability of the world in this moment.
Pema Chodron, Buddhist teacher & author, writes of the power of such vulnerability, “This tenderness for life [called bodhichitta] awakens when we no longer shield ourselves from the vulnerability of our condition, from the basic fragility of existence. It awakens through kinship with the suffering of others. We train so as to become open and take in the pain of the world, let it touch our hearts and turn it into compassion.”
Using the lens of this spiritual teacher, I now think it is quite possible to see the dire news from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change as an opportunity for the human family rather than a death knell. Our exposed vulnerability can move us towards hopeful action on behalf of G-d’s fragile planet.
I can attest through the hundreds of people and houses of worship with whom I connect through GIPL on a weekly basis that much of what is needed for course-correction by 2030 is already underway. And yet, we need to move faster. That’s the most important aspect of the report. We can no longer deny that the climate is changing rapidly and having negative impacts on vulnerable communities across the globe.
The collective actions required to keep us from warming the planet by another 2+degrees (Celsius) fall on industry and individuals, governments and NGOs. It’s not a matter of when, but HOW.
Fortunately, IPCC scientists didn’t just hit the panic button. They provided concrete steps forward for us. It’s as if Mother Earth called to say, “Install solar. Plant trees. Eat your veggies!”
Now I do not intend to make light of the IPCC report’s serious warning to us about our fate on this suffering planet. I do wish to highlight an encouraging word embedded in that historic document — our consumer choices matter. As people of faith, we must see ourselves as more than consumers. We are citizens of this world.
We are neighbors sharing a common home. All of the world’s major religions teach the value of showing care for our neighbors. Adopting the IPCC’s recommendations and embracing climate action shows love of neighbor.
Today, love of neighbor looks like:
– a new energy plan that provides affordable, renewable energy;
– a more sustainable, plant-focused diet that wastes less;
– planting trees one grove at a time; and
– engaging our elected officials to adopt climate action plans for all communities.
All of these climate actions can be practiced as individuals, as congregations, and as entire communities. GIPL has the resources to support you in making these changes – whether you join one of our Solarize campaigns, get serious about reducing food waste or support reforestation projects in Georgia or beyond.
Remember, “Hope is a verb with its sleeves rolled up.” (with thanks to David Orr) In the wake of this game-changing climate report, let’s roll up our sleeves and get to hope!
(Connect with GIPL Team today and share with us ways that your faith community is responding to the United Nation IPCC’s call to action. Email us: firstname.lastname@example.org)
Rev. Kate McGregor Mosley is GIPL’s Executive Director and Chief Officer for Hope.
GIPL is preparing for our first ever Community Garba Celebration, in honor of the Hindu holiday Navratri. Navratri is a nine-night, autumn festival which celebrates the triumph of good over evil and honors the different forms of Goddess Durga (Source: https://ndtv.com). This year, Navratri begins at sundown on Tuesday, October 9 and ends Thursday, October 18. In honor of this festival celebration, we are offering a post that originally ran in The Huffington Post on September 27, 2014: 5 Reasons you Should go to a Garba Raas Dance During the Hindu Holiday of Navratri. Continue reading
In 2017, GIPL was pleased to provide a seed grant through our Four Directions Fund to Emerson Unitarian Universalist Church. One of ten grant recipients, Emerson UUC has a vibrant Green ministry that engages people of all ages. This past year, the congregation took on a nesting project, creating nesting houses for a variety of animals. Continue reading
This post reflects thoughts on how Christians can prepare and preserve a fitting, earthly place for God to dwell in and around us.
As I write this, my son has just returned from a college internship in Wrangell-St. Elias National Park and Wilderness Preserve in Alaska.
Many of us may not have heard of Wrangell-St. Elias, which is one our newer National Parks, albeit the largest, comprising an area larger than Yellowstone, Yosemite, and Switzerland (which is not one of our parks!) combined. Continue reading
My name is Ben Wilkinson, and I am a rising senior at Dunwoody High School and a member of Dunwoody UMC. In June, I became a Sustainability Ambassador for the City of Atlanta. The Sustainability Ambassador program is a series of six classes, each one dedicated to a specific topic related to environmentalism, including food, power, water, waste, and weather. Each session features one or two speakers who work on projects pertaining both to the class theme and sustainability. For example, the speaker at the fourth class was the designer of forty miles of flood tunnels under Atlanta and specially-designed parks that can flood when needed to prevent dangerous sewer overflows. The second class featured representatives of the Tennessee Valley Authority, which operates some of the largest hydroelectric dams in the US, and an engineer tasked with designing and deploying windmills off the East Coast. Continue reading
A common theme among many of the previous Sightings blogs is that natural laws (physics, chemistry and biology) govern the planet and universe and that life has evolved from the basic elements released during the Big Bang. Each organism is part of a population of similar organisms and an ecosystem made up of other plants, animals and inorganic features. They also evolved from a common ancestor living about 3.5 billion years ago. Continue reading
Written by Colin Christopher, this blog was originally posted on August 16, 2018 by Blessed Tomorrow. Blessed Tomorrow is a coalition of diverse religious partners united as faithful stewards of creation. Together, we inspire our communities to take action today on one of the greatest moral challenges of our era — protecting our shared home.
A few weeks ago, award-winning filmmaker Mawish Raza and I made the unlikely journey to Houston in the middle of July to make a film about climate change and the Muslim community. Everyone knows that Houston is hot and humid, but our time there included temperatures rising to 105 degrees. Some of our camera equipment was on the verge of melting. While there, many people mentioned to us that summer temperatures continue to rise year after year Continue reading