by Rich Gittens, Green Team Lead for GIPL African American Clergy Engagement Pilot
The short, easy answer is … Valerie Hill-Rawls, who has the very long title of, “GIPL African American Creation Care Environmental Justice Pilot Community Engagement Project Manager.” Some months ago Valerie made a presentation at my church, Emmanuel Lutheran, and talked quite passionately about a phrase that I’d not heard used before that day. That phrase was, “environmental justice.” Now, I like to consider myself a fairly articulate guy. I understand “environmental” and I understand “justice” … but I’d not heard them used together. And while the implication seemed pretty clear, I wasn’t sure. So I raised my hand and I asked. From then on I was hooked. Continue reading
This article was originally posted on July 3, 2018 by the Presbyterian (PCUSA) Mission Agency.
Another new policy on engaging with issues of climate change–through preaching, embodying, advocating and proclaiming eco-justice– passed last month by the General Assembly environment committee and then by the General Assembly itself is below. Continue reading
Today’s blog post comes from GIPL friend Patrick Cobb, the Facilities Manager at Saint Anne’s Episcopal Church. Here he reflects on the process of receiving an Energy Audit from GIPL and what changes have been put in place following the audit. Additionally, Saint Anne’s has a large solar array installed on the parish, funded through a GIPL grant, which powers their administrative offices. Continue reading
In 2017, GIPL was pleased to provide a seed grant through our Four Directions Fund to Georgia Mountain Unitarian Universalist Church. One of ten grant recipients, Georgia Mountain UUC has a vibrant Green ministry that engages people within and beyond the four walls of the church. This past year, the congregation collaborated with several local organizations to tackle an environmental issue close to their hearts. Continue reading
Holy Comforter Episcopal Church has been a GIPL partner for over a decade, and received a pre-Power Wise energy audit in November 2007. The audit was conducted by Shane Totten of Southface and Woody Bartlett, GIPL co-founder. They were a former recipient of the GIPPY Trailblazer award. Holy Comforter applied for their first GIPL matching grant in 2009 and received $1,134 to upgrade T-12 fluorescent lights in the Parish Hall to T-5 fluorescents. This year, they applied for funding to upgrade their sanctuary lighting from 200 watt incandescent lights to 7 watt LED. The incandescent lights cost $770 annually to operate while the LED cost $32 annually. In addition, they will upgrade all their exit signs to LED. The grants committee recognized the merits of their grant application. The committee awarded Holy Comforter Episcopal Church $4,432 to help fund these energy conservation measures from their energy audit. Continue reading
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
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
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
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
Sunday, Feb. 25, 2018 – Text: Luke 17:11-19
First Christian Church, Eastman, Georgia
Rev. Dcn. Leeann Culbreath, for GIPL
On the way to Jerusalem Jesus was going through the region between Samaria and Galilee. 12As he entered a village, ten lepers approached him. Keeping their distance, 13they called out, saying, “Jesus, Master, have mercy on us!” 14When he saw them, he said to them, “Go and show yourselves to the priests.” And as they went, they were made clean. 15Then one of them, when he saw that he was healed, turned back, praising God with a loud voice. 16He prostrated himself at Jesus’ feet and thanked him. And he was a Samaritan. 17Then Jesus asked, “Were not ten made clean? But the other nine, where are they? 18Was none of them found to return and give praise to God except this foreigner?” 19Then he said to him, “Get up and go on your way; your faith has made you well.”
–Luke 17:11-19 Continue reading