After noting a lack of forage and habitat for butterflies, Monarchs in particular, and lack of forage for pollinators like bees, Nacoochee Presbyterian Church decided to take action. Bees sustain much of our natural food supply, therefore we must find ways to help sustain their living environment. By planting both a butterfly garden and a pollinator garden, project participants were able to provide a habitat for butterflies and bees, bring awareness to church members of all ages about the importance of these insects to the ecosystem, and provide beauty as well.
The gardens use plants as well as bushes that attract butterflies and bees. Because the church is surrounded by a pasture as well, they were able to establish a pollinator wild flower garden. The first wild flower area is near the playground at Nacoochee Presbyterian, and they hope to expand this wild flower garden each year in areas at the edge of the pasture to ensure there are always nectar and pollen producing flowers for bees and other pollinators. With current development and landscaping near the church campus, places that in the past were allowed to grow up in “weeds” are now nicely manicured. While they look pretty, the native plants that provide forage and shelter for butterflies, bees and other pollinators are greatly reduced. These gardens are one way we can help in this problem.
GIPL is proud to support a project that is helping sustain the ecosystem already in place, despite the challenges of development near the church. We look forward to seeing Nacoochee Presbyterian’s wild flower and pollinator gardens grow over the years. Click here to view images of the gardens.
To qualify for funding from the Four Directions Fund, you and others from your faith community can sign up for a Sacred Activism workshop offered by GIPL. All participants that complete the workshop are eligible to apply for a seed grant of $300 which can be used to fund your special project. To learn more, visit http://www.gipl.org/four-directions-fund-workshop-grant/.
GIPL held our second annual Green Team Summit on Sunday, January 27, 2019. We are grateful to The Temple for hosting us again this year! To celebrate the end of our 15th Anniversary year, John Anderson Lanier, Executive Director of the Ray C. Anderson Foundation offered a keynote address during dinner. Continue reading
St. Matthew Catholic Church in Tyrone is one of 11 members the Catholic Pilot Project. This project, whose full name is the “Laudato Si’ Action Plan Pilot Project,” came to life when the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Atlanta decided to run a pilot project to support this group of parishes and schools in making environmental improvements. “Laudato Si’: On Care for Our Common Home” is Pope Francis’ encyclical about caring for the earth and each other. Continue reading
Let’s start out with a basic fact. Global temperatures are 1-degree C over pre-industrial levels. With that increase we are seeing:
- Melting of the Arctic and Antarctic,
- Accelerating sea level rise,
- Ocean acidification,
- Global ecosystem disruption,
- Spread of vectors and diseases,
- Extreme storm intensification,
- Increased drought and flooding
- Expansion of wildfires
St. Paul the Apostle Catholic Church in Cleveland, Georgia is one of 11 members the Catholic Pilot Project. This project, whose full name is the “Laudato Si’ Action Plan Pilot Project,” came to life when the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Atlanta decided to run a pilot project to support this group of parishes and schools in making environmental improvements. “Laudato Si’: On Care for Our Common Home” is Pope Francis’ encyclical about caring for the earth and each other. 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.
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
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