After researching and writing 20+ blogs over two years on climate change and the faith community, several themes and actions have organically emerged. They will be summarized below to pull together the threads identified through the Sightings blog series. These suggestions hopefully will help the faith community understand the current state of creation and steps they can take to prepare and adapt to changing ecological conditions occurring across the planet now and in the coming decades. This period is commonly referred to as the Anthropocene epoch, the age of the humans. 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
Photo courtesy of Chris Donaghue
When I first discovered Thomas Berry, world religion scholar and renowned author, my eyes opened wide as I felt a void being filled. Over the past 50 years, scientific findings about the creation of the universe, earth, life and consciousness have provided answers about our origins. Thomas Berry’s work culminated in the call for a new creation story, one based on scientific fact and not just faith. He urges us to move from a scientific-technological focus to one based on ecological principles; one founded on recognizing the intrinsic value of nature. The whole planet is one complex ecosystem all working in harmony and self-supporting, thus enabling the earth to maintain conditions suitable for life and its evolution. James Lovelock calls this the Gaia Theory. Everything is interconnected. Berry felt the old creation story for Christians, Genesis, served its purpose through history, but new scientific discoveries beg for a new creation story. Continue reading
Congratulations to St. Peter Claver Regional Catholic School in Decatur for receiving a GIPL Energy Efficiency Matching Grant! This Catholic school is one of 11 members the Catholic Pilot Project. 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
Christ Our Hope Catholic Church in Lithonia 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
Earlier this year, GIPL received a grant to provide direct support to selected parishes of the Catholic Archdiocese of Atlanta for their Creation care efforts. A pilot project was developed to help nine parishes and three schools increase energy efficiencies and water conservations while helping to reduce their overall environmental impact by 25%.
This project is part of a larger effort by the Archdiocese to respond to Pope Francis’s 2015 Encyclical on the environment, Laudato Si. In 2016, the Archdiocese published its Climate Action Plan as a hopeful response to the Pope’s encyclical. Continue reading
This guest column by Susan Varlamoff, GIPL Board Member and coauthor of ‘Laudato Si Action Plan’, was originally published in SaportaReport.
Nature abhors a vacuum. With the withdrawal of the United States from the Paris climate accord, there is a void in global leadership on climate change that others are willing and able to fill it. Countries like China, Germany and France are stepping up. In the U.S., states, cities, universities, corporations, and even churches are voluntarily reducing greenhouse emissions in the spirit of the Paris climate accord.
Inspired by the Pope’s environmental encyclical Laudato Si – a plea to humanity to care for creation – an interdisciplinary group of University of Georgia scientists of various faiths created a Laudato Si Action Plan in November 2015.
As men and women of science and faith, they feel a moral and scientific imperative to sustain the earth for future generations. They believe in the “power of the pulpit” to transmit the Pope’s call to action in churches, temples, mosques, and synagogues. With the millions and even billions of people attending faith services, they expect their collective action can make a difference. Continue reading
St. Thomas Aquinas Catholic Church in Alpharetta was a awarded a GIPL Power Wise Energy Efficiency Matching Grant to support their in-house energy efficiency efforts. Following their energy audit in June 2016, they applied for a grant to complete a LED lamp upgrade in the community life building as part of a $80,000 renovation project. The LED upgrade will save an estimated $2,920 in annual energy costs. The church was awarded $2,349 by GIPL to implement the project. Board member Kemal Korucu presented the check to St. Thomas clergy and staff.
GIPL embarked on a new partnership with the Catholic Archdiocese of Atlanta as funded through a special grant earlier this year. This partnership supports a new initiative to help Catholic parishes and parochial schools embrace energy efficiency and water conservation in response to Pope Francis’ encyclical – Laudato Si. In 2016, the Archdiocese published The Climate Action Plan as a practical guide for parishes in adapting the teachings of Laudato Si. Recognizing that GIPL has resources and programs to help parishes in the area, the Archdiocese invited GIPL to create a special pilot project in service to 9 selected parishes and 3 local Catholic school. Continue reading
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!