VTIPL Update – Welcome to Faith Climate Action Week!

Happy Faith Climate Action Week April 17-26

Love Made Visible

spring flower rock
copyright 2020 Gerald Lee Hoffman
  • Message from VTIPL Board V.P. Rev. Jane Dwinell
  • FCAW activities and resources
  • IPL co-hosts Washington National Cathedral Earth Day Service 4/19
  • The Human Element film – free access to feature film for FCAW 4/17-4/26
  • National Geographic Earth Day 50th Anniversary Issue & TV special 4/22
  • Cool Congregations IPL webinar – 4/30
  • Update from Montpelier

We begin with thoughts from VTIPL Board Vice-President, Rev. Jane Dwinell:

My colleague, the Rev. Peggy Clarke, wrote recently:
“While I’m sure a lot of us can’t wait to ‘get back to normal’, I’m wondering if we might find a way, collectively, not to do that. Right now, we’re burning less oil and coal than we have in decades. We’re consuming less, shifting our cultural materialism to conservation as we live into the fragility of our supply chains and the reality that we need less than we thought we did. We’re spending time outside, focusing more on the people right in front of us, preparing our own meals, and making do with what we have. We aren’t racing to get anywhere, living by externally enforced schedules or otherwise trying to be in two places at once. And, it’s OK. I‘m not saying it’s ideal or that I don’t miss my life, which I do. I’m saying that we can learn from this. We don’t have to recreate the whirlwind we had before. We can learn how to stay home, how to say no, how to live far more simply than we have been. If we want to, we never have to live that life we called normal again. We can create a new, slower, healthier, more conscious, more spacious, more joyful normal.”

What new things have you learned in this time when we’ve all been at home? What new habits do you have that you’d like to keep? What are you happy to let go of? Are you planning on starting a garden or increasing your local food purchases? What are you grateful for? We’d love to hear from you! Please tell us your story – nothing fancy, it can be short and simple – and we’ll publish them in subsequent newsletters.
Send your thoughts to VTIPL Coordinator Donna Roberts, at info@vtipl.org.

Faith Climate Action Week – April 17-26. Theme: Love Made Visible
VTIPL is happy to share activities and FCAW links (listed at the end of this mailing) to help your congregations and communities participate.
From sermons, music and daily video messages from diverse faith leaders, to an Earth Day Service and a free film screening, there are many ways to take part. Please inform us if you participate in FCAW in any way. We’ll add your activities to a national map. Thanks!

Interfaith Power & Light is co-sponsoring a Multi-Faith Earth Day Service
at the Washington National Cathedral on April 19, at 2:00 p.m.
Learn more here and watch online.

The Human Element film is available for free on-line viewing April 17-26 as the official film of Faith Climate Action Week; it’s a great way to raise awareness about climate change while sheltering in place. Sign up and share this link with your congregations and other organizations!
From the producers of Chasing Ice, Racing Extinction, and The Cove, photographer James Balog shows everyday Americans on the front lines of climate change. With rare compassion and heart, The Human Element relays captivating stories inspiring us to reevaluate relationships with nature.

National Geographic Earth Day Edition & TV Progam
NatGeo magazine published a unique Earth Day 50thAnniversary Special Issue, offering two starkly different perspectives: How We Saved the World-An Optimist’s Guide to Life on Earth in 2070, and, How We Lost the Planet – A Pessimist’s Guide to Life on Earth in 2070. Access the magazine’s digital version here.

VT PBS features the National Geographic special, Climate Change: The Facts, on Earth Day, April 22 at 8 p.m.

Cool Congregations IPL webinar, April 30, 3 p.m. ET
Join IPL for a webinar to help you measure and reduce your carbon footprint using two new calculators for both congregations and households. Daniel Kammen and Chris Jones from the Cool Climate Network at the University of California, the calculators’ creators, will walk us through its features. Register here.

News from Montpelier
VTIPL Board Member Richard Butz participated in a recent Zoom meeting with Rep. Sarah Copeland-Hanzas, House leader of the Climate Caucus. Here are his notes from the meeting organized by VT Sierra Club:

  • We need to reflect on what parts of our economy should come back and what new opportunities should be pursued so we can become more sustainable.
  • Towns, energy committees, and organizations should be developing “shovel-ready” projects so when the stimulus funding materializes, we are ready to step up with carbon-reducing projects. For example, one town is actively planning to install a geothermal heating system in their town hall. This would be an ideal stimulus project.
  • One participant said we should consider moving away from “commodity dairy” toward a more sustainable system that emphasizes local products and food security for local residents. Such a system would address carbon issues and support clean water initiatives.
  • Rep. Copeland-Hanzas reported that the VT Secretary of State has been given the authority to institute a mail-in ballot election system.
  • We are urged to send hand-written letters to the governor supporting the climate legislation – just do it “gently”.

The Caucus’s priorities include:

  • Linking recovery and the climate bills to sustainable workforce development;
  • S.267, the Renewable Energy Standard has hit a snag relating to the 20% VT-based generation of renewable energy, up from 10%; some utilities are pushing back;
  • H.688, the Vermont Global Warming Solutions Act is in the Senate Committee on Natural Resources and Energy, after passing the House with a veto-proof majority. We’re encouraged to contact Sen. Chris Bray and members of the Committee to show support for this key legislation that turn goals onto mandates. (Check the legislative website to see if your rep. is on the Committee.)
  • The Transportation Climate Initiative (TCI) is in limbo due to the pandemic, but Sen. Tim Ashe still views it as a priority. It was suggested that given fuel prices, this could be good timing to add a surcharge.

Links to access Faith Climate Action Week Resources

Let there be peace on Earth and let it begin with me!

Photo courtesy Donna C. Roberts

©2020 Vermont Interfaith Power and Light | PO Box 3095, Burlington, Vermont 05408

Web Version