VTIPL October Newsletter – Climate Justice Series!

Green Mountains, Blue Water

Earth Care News October 2020

VTIPL’s Climate Justice Series – Three Fall Events!
Be a Faith Climate Justice Voter

(Photo courtesy Donna Roberts)
  • VTIPL Climate Justice Series – Three Events this Fall
  • VT Global Warming Solutions Act is Law!
  • Faith Climate Justice Voter Campaign – Make Your Plan to Vote
  • VTIPL Welcomes Harris Webster!
  • Expanding the Spirit of Democracy Essay
  • Oct. 16 Film The Rights of Nature
  • Oct. 20 Racial Justice in VT
  • David Attenborough: A Life On Our Planet


VTIPL’s Climate Justice Series!

Three Fall Events

For several years, Vermont Interfaith Power & Light has sponsored a signature Fall Conference at locations around the state with speakers and presentations engaging participants on issues related to the climate crisis. These in-person gatherings have encouraged and challenged our efforts to address the global crisis. As COVID-19 has made an in-person conference impossible, VTIPL is instead offering a special series of events focusing on Climate Justice. The three events described below are currently planned, with others under consideration. Related information is posted on our website and will be updated on our Facebook page. We invite your participation in and support of our new Series.

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Rev. Dr. Nancy Wright

Creation Justice Conversation Sunday, October 11 – 4 p.m.
Pastor Nancy Wright, VTIPL Vice-President, and former VTIPL board member Pastor Arnold Thomas will participate in a virtual conversation about climate justice including a discussion of toxic exposures, health, water, and the responsibility of spiritual leaders to address this crisis. There will also be a Climate Reality Leadership Corps’ “slide presentation”.

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Rev. Dr. Arnold Thomas

The discussion takes place during this weekend designated as Climate Reality’s worldwide 24 Hours of Reality-Countdown to the Future.
There will be time for questions following the presentation and the event will be recorded for future use.
This event is co-sponsored by the Green Team of the New England Synod of Lutherans Restoring Creation. See VTIPL’s website for more information. Join the Zoom meeting here.

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Kiss the Ground Film Event
Sunday, October 18, 4-7 p.m.
Join this in-person and virtual viewing of the new documentary film Kiss the Ground at Mission Farm (Killington, VT), where VTIPL Board member Rev. Rachel Field provides ministry. Learn how we can turn back the clock on climate change through regenerative agriculture, how the health of our soil is directly related to the health of our planet and, for those attending in person, enjoy food from event sponsor American Flatbread. Limited seating in-person and in your cars. To RSVP, visit the event site. Up to 40 persons can attend on-site at the Farm physically-distanced, in chairs with masks, and in cars. Others can stream the film online via Netflix and join a Facebook Live watch party hosted on Mission Farm’s Facebook page & linked to VTIPL’s Facebook page. The suggested donation is $5/person or $20 for a family. A trailer and resources are on the film website.

Rooting out Structural Racism in American Agriculture
Sunday, November 8 – 4 p.m.
Join VTIPL for a viewing and discussion of Rooting out Structural Racism in American Agriculture, a presentation of the Vermont Law School’s Center for Agriculture and Food Systems. This panel features Monica Armster Rainge, Stephen Carpenter, Sherri White-Williamson and is moderated by Emily Spiegel. Registration event link coming soon. Learn more about VT Law School.

Many thanks to our Series sponsors: Mission Farm, VT Sierra Club, and Virginia Interfaith Power & Light.

Contact us for more information. Thanks! info@vtipl.org


Global Warming Solutions Act is Law!

VTIPL joins other members of our Climate Coalition in sharing our profound gratitude to all of you who spoke out encouraging the passage of the Global Warming Solutions Act which is now law! Thank you for taking a stand on such important legislation. We thank members of both houses of the State Legislature for their action in passing this historic act and in joining together to override the Governor’s veto. This act will ensure that Vermont joins our neighboring states at the forefront of efforts to combat climate change, addressing the crisis that human behavior has largely created. VTIPL pledges to continue our efforts to educate, advocate, encourage, and support the people of our state and our nation in working toward a healthier environment for the future of our planet and humanity. Read more about the GWSA here, including a statement by Johanna Miller of our partner organization VNRC. Statement.

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Faith Climate Justice Voter Campaign-Make Plans to Vote

VTIPL has partnered with our national IPL organization and IPL affiliates across the U.S. on the Faith Climate Justice Voter Campaign. The upcoming election is a critical moment to put into action our values and ethics for creating a better world. We encourage you, your communities, and congregations to take a moment to read about the Campaign, take the Pledge to become a Faith Climate Justice Voter, and download the free PDF or order hard copies of the publication, Democracy, Values & the 2020 Election: A Reflection Guide for Faith CommunitiesVoter Reflection Guide.

To learn about this Campaign, make your plan to vote, access sermon resources, social media guidance and more, please visit the Campaign website.

VTIPL is pleased to welcome to our Board new member Harris Webster, a member of Unitarian Church of Montpelier and longtime climate advocate.

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St. Paul’s Episcopal Church, Vergennes.

Expanding the Spirit of Democracy
Dr. Mary Evelyn Tucker, founder of the Yale Forum on Religion & Ecology, has written the essay, Expanding the Spirit of Democracy, which was recently published in Orion Magazine. We share the evocative opening of the article which can be read in full via the link that follows:

“How might we unlock hope in an expansive spirit of democracy for present and future generations in this time of upheaval? As the underside of American society is being revealed and the stark inequities and racial prejudices made manifest, we are called to reflect on what brought us to this disturbing state of affairs. With shock and recrimination we are responding to the truth of our history and the entrenched habits of structural racism along with economic inequity. This history is revealing itself in the consequences of brutal slavery and Jim Crow laws, the near extermination of Native Americans, subsequent theft of land and banishment to reservations, the ongoing history of discrimination against Latinx, Asian, and immigrant communities, and the endless overseas wars and militarization of our society at the expense of the wellbeing of humans and nature.

How do we look clearly at our history and, through reexamining it, seek ways forward? Can we own our past and create a more equitable society, just economics, and inclusive politics? May we ask forgiveness and restore compassion? Can we recognize that democracy rests on peace, not violence and bloated military budgets? In short, how can we rediscover and expand the spiritual roots of democracy?” Full article here.

“The Right to Migrate”, photo courtesy Gerald Lee Hoffman

Other Events & Information

October 16, 7 p.m. Film, The Rights of Nature: A Global Movement
The Environmental Film Series of Phipps Conservatory presents this film which takes viewers on a journey that explores the more recent origins of the legal concept called The Rights of Nature and its application and implementation in Ecuador, New Zealand, and the U.S. Learn more and pre-register here.

October 20, 7 p.m. Racial Justice in VT: Three Black Perpsectives
Three Black Vermonters, including Episcopal Bishop Shannon MacVean-Brown, will participate in a webinar about the challenges of working for racial justice within prominent Vermont institutions. Other panelists include Vermont State Librarian Jason Broughton and Dr. Emily Bernard, UVM Professor and author of Black is the Body: Stories from My Grandmother’s Time, My Mother’s Time, and Mine. Panelists will discuss their experiences living and working in a largely white state, and offer suggestions for actions Vermonters can take to promote racial equity. Remarks will be followed by a Q&A period. This Forum is a program of the Worthen Library, South Hero. Register here.

David Attenborough’s new film, A Life on Our Planet Sir David Attenborough’s new feature documentary, David Attenborough: A Life On Our Planet, is premiering across the globe this week and is available in the U.S. on Netflix. The film serves as Attenborough’s self-described witness statement for the natural world. You may have seen an interview with Attenborough speaking of the film on last week’s 60 Minutes; the piece can be streamed. “The legendary broadcaster shares a passion for exploring our vast planet and a desire to protect it for future generations. In his 94 years, Attenborough has visited every continent documenting the living world in all its variety and wonder. Now, for the first time, he reflects upon both the defining moments of his lifetime as a naturalist and the devastating changes he has seen. Honest, revealing and urgent, David Attenborough: A Life On Our Planet is a powerful first-hand account of humanity’s impact on nature and a message of hope for future generations.”-World Wildlife Fund. Film info here.

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