Pope Francis issued his third encyclical in early October, titled “Fratelli Tutti”. It comprises eight chapters, ranging from topics such as division and politics to justice, social structures and dialogue with one another. The overall message is that we are a global race and thus change is needed on a global scale, made more obviously by the current pandemic. The opportunity exists to use this time for change, rather than go back to what was. He lays out a fairly comprehensive vision of how the world should shift as we move forward and past the pandemic. We can likely all relate to the need for communities and societies that are based on support and care for basic dignity and human rights, and away from the focus on capitalism. It will require us to rethink our life styles. Please visit our "Goings On" page for several links to more about it.
Earth Ministry/Washington Interfaith Power & Light is a community that comes together around shared values that compel us to protect and improve the health of the planet and our neighbors. Putting our faith into action is not a task we take lightly, but a deep conviction – and one I’ve seen you live out in new ways over the last few months. Your resilience and dedication give me hope, and our work together is making a difference.
In this time of adaptation, Earth Ministry has been centering environmental justice in our organizing efforts. We are following the lead of community of color-led organizations as we advocate for equitable pandemic recovery and investing in frontline communities. At the same time, Earth Ministry is doing our own work to listen, learn, and act for justice.
The Earth Ministry board recently approved a new 2020-2025 strategic plan that builds on these values and sets out an exciting and ambitious vision for the future.
We recognize that the faith-based movement is strongest when all people contribute their unique strengths and experiences. That’s one reason why Earth Ministry/WAIPL’s new strategic plan commits us to formally transition to a multifaith organization that encompasses diverse religious identities in programs, outreach, board and staff leadership, and partnerships. As we shared earlier this week, we have taken a first step of re-branding with a more inclusive logo.
Earth Ministry also will build upon our efforts to educate, support, and strategically mobilize the faith community to protect the health of our communities and the environment. We will continue to:
How many times do we count in our minds one, two, three…….always starting with one? This distinction between one and more is among the first concepts learned as we emerge from infancy in languages and cultures throughout the world.
Many religions avow one underlying unity. Governments with their many complexities choose one individual to lead. April 22, 2020, marks the 50th anniversary of Earth Day. Intriguing as the other planets and moons are we have found none other that could support us, only one planet does that.
Much has been made of our political partisanship. While finding common ground in government is seldom a smooth process it is now mostly torn, two entities glaring from either side of a chasm, and whether shouting meanly or speaking with civility, endgames remain elusive. It is most likely not just coincidence that the rising political divide has been paralleled by rising income inequality. A disappearing middle class creates another chasm making opportunities more distant and cutting us in two. At critical times the chasms reveal even more. Corporations saved while small business loans run dry and underprivileged populations suffering disproportionate loss during the COVID19 pandemic are current examples.
It gave me great pleasure to watch the recent “ One World at Home Together”. Musicians, artists, and spokespersons from around our Earth powerfully gave their message. Music, that most beautiful example of unison, was created as performers synched voices and instruments simultaneously across the globe.
One……., we should pause and pay homage to this oft spoken three letter word. Feel its power and let it guide us for there is only one humanity, one Earth, and one opportunity.
Donald J Miller
Last year, great plans were underway to celebrate. Then came the COVID-19 and the best laid plans changed. Now, we are in a significant pause, sheltering in place out of love for our fellow human beings. This quieter time carries its own gifts.
For me, this pause allows the mental and emotional space to reflect on my relationship with Earth and with one another. It’s been a time to step back and think about what matters and to notice what often gets overlooked. This gentle isolation reminds me that I love connecting with others AND that I’m very grateful to Earth for the many gifts she gives us all.
Cleaning and sorting through closets and stored memorabilia, I’ve thought about my lifestyle over the years. Purchasing more than I needed, I’ve been far more owned by my possessions than the other way around. And I’ve used more than my share of Earth’s resources. For that I’m sad, feel remorse, and vow to be more sensitive going forward.
Home for weeks now, living in a radius of 8 miles, I experience a beautifully interconnected community. Spontaneous and organized kindness sparkle every day, connecting people and reminding me that none of us is really alone, if we don’t want to be. Through businesses and community groups, I can help others. I breathe better, noting that the air is cleaner with fewer cars on the roads and fewer jets in the air.
These weeks reinforce how everything interconnects—Earth, people, culture, behavior. My own actions and attitude ripple through my community. Let me make those ripples loving and life-giving. I am grateful for the cleaner air, the sounds of frogs and birdsong, and the lovely fragrance of Springtime.
How do I hold on to the lessons of this pause? Let me be respectful of all, especially those with no voice. Let me be grateful for all the small blessings that come, confident that they are gifts of the Great Mystery that we call God. Let me do what I can to care for Earth and one another.
I celebrate Earth Day 2020 with gratitude.
St. Hubert Church parishioner, member of the
Greening Congregations Collaborative of Whidbey Island
Letter: Banks shouldn't support an Unsustainable future'
Friday, February 14, 2020 2:14pm 11LETTERS TO THE EDITOR
Scientists and climate activists all over the world, including Greta Thunberg, have warned us that it's past time we all do something about the climate crisis.
We are guilty of living in a system set-up to consume goods and services that contribute to ever-growing fossil fuel emissions.
Every time we use a gasoline-powered car or carry produce in another plastic bag we're contributing to that same crisis.
The system is set up so that it's harder for us to control our carbon footprint. Society has been greatly influenced by dominant corporations who make obscene amounts of money through the fossil fuel industry.
The greatest guilt is placed upon those who plunder these fuels from the earth, refine and transport them.
These corporations, banks included, put fossil fuels at our disposal without considering the impacts to the environment and communities.
As of right now, we need these fuels to function as a society. Sowe, as a community, must induce policy change within our banks and local governments.
In the three years since the signing of the Paris Climate Agreement, big banks worldwide invested $1.9 trillion into extreme fossil fuels, e.g., tar sands, Arctic oil, fracking and more.
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Letter: Banks shouldn't support an 'unsustainable future' | South Whidbey Record 2/26/20, 12:46 PM
These projects will cause more C02 emissions, resulting in catastrophic damage. ChaseBankalone is responsible for 10percent of that $1.9 trillion dollar total, pouring most of its investments into new projects.
Wells Fargo has invested roughly 8 percent, making it the second top contributor of all banks worldwide.
These huge sums of money are why we, Whidbey's own youth activists, are targeting both banks.
You may have noticed banners in front of these banks in Freeland declaring "This Bank Funds Fossil Fuels: Move Your Money."
We have been protesting for 22 weeks, trying to let these banks and our community know that we will not stand by while Chase and Wells Fargo use our money to invest in an unsustainable future.
We want everyone to know that we are not protesting against the employees at either location, but that we are protesting the large amounts of money that these banks invest in fossil fuels and we encourage these institutions to transition their investments to clean energy.
So, what can you do?
You can choose to move your money to one of the many local banks and credit unions who will invest your money more responsibly.
Please tell Chase or Wells Fargo why you're moving—and spread the word.
Annie Philp and Maggie Nattress
Climate wins still possible in WA LegislatureWith less than three weeks remaining in Washington’s legislative session this year, lawmakers are continuing to consider a number of bills promoting clean energy and protecting our climate. Opponents of climate action, however, have defeated a number of other proposals. Here’s a brief rundown of where things stand (want all the sausage-making details? Read our complete update on Climate Solutions’ website).
First, these bills are still alive:
If you have been curious about how it would be if YOU owned an electric car, or perhaps you have questions and would love to talk to other EV owners before doing more research and thinking on the matter. If so, come listen and ask question Friday Feb. 21st. We love to share our experiences!
See you there!
Local voters will have an opportunity to secure 40 acres with trails to add to the South Whidbey Parks & Rec. trail network on the November ballot. With the success of a grant from the State, half the funds required have already been secured! It all started as a grassroots effort (click HERE to learn more) more than two years ago.
From Earth Ministry: Ancestral Waters documents the Puyallup Tribes fight for their treaty rights, their water and their way of life. Puget Sound Energy (PSE) is constructing a liquefied natural gas facility on a protected Medicine Cree Treaty territory without the proper permits. http://www.nativedailynetwork.com/anc... Like our FB page for updates: https://www.facebook.com/NativeDailyN... If you are interested in hosting a screening of Ancestral Waters, please reach out at email@example.com
Puget Sound Energy (PSE) has disregarded public process and proceeded to build a liquified natural gas (LNG) facility in Tacoma without fully consulting with the Puyallup Tribe or obtaining proper permits. This is a moral failing and totally unacceptable.
The social justice consequences and ecological risks of this project are egregious – both the Puyallup Tribal Council and Native Water Warriors have raised significant concerns about tribal sovereignty and consultation, safety dangers, Puget Sound water quality, and global climate impacts. We don’t need to be locked in to another dirty and dangerous fossil fuel.
A public comment period on Tacoma LNG was open through September 9. This round is the follow up to the hearings we had last fall on the facility’s greenhouse gas emissions. Unfortunately, the Puget Sound Clean Air Agency released a preliminary decision to approve their permit. Earth Ministry/WAIPL represented at a public hearing on the final permit for Puget Sound Energy’s fracked gas facility on the Tacoma Tideflats.
It was a powerful day. We followed the Puyallup Tribe in a march to the theatre, which was quickly was filled with people wearing red to show the Puget Sound Clean Air Agency that we want better than another fossil fuel. Person after person shared why the project is not good for their community or the environment.
People of faith were present and vocal about why this project does not align with religious values. Earth Ministry has made a short video with clips of faith leaders testifying.
Welcome to our new website! This site was created to be able to share info. about our group and to share upcoming events, links to things we find worth your while, and other things of value.