minutes 7/06/2015

Interfaith Eco-Action Notes – July 6th 2015

Check ins/Updates

Karen Ribeiro shared that the Moral Action on Climate March will now be on Thursday September 24th when the pope addresses Congress and shared that a representative from Hopping Tree Sangha is willing to direct a choral flash mob. There is no plan yet for connecting First Baptist Church to the Pope’s address though they have just completed a building audit, is forming a green team, and both lead and executive pastors attended the local Interfaith Power & Light presentation early this year.

Margaret Bullitt-Jonas would like to join us (consider shifting Monday meeting to Tues/Wed?) and she shares the great news that the Episcopal Church has divested from fossil fuel investments.

Lanie Ulman (and Sharon Moulton) is part of an adjacent interfaith climate group (movie nights) that could complement our work. This is a celebration of the 7th Sabbath year. (meets on Wed. mornings) Lanie shared details of this groups origination – an invitation to other faith communities was extended as CBI began planning their Sabbath year. Food Justice is a big part of the work. Sara (assistant pastor at First Churches) and Lanie put together a “harvesting hope” brand – many people, one planet, infinite possibilities. October 2-3 is the main activity for this work and continues to the UN Climate Talks.

CBI – would like to take on a common calendar for the fall. We would want to make sure that this http://justiceandpeace.net/pioneervalleycares website is utilized as Roger created it for our purposes.

We may choose a Google Calendar which could be easily administered and shared on all congregation’s websites.

Alan Eccleston reports that Mt. Toby is gearing up for August New England Annual Meeting (VT). And Roger Conant shared that the Voluntary Carbon Tax fund has already accumulated $11,000 being distributed.

We’re missing some communication possibilities. The only group that has put any activities on the website requested is our group. The food justice committee hasn’t posted anything.

John Norton (First Churches) is part of the gospel choir and likes the idea of a flash mob of choirs. Calendar is being set up for the fall already. Noted the connection between the Sabbath year (as a solution) to the troubles experienced in Greece and Puerto Rico.

Susan Rice announced the UU Amherst has divested since last September and they have a very active Green Sanctuary climate committee. Deadline for monthly newsletter is the 15th and weekly announcements go out but must be sent out Thursday. Space available for flyers.

Georgeanne Green from All Souls in Greenfield – will be preaching the weekend after the Pope’s address and will have space available for flyers and e-newsletter sharing. Dalai Lama is in strong support of the Dalai Lama’s encyclical. Deadline is the week before the end of the month.

Kate Leary is on the green team of the Springfield UU church and is also on the choir. What songs are being sung? Need to get started on music. Newsletter is online and comes out the end of the month (deadline the week before the end of the month) or Thursday for weekly blasts and the bulletin.

Joan Butler is also with the green team of the Springfield UU. Huge agenda for the UN climate talks. Concern about a march in D.C. This could be our first broad sweeping message sent to all congregations.

Pauline Marty is on the social justice committee at St. Elizabeth Ann Seton. Simulcasting the Pope’s address could be worked out. Weekly bulletin needs to be in by Tuesday each week and a website where notices can be posted. We’d want to make sure the simulcast could be rebroadcast where a weekend gathering could be held. Dan.Inglis.music@gmail.com is the choir director for Elizabeth Ann Seton

Harriet Wilson is on the peace and justice committee at First Churches – newsletter goes out on the beginning of the month (deadline of the week before the end of the month – Vanessa) and Friday’s is a weekly blast by the administrator. The Sunday order of services (bulletin) would have a deadline of Wednesday. Likes the idea of simulcasting.

Sharon Moulton is also in the peace and justice committee and shared that the 27th would be a difficult day to do an event at First Churches because that’s the date of the annual meeting (could change to the 20th). Shared what Pastor Todd wrote for our group. He was most excited about a group talking about a discussion group about the Papal encyclical – 90 minutes with commentary by other faith community leaders. September 20th in the afternoon or evening.

Lucy Robinson from Greening Grace at Grace Episcopal Church – very excited about simulcasting on the 24th and about doing something BIG on the 27th and wants more details about the other interfaith group. Angela Battle can be contacted late Wednesday for every Sunday bulletin and the week before the end of the month for the e-newsletter. Grace Church will be featuring a Green Burial film about activities in Athol – in November.

Brit Albritton is with the Northampton UU. Vanessa (main organizer behind PCM) is now Bill McKibben’s personal assistant. The big 350.org push will be a national day of action on September 14th. The UU society is sponsoring a July 12th standout in solidarity about the bomb train that exploded – at 11:30 on the steps. Reached out to Mind and Life Institute (Carolyn Jacobs interim director wasn’t available) about the Dalai Lama’s visit (October 25th)

Naomi Klein will be here September 29-30th Mount Holyoke and Amherst College

Any New/Additional Partners to connect to this great work?

College Church (Karen)
St. Brigid’s Church (Karen)
Newman Center (Karen) they are doing eco spirituality programming led by Mary Jo Maffei; Benjamin.Durfee@gmail.com is the choir director at Newman Center; there is no specific plan for tying into the Pope’s address though John Gerber and Craig Nicholson will give a presentation at the Newman Reunion in October.

Betsy Krogh at First Congregation (Alan?)
Lee Bridegam at South Congregation – won award with Interfaith Power & Light for net zero energy (Karen)
Jackie Wallace at AME Zion Church (John)
St. Mary’s in Longmeadow (Kate/Joan)
St. Cecilia’s in Wilbraham (Kate/Joan)
St. Catherine’s in Springfield (Kate/Joan)
Edwards Church (Sharon)
Harriet agreed to reach out to other Northampton/Area congregations


A set place in each congregation for fliers and a set place in their e-newsletter as well.

Need publication deadlines for each

Having large arena(s) where congregations come together to watch the broadcast versus having smaller congregation based viewings. The Thursday viewing could be large and the following weekend could be the smaller discussion group activities.

This is a faith-based effort; any outreach to climate/social justice organizations shall be with the intent to engage other congregations.

Raging Grannies

Arise for Social Justice – great resource to reach out to in order to engage additional faith communities in Springfield.

Pioneer Valley Project in Springfield is made up of congregations (and some unions)

Western MA Jobs for Justice – great e-lists

Polling people in the summer could cause burnout and burn bridges. Work with individual social justice / green teams at congregations. CAN may want to poll about DC and link to our website

Outreach order of priority to gauge interest from congregations:

  1. DC bus?
  2. Encyclical discussion/forum?
  3. Local march?
  4. Gathering to view Pope’s Congressional Address?
  5. Smaller group follow up discussions?
  6. Tie in to food justice/Sabbath year activities

Communications subgroup (Lanie and Karen will work on a first outreach message to congregations)

  • for the July newsletters: this is going to be a very large nationwide and local interfaith moral action. Many congregations are pulling activities together
  • Mention Pope’s address, Dalai Lama’s visit (Naomi Klein as well?)

Each church working on singing something the Sunday of September 27th Brit will get in touch with ministers of music to find a common piece that could work.

Music collaboration – most ideal for the Dalai Lama’s visit – flash mob at the Mullins Center; gathering more sanghas/buddhist communities together.


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