minutes 8/05/2015

Interfaith Eco-Action Notes – August 5, 2015

1. Opening Words – Karen read the last paragraph of Winona LaDuke’s book, Reclaiming the Sacred, about the Intertribal Council On Utility Policy’s work with 150 mayors 

2. Celebrations –

  • Our Community Forum on the Papal Encyclical is scheduled with 3 awesome panelists confirmed!
  • 11-15 churches singing a climate inspired piece on September 27
  • Catholic churches in Northampton and Amherst hosting watch parties 
  • Our calendar on http://justiceandpeace.net/pioneervalleycares/ is fantastic!

3. Check ins –

Each person was invited to report out on any related activities they have done since our last meeting and any specific actions they are particularly excited about.

Pauline Marney – 7pm scheduled for the 9/24 watch party at St. Elizabeth Ann Seton

Deb Moore – Edwards Church – happy to be here, reporting back to everyone

Sharon Moulton – First Churches looked into Hymns for all churches to sing together – loves the idea of setting a time for all congregations to sing outside at the same time. Noon might be a little to early for some – or everyone invite their church to go outside and sing after their main service.

Question about the reason for the September 27th date for choirs to sing together on climate and Karen mentioned the call for clergy to preach on this day (related to climate week actions in DC and NYC). UUA posted, also UCC? And Green Faith /IPL*

Lydia Vernon Jones – First Congregation Amherst – Earth Ministry team (Divested from FF in their endowment, educational work, etc.). This Sunday from 1-2 there will be a 70th rememberance service for the victims of Nagasaki and Hiroshima and in McConnell Hall at Smith at 7pm there will be a gathering and a paper lantern lighting on the pond to follow.

Lee Bridegam – not sure if new minister will preach on climate but will try and very happy the choral director is going to participate in our anthem collaboration. Sharon highlighted South Congregation

Joan Butler – UU Springfield – St. Cecilia’s and St. Mary’s not great response – need to check with the Springfield Diocese. Nothing new. Karen will organize call for watch parties. St. Mary’s in Springfield (home of area) will follow up again on watch party. Green Team is going strong but not at the moment (summer).

Terez Waldoch – St. Eliz. Ann Seton – very happy to be part of an interfaith project (including the CBI first meeting) to all be together on climate action.

Margaret Bullitt Jonas – 9 yrs at Grace Church now Missioner for Creation Care at WMA diocese. Announced that:

  1. Jim Antal (head of UCC MA) New England Regional Environmental Ministries – we’re proclaiming a new awakening! On October 4, St. Francis Day – the season of prophetic witness will run through February 7 (lent) right through the UN Climate Talks. Vision is for 70% of all people to hear a climate sermon at least once between this period. Http://ClimateWitness.org – giving guidance for clergy to preach and hoping they sign on.
  2. Going to Moral Action on Climate week in DC – distributed movement – we don’t have to be in DC to make a big difference
  3. People’s Climate Movement – October 14th national action day – all major cities including Boston. Maybe do something here? Vision is to have it be super diverse – all kinds of people involved Springfield Climate Justice Coalition – a melding of diverse voices – is very active (Climate Action Now e-news).
  4. November 29th (day before the UN climate summit begins) there will be a People’s Climate March all over the world. First Sunday of Advent. Apocalyptic – living in love!

David Glassberg – representing JCA and wants to help publicize the Papal Encyclical Forum on September 21st.

Lanie Ulman – CBI – October 4th event (Hakhel “assembly”, explained concept of Sabbath year – ** also detailed very well in paragraph 71 of Pope Francis’ encyclical) is on the last day of the high holidays at Abundance Farm in the afternoon, open to all. Discussions about how to make space for other faith traditions, music, ritual, etc. This day is also the Feast of St. Francis and World Communion Day. 400+ rabbi’s have signed a letter of support for the encyclical. Lanie sent this link: https://theshalomcenter.org/torah-pope-crisis-inspire-400-rabbis-call-vigorous-climate-action 

Doug Renick – Haydenville Congregation – thrilled at how involved his congregation is with this work. Fall equinox September 20 (2:30-6:30) will be a Festival of Trees at Temenos – we’re really concerned about our Hemlock infestation (on the boarder of Shutesbury and Wendell)

Maureen Flannery – Friends Meeting in Northampton.

1.    Northampton Friends finished 3rd quarter of voluntary carbon tax witness with donation to Quaker Earth Care Witness:http://www.quakerearthcare.org/

2.    Quakers have no choirs or preachers but many singers and speakers. Both Northampton and Mt. Toby might be interested in plans for singing. (Roger Conant leads the RUSH singers, and Peter and Annie Blood-Patterson of Rise Up Singing and the new songbook, Rise Again, are Mt. Toby Friends.)

3.    Woolman Hill and 5 individuals filed a suit vs. the United States challenging the right of TGP to take land for the public use and assert that it is in the public best interest when it will contribute to environmental destruction. Cristobal Bonifaz is lead attorney. The Woolman Hill  board has taken this on concern as a true leading and offered testimony  at the FERC hearing in Greenfield last week.  http://woolmanhill.org/2015/06/02/public-statement-in-opposition-to-gas-pipeline/

There were front-page articles in the Gazette and Recorder last week. Over the next month, an Ashfield-based theater company, Children of the Wild, will do a series of processions along the route of the proposed pipeline, starting August 10 in Ashfield. There will be a procession at Woolman Hill on August 29, 6-8 pm preceded by a workshop on nonviolent direction action (3-5 pm) and potluck dinner. Details for all the processions are available here: http://www.childrenofthewild.org/#!pipelineprocessions/c15e7


Kit Johnson
– longtime interfaith choral director on the CT coast. Has sung with UU’s in Amherst and Northampton and attends Mt. Toby (and Hopping Tree Sangha). Blue Green Hills and Beauty of the Earth were both anthems that were suggested. Intrigued with Rainforest Song (goes through all the vertical aspects of the rainforest one by one until it awakens in a harmonious cacophany, then it drops its activity one level at a time)…Susan Rice – UU Amherst – reserved social hall for the watch party but now thinking we need to collaborate with St. Brigid’s. We want to make space for discussion afterwards. ** WILL HOST THE NEXT MEETING August 17th at 7pm at 121 N. Pleasant St. Amherst 

4. Key work to do now –

Community Forum on the Papal Encyclical

  • Complete Press Release for September 21st and 24th events (and Sept. 27?) 
  • Schedule Press Conference & arrange volunteers to attend/speak
Have leaders of faith communities write a comment about their perspective on what Pope Francis is doing, how it could benefit our local community, etc. Media are looking for material. We just need to organize our faith leader’s statements.


  • Confirm NCTV coverage of Sept 21 event and logistics (sound, etc.)
  • Host pre-event discussion with panelists and confirm moderator

Watch Parties

** We will be having a conference call to plan these parties very soon. Karen will send out a doodle for this

Discussed the pros and cons of central church-based watch parties and home based parties. Consensus is that we like the idea of people coming together in a large venue – though we want to make sure all who want to participate

    • Secure all logistics for Northampton/Amherst (and others? Springfield area? Cancel UU Amherst?) 

    • Schedule Press Conference & arrange volunteers to attend/speak

    • Add more detail/events to the www.justiceandpeace.net calendar and the IMAC event page – Sept. 24 Watch Parties and Sept. 27 Climate preaching/singing activities are not yet posted, nor are the details about the Oct. 4 Hakhel food justice event at CBI or the Dalai Lama’s visit on Sunday Oct. 25.

    • Attend IMAC phone meetings (Sun. August 9 at 7pm)

ACTION NOTE: If anyone wants to join in on this call (or others), please email Karen

Choral details and Outreach

  • E-blasts through as many congregations/faith communities as possible (along with CAN weekly newsletter)

  • Schedule choral conference call/rehearsal?

  • Confirm UMass details re: HH Dalai Lama

Group of NRCCC leaders will be meeting with Obama’s staff on or around September 20th Margaret is writing a letter to the President!

We closed with a reading of the Prayer of Saint Francis.

Next meeting: Monday August 17th at 7pm at the Unitarian Universalist, 121 N. Pleasant St., Amherst

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