The Climate Action Team is a group of people concerned about global warming and seeking a prayerful and hope- and faith-filled approach to solving this problem. We offer programs, liturgies, and actions with the goal of lessening our collective impact on this beautiful planet.
St. Martin’s Climate Action Team has begun a joint project with Pennsylvania Interfaith Power & Light (PA IPL) that will strengthen climate action efforts parish-wide while aiding in the development of resources that PA IPL can share with other faith communities.
PA IPL is the Pennsylvania affiliate of Interfaith Power & Light, a national organization that engages people of faith on climate justice, from reducing their own carbon footprint to advocating for policies and practices that slow climate change and mitigate its effects. St. Martin’s is a congregational member of PA IPL.
In this new partnership, funded as a project of Community Engagement, PA IPL will work collaboratively with St. Martin’s in a three-year relationship to develop a model of whole-congregation climate justice involvement that will then be shared with other congregations, first in Philadelphia, then across Pennsylvania.
Since it began in 2015, St. Martin’s Climate Action Team has offered more than 30 parish activities promoting climate justice and care, such as offering Parish Forums, facilitating reading groups, leading invasive species removal, and engaging parishioners in climate advocacy. Its aim in this three-year relationship with PA IPL is to be able to organize, initiate, and support the parish as it engages more fully in the work of climate justice. This approach reflects the objective of the Community Engagement Committee “to build reciprocal relationships or partnerships with grantees through volunteer involvement from the church community in active, hands-on, and relationship-building ways with [a] partner organization.”
Examples of ongoing parish-wide engagement on climate justice include:
PA IPL’s initial work with St. Martin’s will include providing consultation in program planning and offering training and practical support in engagement skills such as relationship-building, asset mapping, appreciative inquiry, organizing, mentoring and sustained advocacy. Formal evaluation and reflection on the effectiveness of these efforts would inform and shape the tool kit that PA IPL ultimately develops for wider use among its member congregations.
Your Postcards Go to Washington
On Earth Day several members of St. Martin’s filled out postcards calling federal officials to safeguard the Environmental Protection Agency and combat climate change. Those cards are making their way to Washington, carried by a group of cyclists from Pennsylvania Interfaith Power & Light as part of their annual PA to DC bike trip from May 19 to 24.
As these riders take your concerns to our legislators, please support them on their way with your prayers and financial contributions.
The annual PA IPL bike trip raises awareness about climate change throughout the state and is the major fundraiser for this faith-based organization, of which St. Martin’s is a member. It concludes with one-on-one meetings with elected officials in Washington to discuss ways to create a clean energy future.
As the cyclists make their way, we’ll be sharing their daily blog posts.
This year 17 cyclists aged 13 to over 70 are making the trip. Starting in State College in Central Pennsylvania, the five-day ride takes the cyclists to several small towns, where they stay in churches, speak to congregations about climate change and prep for more riding that takes them through the state’s winding and hilly coal country.
Fun Fact: Parishioner Jess Ballenger and daughter Hannah participated in this 200-mile ride in 2013, and make a brief appearance in this segment of Religion and Ethics News Weekly from that year. It’s a great overview of the work of Interfaith Power & Light.
We had a wonderful morning of working at the ruins on Monday, January 16, 2017, in celebration of the Martin Luther King Day of Service. Thirty seven parishioners, tree tenders, and local community members joined to cut down invasive plants and vines to reclaim this local part of Fairmount Park on Emlen Street. We know that by removing tons of invasive plant material from this park area will allow more people to hike through this area, and in the long term, allow native plants to sprout and hopefully re-establish themselves. This effort was started in 2014 by parishioner Greg Williams who has recently moved away. This will be a happy, on-going project, and we look forward to your help in the coming months as we work on taming our Buttercup cottage landscape!
Saturday, November 5 at 7 p.m.
People of faith are invited to deepen their commitment to climate justice at Pennsylvania Interfaith Power & Light’s annual conference, “An Environment of Justice,” Sunday, Oct. 30, from 1:30 to 5:30 pm at the Church of the Good Shepherd in State College, PA. St. Martin’s is a congregational member of PAIPL, which supports our Climate Action Team.
The conference gathers people from throughout Pennsylvania to learn, network and act on the impacts of climate change. Dr. Jalonne White-Newsome of the Kresge Foundation will offer the keynote address on “Climate Change: The Path to Inner Resilience.” Break-out sessions will explore the impacts of climate change in Pennsylvania, how to make wise food choices, dealing with despair, and more. A Green Fair will introduce participants to Pennsylvania organizations committed to caring for the earth.
St. Martin’s Climate Action Team is inviting you to join in a series of preaching, praying, petitioning, and planting opportunities to honor the Earth during the two weeks surrounding Earth Day on Friday, April 22.
There will be a petition table in the Parish Hall foyer between Sunday services on April 17 and 24 and at SUPPER at St. Martin’s on Wednesday, April 27 where you can sign a Petition to Presidential Candidates telling them you will be voting with protecting the earth from climate change as a priority and asking them to address the issue forthrightly. There will also be pre-printed postcards for you to sign and send to Pennsylvania’s Senators asking them to support the second year of funding the Global Green Climate Fund to support developing countries in coping with the climate change which is hitting them the hardest.
Please particularly hold the earth and its inhabitants in your prayers over the next two weeks and join us, and groups across the United States, in a prayer service on Earth Day, Friday, April 22 at 12 noon at the Celtic Cross on Germantown Avenue and Mermaid Lane for a short prayer service. Invite your friends!
Mark your calendars for Sunday, April 24 where Barb Ballenger will be preaching at all services and Bill Siemering, one of the founders of National Public Radio and All Things Considered, will be doing the forum presentation at 10 a.m. on his long life in radio and his present work in Africa helping start small radio stations which enable Africans to adapt to the severe climate change they are experiencing.
8:00 a.m. Holy Eucharist
9:00 a.m. Holy Eucharist with music
10:00 a.m. Parish Forum & Kairos
10:15 a.m. worship.together
Holy Eucharist for families with young children
11:15 a.m. Choral Eucharist
Silent morning meditation is offered at 8:15 a.m. weekdays, in the Mary Chapel.
We would love to have you join us.
This Episcopal church is located in the heart of the historic neighborhood of Chestnut Hill, five blocks west of Germantown Avenue at the corner of St. Martin’s Lane and West Willow Grove Avenue.