by Rev. Cheryl Pyrch
“I urgently appeal, then, for a new dialogue about how we are shaping the future of our planet. We need a conversation which includes everyone, since the environmental challenge we are undergoing, and its human roots, concern and affect us all.” — Pope Francis, “On Care for Our Common Home”
Pennsylvania Interfaith Power & Light — people of faith responding to climate change as a moral issue — invites the public to participate in an urgent conversation about the future of our planet. Come to the Lutheran Theological Seminary at Philadelphia, 7301 Germantown Ave., on Sunday, Oct. 25, 1:30 to 5 p.m. (Registration begins at 1 p.m.)
All are welcome. You don’t need to be a person of faith or an environmental activist to join us in an afternoon of stimulating speakers and workshops. Make connections with your neighbors and find out how to get involved.
We’ll begin with a response to the Encyclical of Pope Francis, “On Care for our Common Home.” Our keynote speakers are distinguished theologian Dr. Arthur Green, Rector of the Rabbinical School at Hebrew College; and Keya Chatterjee, Executive Director of U.S. Climate Action Network. They will share their unique perspectives in a panel that also includes Sr. Mary Elizabeth Clarke, of the Earth Center at Chestnut Hill College.
The keynote will be followed by a choice of workshops:
• “Speak My Language: Racial Justice and Environmental Justice”; Bishop Dwayne D. Royster of POWER, Philadelphians Organized to Witness, Empower and Rebuild.
• “Living a Zero Footprint Lifestyle”; Keya Chatterjee, author of “How to Save the Planet While Raising a Healthy Baby.”
• “Green Justice Philly”; learn about the work of a dynamic new coalition of environmental, public health, faith, labor and other organizations and businesses promoting a just energy future with good jobs for the Philadelphia region.
• “Prayer as if the Earth Really Matters”: Interfaith conversation led by Rabbi Arthur Waskow of the Shalom Center and Dr. Karyn L. Wiseman of the Lutheran Theological Seminary at Philadelphia.
• “A Jewish Theology of Creation”; Dr. Arthur Green, Irving Brudnick Professor of Jewish Philosophy and Religion at Hebrew College.
• “PA IPL Climate Advocacy”; Paul Kline, EdD., Quaker educator and activist, on strengthening our public witness across the state.
From 5 to 6 p.m., we will present the 2015 Visionary Award to Dr. Arthur Waskow, Director of the Shalom Center and Mt. Airy neighbor. Rabbi Waskow is being honored for decades of prophetic action on behalf of the environment and all the peoples of the earth.
The Conference is co-sponsored by The Lutheran Theological Seminary at Philadelphia and the Reconstructionist Rabbinical College. Registration is $20 online ($25 at door); $10 for students/limited income. Scholarships are also available. Contact www.paipl.org or firstname.lastname@example.org to learn more.
Rev. Cheryl Pyrch is the pastor at Summit Presbyterian Church in West Mt. Airy.