We will be using this page to provide information and links to resources for our community to use in their response to the Climate Crisis. Our first installment is in response to the Covid-19 crisis we are currently facing.  In addition, please see guidelines from the CDC at Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and updates from the Vermont Department of Health.

Faith and Care for Earth in Times of COVID-19   March 2020

As we all face such uncertain times, including social distancing, isolation – self-imposed and otherwise - we at VTIPL want to reach out to our treasured community to share some words of inspiration, and links to meaningful activities and information with which you may wish to engage. We encourage you to worship in your homes, in nature, to connect with friends and loved ones virtually, and to reach out to those who may be especially vulnerable during times of disconnection. A phone call for reassurance can make a world of difference in helping people feel less isolated.

From VTIPL Board Member Pastor Nancy of Ascension Lutheran Church:

"How we respond to the virus, with strength, compassion, scientific knowledge, and deeply grounded in our faith tradition, will strengthen us as we encounter disruptions due to climate change.  I offer this meditation." https://www.lutheranworld.org/content/resource-intercessory-prayer-midst-spread-covid-19.

 

As a GreenFaith Fellow, Pastor Nancy appreciates how GreenFaith works internationally through interreligious leaders to address climate change and other environmental problems. This includes a new daily opportunity to connect virtually, which is also posted on the VTIPL Facebook page. Green Faith writes, “We may be physically apart. Overwhelmed and frightened by the daily news. But we are coming together in care and resilience for some spiritual respite. Will you join us for a daily call that we are hosting? We are people of faith and spirit from around the world.  Join us every day this week from Monday through Friday at 4 pm Eastern time. This is to connect with each other for 30 minutes of reflection, mutual aid, and solace, together with religious leaders from different traditions, and with readings of poetry and prayer. www.Facebook.com/greenfaith

The Deep Adaptation Agenda – a Map for Navigating Climate Tragedy, by Professor Jem Bendell, offers timely insights and suggestions for how we as a human community can not only consider the climate crisis, but also move through this current moment of upheaval and transition to a new way forward. Its essence includes 4R’s that seem particularly relevant right now:

-Resilience – How do we keep what we really want to keep?

-Relinquishment – What do we need to let go of in order to not make matters worse?

-Restoration – What can we bring back to help us with the difficulties?

-Reconciliation - What could I make peace with to lessen suffering?

Here is the link to Bendell’s full paper: www.lifeworth.com/deepadaptation.pdf

 

Of course, we encourage everyone to stay safe by continuing to follow CDC guidelines and those issued by Vermont Health Department guidelines, to be alert for notifications issued by our state and local governments.

 

Finally, this prayer/poem by Kitty O’Meara offers a note of optimism for the Earth and ourselves during these difficult times:

And the people stayed home.

And read books, and listened, and

rested, and exercised, and made art,

and played games, and learned new

ways of being, and were still. And

listened more deeply. Some

meditated, some prayed, some

danced. Some met their shadows.

And the people began

to think differently.

 

And the people healed.

And, in the absence of people living

in ignorant, dangerous, mindless,

and heartless ways,

the earth began to heal.

 

And when the danger passed,

and the people joined together again,

they grieved their losses, and made

new choices, and dreamed new

images, and created new ways to live

and heal the earth fully,

as they had been healed.

 

We wish you all well. Stay safe and full of compassion for yourselves, your loved ones and the Earth.

Additional Resources

Environmental Justice  and Pandemic Response Resources from the Unitarian Universalist Association

The UUA  has a website devoted to their Green Sanctuary program with numerous resources for communities seeking to address the Climate Crisis. It can be found at https://www.uua.org/environment/sanctuary

On that site, there is a specific page devoted to resources for communities during the time of pandemic. It can be found directly at https://www.uua.org/safe/pandemics

Video message from Stated Clerk of Presbyterian Church USA

https://www.pcusa.org/news/2020/6/9/stated-clerk-says-dont-rush-get-back-church-buildi/

The Center for Disease Control (CDC) has developed Guidelines for re-opening places of worship. A pdf version of them can be doiwnloaded here: Interim Guidance for Communities of Faith_CDC

A fukkl coipy of the CDC Guidelines, which also includes other facilities, e.g. child care, camps, etc., is available at https://www.pcusa.org/site_media/media/uploads/covid-19/cdc_reopening_guidelines.pdf

A Model for Returning to Church After COVID-19 from the Presbyterian Church USA:

https://www.pcusa.org/site_media/media/uploads/covid-19/returning-to-church.pdf

The Rev. Nancy Wright, VTIPL Board Member and Pastor of Ascension Lutheran Church in  South Burlington Vermont, has shared links to two Care for Creation organizations whose websites offer many resources for communities of faith. In addition, she offers a detailed bibliography which she has prepared. That bibliography is shared as a PDF which can be downloaded.

www.earthministry.org

www.lutheransrestoringcreation.org

Bibliography for Care of Creation

A guide for talking with people of five different faith about Faith and Climate Change, produced by Climate Outreach and GreenFaith can be downloaded at: https://climateoutreach.org/resources/climate-change-faith/

Earth Day Anniversary 2020

As a reminder of the spiritual foundation for our Creation Care and to honor the 50th anniversary of Earth Day, we offer this sermon delivered by a member of our board, the Rev. Nancy Wright.

Follow this link: Earth Day Sermon _Pastor Nancy Wright

Resources Available to Download

VTIPL Film Library

VTIPL has copies of these films and loans them to faith communities.

(Send email request to info@vtipl.org)

Films on the climate crisis

A Crude Awakening: The Oil Crash; 2006; 85 minutes + extras.  This film is about the “peak oil” crisis – when people thought that the era of cheap oil was over.

An Inconvenient Truth: A Global Warning; 2006; 96 minutes.  Former Vice President Al Gore's documentary about climate change and the future of our planet and civilization. (VTIPL has ten copies of this DVD.)

A Way Forward: Confronting Climate Change; 2007; 8 minutes.  This short film is from National Geographic and the United Nations Foundation.

Before the Flood; 2016; 96 minutes.  In this National Geographic film, Leonardo DiCaprio speaks with experts and political leaders around the world about climate change.

Two short films: Covenant  and  Fighting Goliath: Texas Coal WarsThese films came from national Interfaith Power & Light (date and running length not given).

Dirt! The Movie; 2009; 80 minutes + 2 hours of bonus materials.  This is an “insightful and timely film that tells the story of the glorious and unappreciated material beneath our feet.”

 

From the Ashes; 2017; 82 minutes.  This National Geographic film asks “What is the cost of coal?”  It was broadcast on television worldwide.

God's Creation and Global Warming; 2000; 14 minutes.  This film is from the National Council of Churches.

Green is the New Red White and Blue; from national Interfaith Power & Light (no date given); 66 minutes.  Thomas Friedman narrates the film.

Hope for Creation; 2010; 71 minutes.  From the organization Blessed Earth, this film is Part One (sessions 1 - 6)  of a two-part series with accompanying guidebooks.  It features Dr. Matthew Sleeth, and is “a creative and compelling call for Christians to embrace sustainable living out of love for God, neighbor, and all of creation.”  Hope for Humanity  is Part Two (sessions 7 - 12) of the series; 2010; 66 minutes.

Irreplaceable: Wildlife in a Warming World (no date given).  The film is in two parts: Wonder of the Wild; 5 minutes; and Irreversible, Irreplaceable; 11 minutes. Wonder of the Wild is a “short film packed with stunning images of plants and animals threatened by climate change.”  In Irreversible, Irreplaceable, faith, science, art, and conservation voices discuss the threat of climate change to wildlife.

Is God Green?; 2006; 60 minutes.  This is one part of a three-part Moyers on America series. “Millions of evangelical Christians in America have taken on care of the environment as a moral and biblical obligation.”  Other evangelicals disagree about the importance of creation care.  In this film, Bill Moyers and his team travel the country examining the feud.

Journey of the Universe, 2011; 57 minutes. An interactive film project written and conceived by Yale Forum on Religion and Ecology founder and religious historian Dr. Mary Evelyn Tucker and Evolutionary Cosmologist Brian Swimme, based on his and the late Thomas Berry's book, The Universe Story. Hosted by Swimme, the film narrates the 14 billion year story of the universe’s development, "from the great flaring forth" through to the evolution of solar systems, and planetary life of complexity and consciousness. The story inspires wonder as we begin to be awakened to the "dynamic processes of evolution that are chaotic, destructive, creative and life-generating". The project includes the film, book, podcasts, and online classes. It was birthed at the Riverdale Center for Religious Research, directed by Berry. Supporting materials that include Mary Evelyn Tucker's interviews with science and faith leaders can be found at: www.JourneyoftheUniverse.org

 

Kilowatt Ours: A Plan to Re-Energize America by Jeff Barrie; 2005.  The long version of the film is 56 minutes (track 1), and the short version is 38 minutes (track 2), and contact info. is in track 3.

Lighten Up! A Religious Response to Global Warming.  This film is from The Regeneration Project, Interfaith Power & Light.  (The date and running time aren't given.)  The Rev. Canon Sally Bingham, founder of Interfaith Power & Light, is featured as she shows various solutions to the climate crisis.  (VTIPL has 17 copies of the film on DVD.)

Marching for Action on Climate Change: Five Days Across Vermont with Bill McKibben and Friends; 2007; 55 minutes.  Along with the march, this film by Jan Cannon includes the sermon that Bill McKibben preached at the Charlotte Congregational Church.  (VTIPL has 2 copies.)

 Merchants of Doubt; 2015; 93 minutes.  In the film, the audience is taken on “a satirically comedic yet illuminating ride into the heart of conjuring American spin.”  The film is inspired by the book of the same title by Naomi Oreskes and Erik M. Conway.  (VTIPL has 4 copies.)

 Mountain Mourning; 2006; 78 minutes.  The film is part of a trilogy from Christians for the Mountains, a non-profit, grassroots organization encouraging protection of God's Earth and its human communities.  It's about mountain-top removal in the Southern Appalachian Mountains.

 Nourish; 2010; 26 minutes.  This film is about our food and includes interviews with experts Michael Pollan, Alice Waters, Anna Lappe, and Bryant Terry.  (VTIPL has 2 copies.)

One Man, One Cow, One Planet; 2007; 56 minutes.  This film is about “the farming revolution in India and one man, out to save the world.”

Paris to Pittsburgh, 2018; 78 minutes.  This National Geographic film about climate change “captures what's at stake for the communities around the country, and the inspiring ways Americans are responding.”

 Preaching for the Planet: Interfaith Messages on Global Warming.  The film is from national Interfaith Power & Light  - no date or running time given.  (VTIPL has 8 copies.)

 

 Radically Simple; 2005; 35 minutes.  Jim Merkel and his simple, sustainable, lifestyle are the subject of this film by Jan Cannon.

 Renewal; 2007; 90 minutes and Enhanced Stories running time- 110 minutes.  The film has nine stories of people from diverse faiths responding in different ways to the challenges of environmental degradation.  The 8th story is about Interfaith Power & Light.

 Scarred Lands & Wounded Lives: The Environmental Footprint of War; 2009; 68 minutes. “In all its stages...war pollutes land, air, and water, and destroys biodiversity, and drains natural resources...”  The environment is the “silent casuality.”

 The 11th Hour: Turn Mankind's Darkest Hour into its Finest; 2007; 92 minutes.  Actor Leonardo DiCaprio produced and narrated this film about climate change – looking at “where we've been, where we're going and – most important – how we can change.”  (VTIPL has 2 copies.)

The Fire Inside: Place, Passion, and the Primacy of Nature; 2012; 34 minutes.  This film is by Rebecca Neale Gould, a member of Vermont Interfaith Power and Light's board..  (Becky gave VTIPL a copy.)

The Human Element, 2020. This beautifully shot documentary shows how humans have become a powerful elemental force on the planet, leading to a new era known as the anthropocene, shaping Earth in ways equally powerful and destructive as the elements of water, air, fire and earth. The story follows photographer James Balog (of the film Chasing Ice). The apolitical, deeply engaging work is described as an "arresting new documentary … capturing the lives of everyday Americans on the front lines of climate change". The film was selected by Interfaith Power & Light as its feature film for 2020 Faith Climate Action Week. https://thehumanelementmovie.com/

The Hungry Tide; 2011; 53 minutes.  The film is about Kiribati, in the South Pacific, and the major problems that sea level rise is causing for the islanders.

 The National Parks: America's Best Idea; 2009 (no running time given).  This is a six-part documentary by Ken Burns which aired on television.  VTIPL has 2 DVDs: And God Saw that it was Good  and  Awaking the Spirit.

 

 

  The Power of Community: How Cuba Survived Peak Oil (with subtitles); 2006; 53 minutes. “When Cuba lost access to Soviet oil in the early 1990's, the country faced an immediate crisis – feeding the population – and an ongoing challenge: how to create a new low-energy society.” (VTIPL has 5 copies.)

 The Wisdam to Survive; 2014; 56 minutes.  This film about climate change by Vermonter Anne Macksoud features Bill McKibben, Joanna Macy, Nikki Cooley, Roger Payne, Richard Heinberg, Amy Seidl, Stephanie Kaza, Gus Speth, Jihan Gearan, and Ben Falk.

 Tipping Point: The Age of the Oil Sands; 2011; 90 minutes.  This Canadian film depicts the struggle of the First Nation's people from Fort Chipewyan, which is downstream from the oil sands, as they fight against the oil companies to preserve their territory, culture, and health.

 24/6: A Prescription for a Healthier, Happier Life; 2012; 45 minutes.  “In this 4-session video study, Dr. Matthew Sleeth lays out a plan for living a healthier, happier, more God-centered life by simply and faithfully honoring the Sabbath.”

 Who's Under Your Carbon Footprint?; 2009 (no running time given).  This video is from the Catholic Climate Covenant.

Yemanja: Wisdom from the African Heart of Brazil, 2020. Narrated by Pulitzer Prize-winning author Alice Walker. This documentary film, produced/directed by VTIPL’s Coordinator Donna C. Roberts & National Film Board of Canada filmmaker Donna Read transports viewers to Salvador da Bahia, Brazil, the largest former slave port in the Americas, home of the Afro-indigenous culture known as Candomblé, with a deep reverence for nature, community, elders and ancestors. This spiritual tradition, often known as the religion of nature, is alive and well despite extraordinary historical and contemporary challenges. The film’s story is told by elder women leaders of the tradition; the eldest, the daughter of an enslaved African, was 109-years when last interviewed. This is a timeless tale of Earth-based wisdom which humanity needs today more than ever, a portrait of a little known history of Africa in the Americas. Available on DVD and for institutional/educational licenses (yemanjathefilm.com), as well as OnDemand, www.vimeo.com/ondemand/yemanja .

 

Additional Suggested Film Resources

-(Free streaming through May 3, 2020 for Earth Day!) 

Taking Root: The Vision of Wangari Maathai, compelling documentary film about the Nobel Peace Prize Laureate the late Wangari Maathai, and her Kenyan-based GreenBelt Movement which has involved millions of people in planting trees for food fuel and shade. "Planting trees for fuel, shade, and food is not something that anyone would imagine as the first step toward winning the Nobel Peace Prize. Yet with that simple act, Wangari Maathai, a woman born in rural Kenya, started down the path that reclaimed her country’s land from 100 years of deforestation, provided new sources of food and income to rural communities, gave previously impoverished and powerless women a vital political role in their country, and ultimately helped to bring down Kenya’s twenty-four-year dictatorship.” Maathai was also an Earth Charter Ambassador before her untimely death. Available in 60 and 90 minute versions. https://takingrootfilm.com

 

-Before the Flood.  Documentary produced by National Geographic and featuring Leonardo DiCaprio on a journey as a United Nations messenger of Peace. In the film, he travels to five continents and the Arctic to witness climate change first-hand with scientists uncovering the reality of the crisis and meeting with political leaders fighting against inaction. He also discovers a calculated disinformation campaign orchestrated by powerful special interests working to confuse the pubic about the urgency of a growing climate crisis. Producer/Director Fisher Stevens also produced Racing Extinction and The Cove. The film’s website also has an action page.  https://www.beforetheflood.com