World Religion Day 2014

 

The Interfaith Climate Group hosted a gathering to discuss the climate crisis.  More than 40 people attended the event at the Gainesville Garden Club on January 26.  The purpose was to explore how people of faith can respond to a warming world and changing climate.

Five speakers shared scripture from the Holy Books of their faiths, and read portions of climate statements put out in recent years by their religious organizations at the national and international level.

Then they shared their experience with organizations that are actively working on climate issues:

  • Quaker Earthcare Witness - Sandy Lyon and local Quakers are involved in direct action to reduce their impact on the Earth.
  • GreenFaith Certification Program - Karen Deeter and friends at B'nai Israel have committed to this two-year program for environmental leadership.
  • Florida Coalition for Peace and Justice - John X Linnehan lives on the Sustainable Living Center in Hampton, FL.  The Florida Coalition teaches about climate change and the Earth Charter at their Peace Education Center.
  • Citizens Climate Lobby - Bob Tancig told about the activities of this national organization, which works for the political will for a climate solutions.
  • Interfaith Climate Group - Sue Blythe and friends who took a climate change course reached out to the faith community to address climate issues.  This resulted in the workshop series, Building Community in a Changing Climate.  This parallels Sue's FutureFlash! Climate Challenge, in development with UF's PK Yonge Developmental Research School.  

In small groups, participants discussed other activities already happening in the Gainesville area, and considered ways we can support each other's efforts.

The Interfaith Climate Group will host three more workshop gatherings this year:

  • April - Earth Day
  • June - Earth Charter Anniversary
  • September - Universal Day of Peace

They offered a website and Facebook page and telephone tree to continue the conversation.  

 

 

 

Interfaith Climate Group: Inspired by a Wilmette Institute Course

On September 30, 2013, in News, by Robert Stockman

 

After taking the Wilmette Institute’s course on Climate Change in February 2013, five Bahá’ís in Gainesville, Florida, decided to put what they had learned to use and formed the Gainesville Interfaith Climate Group.

The Bahá’ís’ plan was to approach other religious organizations to find out what they were doing to address climate change and to see how the organizations could work together. The Bahá’ís involved include an educator, two environmental engineers, a psychiatrist, and a goat farmer—Sue Blythe, Farhang Darabi, John Herbert, Gary Hankins, and Charles Meister.

In March 2013 the Bahá’ís began hosting monthly presentations at the Gainesville Bahá’í Center to share videos and discuss climate issues. The meetings have covered a variety of topics and approaches.

March. In March the Interfaith Climate Group watched selections from the movie Home, which tells the story of our planet, its current problems, and the hope for the future. Part of the program involved sharing scripture from the world’s religion on the moral mandate to care for the Earth. Some thirty people attended the gathering.

April. The April program featured Climate Voices, which presented the Bahá’ís with an unexpected challenge. In the video, person after person describes the devastating effects climate change is having on their families and communities, affecting not just this generation but future generations as well.

The Bahá’ís had not anticipated, and thus were not prepared for, the expressions of despair and hopelessness by some of those attending and, as a result, lost a number of  participants who have not returned to subsequent meetings. On the positive side, those who stayed asked for concrete actions that individuals and communities could take, which set the topics for the next two months.

May. In May, in response to the discussion topic “What Can One Individual Do about Climate Change?” some fifteen people wrote about what they are doing and about what they would like to do during the next year. The participants then placed their suggestions on one of the Earth Charter’s sixteen universal principles for a sustainable world. The principles cover four topics: respect and care for the community of life; ecological integrity; social and economic justice; and democracy, nonviolence, and peace. (See http://www.earthcharterinaction.org/content/pages/Read-the-Charter.html). The Interfaith Climate Group recorded participant’ ideas for future use

June. The second topic that grew out of the difficult meeting in April was “What Can One Community Do about Climate Change?” This time some ten people considered how the core activities and community building can play a role. Again the participants matched their ideas to the Earth Charter principles and recorded them for future use.

July.  For its July meeting, the Interfaith Climate Group invited a guest speaker from Sunshine State Interfaith Power and Light, the Florida chapter of a national organization that offers a religious response to global warming. The Gainesville Climate Group planned to host the Sunshine State’s three-hour workshop, “Cool Congregations,” on September 28, inviting people from other religious groups in the Gainesville area, who can then take the workshop to their congregations if they choose.

August. In August, eight from the Interfaith Climate Group matched scripture to the principles of the Earth Charter, using the survey of scripture included in the Wilmette Institute’s Climate Changecourse and the Interfaith Power and Light’s religious statements on climate change.

September. In September, nine participants illuminated scriptural quotations with artwork in their own styles, from simple collages to elaborate designs. The illuminations will become part of “Illuminating the Earth Charter,” which will be on the Future Flash! Project website (www.futureflashproject.org). It will be used in a pilot project based on the Earth Charter.

On September 28, the Interfaith Climate Group hosted the “Cool Congregations” workshop. Three presenters from the Sunshine State Interfaith Power and Light inspired the participants to make personal commitments and recommendations to their congregations and Spiritual Assemblies

Devotional Meetings for People and Planet. The Interfaith Climate Group also started a monthly devotional gathering called “Interfaith Prayers for People and Planet.” The group uses excerpts from the climate statements from several religions, scriptural passages on caring for God’s creation, and prayers. The Climate Group hopes to rotate the devotional among places of worship of the group’s members.

October-December.  Over the next few months the Interfaith Climate Group will consult on what its role will be in the ongoing work of one of its members. Sue Blythe, author of the FutureFlash! Project, pilot tested a year-long after-school program in 2011–12 with twenty middle-school students at the Trilogy School in Gainesville, Florida. Loosely based on the Junior Youth Empowerment Program, FutureFlash! activities introduced young people to the principles of a sustainable world through the Earth Charter and the virtues. Students created and carried out service projects with mentors from the wider community. At the end of the year, at the FutureFlash! Show, families and friends were invited to get involved in the ongoing work of creating a sustainable, just, and peaceful world.

The centerpiece of the FutureFlash! Project is “Illuminating the Earth Charter,” a website where people of all ages share their activities and learning related to the sixteen principles of the Earth Charter. Now in its infancy, the website will make the vision of a sustainable world clearer year by year. On June 29, 2014, participants will celebrate the fourteenth anniversary of the Earth Charter with a production summarizing the accomplishments of individuals and groups participating in “Illuminating the Earth Charter.”

January–June 2014.  “The FutureFlash! Climate Challenge: A Serious Collaborative Game for the Human Family” is designed to involve individuals and groups in “Illuminating the Earth Charter.” Starting in January 2014, the Interfaith Climate Group plans to be one of up to six groups participating in the pilot test of “The Climate Challenge” game. Each month the group will meet for a one-hour workshop, similar to the Climate Group meetings held from March through September 2013. At each meeting participants will produce simple artwork or ideas for action plans. These can be further developed during the month using guidelines, activities, and resources on the Climate Challenge website. The culmination of the activities will be a production based on group activities, to be released for the June 29, 2014, the anniversary of the Earth Charter.

If you (or your group) are interested in participating in the pilot test of “The Climate Challenge” game and/or the Interfaith Climate Group, please contact Sue Blythe <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>. Visit the FutureFlash! Project website, with “Illuminating the Earth Charter” and “The Climate Challenge,” at www.futureflashproject.org.

  

Building Community in a Changing Climate

 

The Interfaith Climate Group plans a series of gatherings for the purpose of reflecting on our experience, sharing information and resources, and planning support for projects initiated by different congregations.

 

January         World Religion Day

April                Earth Day

June               Earth Charter Anniversary

September    Universal Day of Peace

 

Please let us know about your activities so we can post them here.

July 

August

September

 

October

 

November 

 

December

 

January 2015

 

 

 

Interfaith Climate Group
For more information contact Sue Blythe
352-376-0414 / This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

 

 

The Interfaith Climate Group Story

Since 2013, the Interfaith Climate Group has developed a series of events for climate education, inspiration and action.  Activities have included:

  • Climate Conversations with video and musical introduction.
  • World Religion Day events representing diverse faith groups of the Gainesville area.
  • Earth Day events at the Florida Museum of Natural History and Sustainable Living Center in Hampton.
  • International Day of Peace events, with Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of Gainesville and Veterans for Peace.
  • Earth Charter Anniversary events with Quaker Friends Meeting House, FutureFlash! Project and Florida Gulf Coast University, an Earth Charter affiliate.

Interfaith Climate Group 2013: Inspired by a Wilmette Institute Course

September 30, 2013, in Baha'i News, by Robert Stockman

After taking the Wilmette Institute’s course on Climate Change in February 2013, five Bahá’ís in Gainesville, Florida, decided to put what they had learned to use and formed the Gainesville Interfaith Climate Group.

The Bahá’ís’ plan was to approach other religious organizations to find out what they were doing to address climate change and to see how the organizations could work together. The Bahá’ís involved include an educator, two environmental engineers, a psychiatrist, and a goat farmer—Sue Blythe, Farhang Darabi, John Herbert, Gary Hankins, and Charles Meister.

 


Interfaith Climate Group 2017

In 2017 we are co-sponsoring the Beloved Community Climate Justice Conversation with the Martin Luther King Commission of Florida and the UF/IFAS Climate Conversation.

The Interfaith Climate Group offers tools and resources to engage young people -- and those who care about their future -- in faith-based conversations and activities for a sustainable, just and peaceful future.
We recognize that climate change is not merely an economic or technical problem, but rather at its core is a moral, spiritual and cultural one. We therefore pledge to join together to teach and guide the people who follow the call of our faiths. We must all learn to live together within the shared limits of our planet.
 
 

Culture of Peace TOOLBOX

Resources and activities

for children, youth, adults and elders

For more information, contact Alice Primack <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.> or Sue Blythe <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.;.

 
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PAST EVENTS
 
 
JANUARY 13-16, 2017  The MLK Weekend: Living Beloved Community Coopetition is a 4 day challenge to bring the vision of Dr. King’s Beloved Community to life through acts of kindness and organized service projects. 
 
We have inherited a big house, a great "world house" in which we have to live together - black and white, Easterners and Westerners, Gentiles and Jews, Catholics and Protestants, Moslem and Hindu, a family unduly separated in ideas, culture, and interests who, because we can never again live without each other, must learn, somehow, in this one big world, to live with each other.
 
 
17 January - 20 June 2017
Online Certificate on Education for Sustainable Development
Earth Charter International Professional Development Programme
 
 

The Interfaith Climate Group presents

CLIMATE JUSTICE CONVERSATION and ACTION

SUNDAY, JANUARY 22, 3:00-5:00 PM

WESTMINSTER PRESBYTERIAN CHURCH Community Building

1521 N.W. 34th Street, Gainesville

Dr. Mark Clark, University of Florida Associate Professor
and Extension Specialist on Wetlands and Water Quality, will speak on
“Managing water quantity and quality in South Florida:
| A complex issue in a complex landscape in a changing climate”

Refreshments and Discussion follow the talk.

Learn how you can be an advocate for CLIMATE JUSTICE IN FLORIDA!
For more information, contact Alice Primack <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>

Climate-Convo-Feature
 
2017-18 University of Florida's Climate Conversation
The Interfaith Climate Group and Martin Luther King Commission of Florida support the University of Florida's Climate Conversation.

 This is the great new problem of mankind. We have inherited a big house, a great "world house" in which we have to live together - black and white, Easterners and Westerners, Gentiles and Jews, Catholics and Protestants, Moslem and Hindu, a family unduly separated in ideas, culture, and interests who, because we can never again live without each other, must learn, somehow, in this one big world, to live with each other. 
 - Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., Nobel Peace Prize Lecture, 1964

Beloved Community Climate Justice Conversation and Action series
- contact Alice <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. for locations and times

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“The World is Dying and We’re Filming It”

6 PMDecember 11, 2016

The Wooly, 20 North Main Street

Gainesville, FL

Please join us for a free screening of fourteen original short films by the students of UF instructor Lauren DeFilippo’s Fall 2016 course “Creating the Cinema of Climate Change.” 

Rather than approaching climate change as a scientific, political, or policy problem, the students of “Creating the Cinema of Climate Change” were tasked with reframing environmental crisis as a moral and creative challenge. Over the course of the semester students considered how best we may respond to the realities of changing climate, collectively and as individuals. This requires not only scientific and technical resolve but also artistic invention and a re-evaluation of many of the cultural narratives that shape our consciousness. The students’ films demonstrate our need to find better ways to tell new stories fitted to the world in which we live and the world to come.

The screening will be followed by a Q&A session with the filmmakers.

“The World is Dying And We’re Filming It” is free and open to the public. No advance registration is required. For more information, see the “Imagining Climate Change” WWW site, http://imagining-climate.clas.ufl.edu.

 
 
 
 
 
February 23-25, 2017 
Third Annual Florida Interfaith Climate Action Network
​ Assembly
at First United Methodist Church, Orlando
Contact: The Rev. Dr. Russell L. Meyer, Florida Council of Churches <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.;
 
 
Together, let's do what we can't do on our own: 
create a world that works for all.
 

11 Days of Global Unity – 11 Ways to Transform Your World 
is a worldwide platform for the promotion of peace, justice, sustainability and transformation that annually includes as many as 700 associated events in over 60 countries around the world