In late October, VTIPL’s Board of Directors gathered at All Souls Interfaith Gathering’s gorgeous location in Shelburne overlooking Lake Champlain to reflect on the past year’s work and to chart plans for 2024. While considering a lengthy list of projects, in-person and virtual events, activities, and partnerships, we share news of two of VTIPL’s signature activities on which we’re already focusing.
Save-the-date for Faith Climate Action Lobby Day, on February 28, 2024. VTIPL will again participate in a Faith Climate Action Day of activities at the Statehouse in Montpelier. Please plan to join us if you can when we will reiterate to our state legislators that communities and people of faith and conscience demand action now to address the urgent climate crisis. In 2023, we held our second Faith Climate Action Day, after a first event in February 2020. The COVID-19 pandemic prevented us from making it an annual lobby day. Faith Climate Action Day is a collaboration with our partner organizations Vermont Interfaith Action (VIA) which has recently identified climate as a priority issue for the organization, Vermont Public Interest Research Group (VPIRG), Vermont Conservation Voters, and others.
Stay tuned for news about an in-person Celebrating Sacred Waters gathering later next year. During our recent Rock Point-based Equinox Lament and Celebration of Earth, a main comment from participants was how valuable it is to actually BE together, especially coming together in the natural world that we cherish and are dedicated to protecting. Celebrating Sacred Waters is an answer to that call. We also hope to have other in-person gatherings routinely and outdoors as possible and appropriate. We need each other, and we need the inspiration and community of nature and our sacred Mother Earth.
The Fall 2023 Conference has two components: ** – https://vermontchristianityarts.org/fall2023
Main Conference on Saturday, Sept 23 in Stowe Vermont. The conference moves from year to year; this year’s conference is at Blessed Sacrament Church, 728 Mountain Road, Stowe.
TIME: 8:30 am to 6:00 pm.
The day includes lectures on faith & the arts, and three 105-minute breakouts that let us explore practical aspects of different arts. Pick three workshops on a single art, or do a mix and explore new disciplines.
Friday Intensive Workshops on Sept 22, 9:00 AM – 4:00 PM
These workshops let us dig into specific arts in depth and interact more deeply with those passionate about that art.
In 1998, Saint John’s Abbey and University commissioned renowned calligrapher Donald Jackson to produce a hand-written, hand-illuminated Bible. Excerpts of this bible will be coming to Vermont – April 18, 19 & 20th. Below is our event schedule. You will not want to miss the opportunity to see this Bible!
April 18 – 5:30pm/7pm
On Tuesday, April 18th, the Vermont Ecumenical Council and Thrivent will partner to bring you a guided presentation on The Saint John’s Bible. Learn about the processes, tools, methods and materials that went into making this amazing piece of artwork. Join us for a free meal at 5:30pm before speaker Tim Ternes takes the stage at 7pm – hosted by Good Shepherd Lutheran Church, 273 Vt Route 15, Jericho, VT 05465. If you’d like to attend the meal, please register by April 16 online HERE >>. Any questions can be directed to Ryan Boisvert at firstname.lastname@example.org (802.233.9603). Also – please bring some non-perishable food items to help stock the Parish Food Pantry.
April 19 – 7pm
On Wednesday April 19th, The Saint John’s Bible will be presented at St. Augustine Catholic Church in the Montpelier (16 Barre St, Montpelier, VT 05602) at 7pm. We will bring you a guided presentation on The Saint John’s Bible. Learn about the processes, tools, methods and materials that went into making this amazing piece of artwork.
April 20 – 12pm
Noon luncheon and presentation “Seeing the Word: Visio Divina with The Saint John’s Bible”
This presentation will lead participants through the process used to develop the images in The Saint John’s Bible. It is akin to a visual Bible study experience. A very brief overview of the project is included, but the session focuses on one Bible passage and the accompanying artwork from The Saint John’s Bible. Participants read the passage, discuss the passage with visual thinking questions and read the SJU theological brief the artists of the project use as they prepare an image. After discussion and exploration, participants are given time to work with the passage independently and finally to share. The artwork
from the Bible is then explored and its development explained and discussed. This event will be hosted by Saint James Episcopal Church – 4 St James Pl, Essex Junction, VT 05452. We have 50 spots available and we are asking for a donation of $5 for the luncheon. Please register by April 19.
April 20 – 6pm/7pm
The Vermont Ecumincal Council: Network of Christian Cooperation will be hosting our annual free meal and Prayer Service for Christian Unity on April 20th – 6pm meal, 7pm prayer service – hosted by Trinity Episcopal Church – 5171 Shelburne Rd, Shelburne, VT 05482. The Saint John’s Bible will be used during the service and a short reflection will be led by presenter Tim Ternes with the Bible. Please register for the meal by April 18.
If you can not attend this event in person, we encourage you to Zoom into the Prayer Service with the following information. Time: Apr 20, 2023 07:00 PM Eastern Time (US and Canada)
Join Zoom Meeting
Meeting ID: 880 7214 9526
Donate to VTIPL this Fall & A Tree will be Planted for You!
A special autumn appeal for new donors and increased gifts to Vermont Interfaith Power & Light
A generous supporter of Vermont Interfaith Power & Light has offered to match $1000 in “new donations” to VTIPL received by November 1. They have also offered to match all increased donations over past giving.*
Of course, VTIPL welcomes all gifts in response to this special appeal.
In reciprocity for these gifts and to support natural solutions to the climate crisis, with the help of the Arbor Day Foundation, VTIPL will arrange for a tree to be planted for each gift of $30 or more.
At this time of the year when our natural world gifts us with her breath-taking fall palette, and the trees – like many in the northern hemisphere – prepare for much cooler days ahead, please help VTIPL sustain itself while we help our Earth and Creation by planting more trees.
HOW DO I GIVE?
You can give online by clicking the Donate Now button below or visit our website at www.vtipl.org and select DONATE NOW. If you prefer to use a check, please send a check payable to VTIPL (or Vermont Interfaith Power & Light) to: VTIPL, P.O. Box 3095, Burlington, Vermont, 05408.
Thank you in advance for helping us meet our match while contributing to natural solutions to the climate crisis by planting more trees.
Together we make a difference!
For more information, please contact VTIPL coordinator Donna C. Roberts at email@example.com
*Gifts from previous donors will be matched for the 2022 increase above prior annual donations. For instance, a donor who gives $100 during this appeal and has given $50 in the past will see the $50 increase matched.
VTIPL Co-sponsors Green Summit with Dr. Katharine Hayhoe – Sept. 11-14
VTIPL is co-sponsoring a very special four-day virtual gathering next month with Faith in Place and other IPL affiliates. Please join us for the Green Team Summit, Rooted Together. This year is the 7th Annual Green Team Summit which aims to connect like-minded people, build climate resilience, and explore the intersection of justice and healing work. From Sunday, Sept. 11 through Wednesday, Sept. 14, the Summit’s six sessions offer participants opportunities to engage with faith and environmental leaders from around the world.
The Summit’s opening keynote features Dr. Katharine Hayhoe with a live Q & A exploring her book, Saving Us: A Climate Scientist’s Case for Hope and Healing in a Divided World. Dr. Hayhoe is an accomplished atmospheric scientist and a remarkable communicator who has received multiple awards including the American Geophysical Union’s Climate Communication Prize and the U.N. Champion of the Earth Award. She is honored in prestigious lists such as Time Magazine’s 100 Most Influential People and FORTUNE magazine’s World’s Greatest Leaders. Her TED talk, “The most important thing you can do to fight climate change: talk about it” has nearly four million views. We hope to see you during the free Summit! Review Summit details and register. Summit Agenda.
LIGHT OF THE WORLD RETREAT
Looking for purpose, meaning and direction in your life? What is God’s plan for you?
How can I bring more of God’s light into my life?
Come to The Light of the World retreat at St. Augustine Parish, Montpelier, Vermont
Saturday, OCT. 1 – 7:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.
Sunday, OCT. 2 – 8:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.
Monday, OCT. 3 – 5:15-7:30 p.m.
“The Light of the World retreat re-energized my desire to strengthen my relationship with God.” June Knudsen
No cost to attend, meals provided. Masks optional.
You do not need to be a member of St. Augustine Parish to attend.
For more information, call St. Augustine Rectory: 802-223-5285
Pope Francis has called for Ash Wednesday to serve as a day of prayer and fasting for peace in Ukraine, and students at St. Michael School in Brattleboro are commemorating the day with a variety of art projects.
Among those projects, students worked together in art class to paint a giant Ukrainian flag, and eighth graders taped off a window to paint a stained-glass cross. Students worked on their own creations in art class; student artwork will be hung in school windows during Lent as a reminder to pray for world peace.
Art teacher Lucija Duchaney is originally from Latvia, and she talked to the children the day before Ash Wednesday about the global call for world peace. “Rather than focusing discussions on Russia vs. Ukraine and all the emotional and political complexities there, she shared with the children that the world is coming together in the next 40 days to pray for peace,” explained Lindsay O’Neil, who works in admissions and development at the school. “They looked at photographs of people all around the world gathered together in prayer and found the famous cities on the globe. They then found our location here in Brattleboro and were able to feel connected to an amazing movement that is happening worldwide right now as we enter into Lent.”
by VTIPL Board Member Richard Butz
As we head toward the midpoint of the legislative season in Vermont, I think it is useful to take a breather and assess where we are in relationship to climate policy in the state.
In the last several years. a lot has happened. The Global Warming Solutions Act was passed that MANDATES reductions of greenhouse gases in Vermont; the Climate Council has presented its report to the legislature recommending how the mandates can be accomplished; major bills are being been drafted; the administration has proposed its goals and budget; unprecedented amounts of federal money have flowed in; and the climate crisis, yes crisis, becomes more dire with every scientific report.
So, what do we make of this? In meetings of the Act on Climate Coalition (www.actonclimate.com), we learn that the Vermont Legislature and the administration are swamped. All these issues may seem simple to us, but are actually incredibly complicated, and our legislators and administration have to navigate them while taking care of “ordinary” business.
As we try to “Build Back Better,” it is also imperative that we take this opportunity to address the wrongs that have accumulated regarding those who have been left out or cast out. So, added to the list is the need to bake climate justice into everything we do from this point forth. You’ll see this in the legislation and governmental policy going forward – I believe our legislators are committed to it, and as people of faith, we are too.
With these things in mind, we first need to understand that our legislators and Governor have a herculean task confronting them, and we need to thank them. Secondly, we need to educate ourselves about priorities. I strongly recommend that all read Vermont Conservation Voters’ Vermont’s 2022 Environmental Common Agenda of legislative priorities available on their website: Vermont’s 2022 Environmental Common Agenda
After getting up to date on the issues and priorities, we need to act by contacting our legislators and administration to let them know we are paying attention and inform them of our priorities. At this point, I suggest we call, email, or write to our legislators and tell them: “We are people of faith who care about our kids’ and grandkids’ future on this Earth. We know climate change is affecting us right now. We know it will get worse if we don’t act right now, and we want our representatives and Governor to act decisively right now. We must pass legislation and allocate significant funding to immediately begin reducing our greenhouse gas emissions right now, starting with bottom-up programs that relieve pressure on those who are often most affected, the poor and those who have historically been left out. We don’t have time to waste; our house really is burning.
- Call the Sergeant-at-Arms office to have a message given directly to your legislator at 802-828-2228. This is particularly useful if they are voting on a particular bill; pages will run the message right to legislators’
- Find your legislators’ emails and phone numbers at https://legislature.vermont.gov
- You can find a link to contact Governor Scott at https://governor.vermont.gov
Thank you for taking action for our future, our childrens’
and our grandchildrens’ future, and the future of Mother Earth.