Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Giving thanks and praise during Earth week: California Interfaith Power and Light

Dear Friends, I am pleased to share this letter from Rev Sally Bingham, President of Interfaith Power and Light, another group that is doing important work to bring together people of diverse faiths together to focus on environmental concerns from a spiritual basis
Below are some pictures taken at a recent "Interfaith Blessing of Animals" led by my friend Alice Druffel (of Interfaith Power and Light)  and Rev Jeff Utter (pictured below with Joseph Prabhu and my chicken Marilyn). Also pictured is my Buddhist friend Tim, my Sufi friend Noor Malika, a Native American woman named Jean and a Bahai woman whose name escapes me. Also in attendance was a Rabbi and many other people of faith from diverse traditions. 
We came together to celebrate the interconnectedness of all life and we had a blast. I shared that we came not only to bless the animals, but also to acknowledge that they bless us. 

In her letter below Sally Bingham describes some of the other activities that are going on in California during Earth week. This is a great time to reconnect with "Pacha mama," our mother the earth, and with her children, two-legged, four-legged, winged--those that crawl, and those that laugh.
This is time to reconnect with our Creator. For that reason, I'd like to share words Psalm 148, words that I have been contemplating this week. This psalm no doubt inspired  St. Francis to write his "Canticle to Brother Sun and Sister Moon." Let's take time to give thanks for  the amazing miracle of Creation and give praise our Creator.
Praise the Lord.
Praise the Lord from the heavens;
    praise him in the heights above.
Praise him, all his angels;
    praise him, all his heavenly hosts.
Praise him, sun and moon;
    praise him, all you shining stars.
Praise him, you highest heavens
    and you waters above the skies.
Let them praise the name of the Lord,
    for at his command they were created,
and he established them for ever and ever—
    he issued a decree that will never pass away.
Praise the Lord from the earth,
    you great sea creatures and all ocean depths,
lightning and hail, snow and clouds,
    stormy winds that do his bidding,
you mountains and all hills,
    fruit trees and all cedars,
10 wild animals and all cattle,
    small creatures and flying birds,
11 kings of the earth and all nations,
    you princes and all rulers on earth,
12 young men and women,
    old men and children.
13 Let them praise the name of the Lord,
    for his name alone is exalted;
    his splendor is above the earth and the heavens.
14 And he has raised up for his people a horn,[b]
    the praise of all his faithful servants,
    of Israel, the people close to his heart.
Praise the Lord.

Thanks be to God for chickens and dogs and all these dear friends.

Rev Sally Bingham writes:
I have a special bond with California. I was born and raised here. Thus I am delighted by the tremendous work being done by congregations and local working groups to make a difference. You are filling the calendar this spring with activities to nurture, support and inspire bold and courageous responses to global warming. Check out Faith Climate Action Week events in California.
On Friday evening I had the honor of introducing Dr. Veerabhadran Ramanathan of Scripps Institute known for his role in the Vatican’s Pontifical Academy of Sciences, at a gathering held at the stunning St. Paul's Cathedral, San Diego. This was the first event CIPL has hosted there since the city committed to going with 100% clean energy within the next 20 years. Thank you to everyone who helped make that gathering possible, especially Allis Druffel, Phil Petrie and The Very Reverend Penny Bridges. 
Our gathering in San Diego was just the beginning of many events, forums, fairs, and sermons that you, our members, will be participating in this week. 
I feel blessed to be part of the growing climate protection movement that is embodied in your events. Whatever way you are practicing, praying and actively participating this spring, I will be praying for the work we share and for our common home. 
With Interfaith Hope,
The Rev. Sally Bingham
Interfaith Power & Light

Yours in friendship and peace,

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