“If the only prayer you ever say in your entire life is thank you, it will be enough.” (Meister Eckhart)
As we approach the season of giving and thanksgiving, I am writing to express my sincere gratitude for the gift of you. Having you as a part of this movement is essential to our work. For this I am thankful, and praise you for your understanding of the need for and power of a religious message in the dialogue about solutions to global warming.
While we were unable to pass climate legislation at the federal level, we did with your help, pass billions of dollars in clean energy and energy efficiency incentives as part of the economic stimulus package. Religious leaders here in California played an important role in the defeat of Prop 23, which would have overturned our state’s climate and clean energy law. This was crucial to all the efforts across the country, and all eyes were watching the result to see if states will continue to lead efforts to address climate change. Additionally, hundreds of you turned out to hearings to call on the EPA to protect communities from toxic coal ash, and thousands more of you sent in comments on the issue. I am grateful.
Other events this year have shocked and saddened all of us – the coal mine disaster in West Virginia that took the lives of 29 people and the BP Deepwater Horizon rig explosion that killed 11 and devastated the gulf region. I think in the long run those events will drive home the fact that relying on coal and oil for energy is a dirty and dangerous business. I pray for a change in the way we create and use energy.
Thanksgiving is meant to be a time of gathering, gratitude, and good news, so I won’t dwell on the bad. But, as we say when we pray over a meal, “keep us ever mindful of the needs of others.”
That brings up the meal. What better time than Thanksgiving to show our gratitude for Creation through a thoughtful, sustainable menu? Check out our tips for a green Thanksgiving.
When we sit at the table for a Thanksgiving meal, let’s all remember the abundance that we have in the United States and not forget our neighbors in the developing world who are struggling. You have and can continue to help them by being part of our Carbon Covenant project.
We at IPL are thankful for all the efforts made by all of you on behalf of Creation. Your willingness to stand up for the needs of others and for our environment is an inspiration to me. You sent letters to your legislators, stood tirelessly to give testimony at the EPA hearings, preached on global warming in our Valentine’s Day Preach-In, reduced your energy use through the 10% challenge, and became “cool” with the help of our Cool Congregations program. And many new people and congregations joined IPL in the last year.
Thank you for all that you do to help us with our work showing love for God, our neighbors, and Creation.
The Rev. Canon Sally G. Bingham
Interfaith Power & Light