Faith-Led Climate Action During Earth Month 2022
During April, faith and spiritual communities across Minnesota acted for the earth. We’re excited to celebrate some of these actions here! If you’d like yours added, please email a short summary of your action and a photo to [email protected]
Meeting with Senator Tina Smith
On Tuesday, April 26, more than 250 people gathered online with Senator Tina Smith. We thanked her for her leadership on the $555 billion climate investments in the Build Back Better Act—and urged her to get funding over the finish line this spring! We shared climate and clean energy stories from faith communities around the state and highlighted Liberty Church in Minneapolis, the Hindu Society in Maple Grove, and the EcoFaith network in northeastern Minnesota. Together, we made a powerful statement that people of faith and conscience want bold climate action in Congress!
Westminster Town Hall Forum
On Wednesday, April 27, MNIPL attended the Westminster Town Hall Forum featuring renowned climate justice organizer, Colette Pichon Battle. She offered insights that connected with our commitments to oppose pipelines, be in deep relationships with Native communities, and name the United State’s responsibility to compensate for climate loss and damage. She encouraged us to explore the connections between climate injustice and spiritual deprivation and trauma. After the Forum, MNIPL’s Executive Director, Julia Nerbonne, led a powerful community conversation with over 20 people. They explored themes from the talk and topics around the intersection of trauma, racial justice, and climate change.
MNIPL’s Twin Cities Earth Day Celebration
On Earth Day, in the middle of a rainstorm, MNIPL hosted an in-person gathering at Wabun Park near Minnehaha Park in Minneapolis. We ate cookies, sang, and celebrated our 22 certified Climate Justice Congregations. Special thanks to Sarina Partridge for teaching us new songs; Bruce Kessler, Andree Aronson, Roberta Haskin, and Eden Bodnar for sharing stories and poetry; and Rick Gravok for leading earth games. It was a beautiful, if damp, afternoon to be in community!
Earth Day Sunday (April 24) Congregational Events
After worship, the environmental justice team for First Universalist Church in Minneapolis held an Earth Day Action event. Volunteer-led stations in the church’s social hall featured topics like “No Mow May,” protecting Lake Hiawatha, DIY potting radish or lettuce seeds to take home, petitions, information on MN Renewable Now with guest speaker Kristel Porter, and much more!
Hennepin Avenue UMC in Minneapolis focused on creation care for worship. Afterward, they had opportunities for kids to create cleaning products and bird feeders and play a recycle/trash/compost game. Adults got information on divesting from fossil fuels and a chance to shop a sale at the church’s thrift store.
New Life Presbyterian Church in Roseville welcomed Whitney Terrill, MNIPL’s Environmental Justice Manager, as she shared an Earth Day sermon titled “The Time is Now to Cherish Creation, Cut Carbon and Speak Up.” The congregation’s green team also hosted a fair to invite members to sign up for policy and advocacy actions.
The Creation Care Team and Children, Youth and Families Ministry for St. John the Evangelist Episcopal Church in St. Paul led an intergenerational seed ball activity after worship. Representatives from various groups, including MNIPL, were present to share resources related to their work and engage the community in a deeper way.
Gethsemane Lutheran Church in Hopkins recently installed solar panels and held a Blessing of the Panels ceremony on Earth Day Sunday. Event speakers and special attendees included Mayor Patrick Hanlon, Rep. Patty Acomb, representatives from the solar company, and ELCA leadership.
University Lutheran Church of Hope in Minneapolis held a dedication ceremony for their solar array that was recently installed on their parking lot. Buff Grace of MNIPL was the guest preacher.