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August 29, 2015

We Speak from a Sacred Core- Reflections on Attending PA-IPL Advocacy Training

Reflections on Attending Pennsylvania Interfaith Power and Light Advocacy Training, August 26, 2015

by Pastor Inge Williams, Friedens Lutheran Church, Shartlesville, Pennsylvania

I recently heard a theologian say that the first reaction of people to an awareness of the environmental crisis tends to be despair. This was certainly the case for me. I vividly remember the moment when I read the IPCC’s press report in a college computer lab in 2007 and realized that humans were wreaking havoc on the climate. I fell into a spiritual crisis, paralyzed by a sudden understanding of the weight of our folly.

What saved me from this despair was meeting people who were also deeply concerned and who had been compelled to speak and act on behalf of life itself. Through encounters with these Spirit-filled individuals, I found my own voice rising up in a chorus of resistance and hope. This is the essence of advocacy- using our voices on behalf of those whose interests are not otherwise represented in the halls of power.

At Pennsylvania Interfaith Power and Light’s Advocacy Training, I was pleased to be given a framework for advocacy that took the urgency of the situation seriously and wasn’t resigned to disillusionment with the political process. I find hope in this concrete action, done in a united but diverse voice, coming from the solid foundation of our faith. Grounded in love and the vision of a restored creation, we speak from a sacred core. As a result of the workshop I feel better equipped to engage in the messy business of advocacy with my head up and my heart open.

All our efforts at advocacy are empowered by the Advocate, the Holy Spirit, whose resurrection power gives us the courage to undertake together what we could never do alone. I give thanks that God continues to sweep us up into action on behalf of this beloved creation.

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