If future generations are to remember us more with gratitude than sorrow, we must achieve more than just the miracles of technology. We must also leave them a glimpse of the world as it was created, not just as it looked when we got through with it.
--Lyndon B. Johnson

People of Faith Gather around the State for Interfaith Climate Vigils

As international leaders met in Paris for COP21, religious leaders in our state came together in a similar act of solidarity. On December 3, 2015, interfaith groups across Texas hosted events during which members of various faith communities shared their traditions’ perspectives on climate change and discussed what it means to come together in pursuit of a common goal: climate justice and sustainability.

TXIPL is Going to Paris for COP 21

Texas Interfaith Power and Light is going to Paris! We (that’s us, Yaira & Bee) will be there for the first week of UN climate talks, November 30-December 6, 2015. As leaders from 196 nations meet to hammer out a binding and universal agreement on global climate action, we’ll connect with activists, scientists, and religious leaders from around the world in order to bring real-world climate justice stories home to the Texas faith community through videos, photos, and blog shorts in a special series we’re calling “Boots ‘n’ Berets.”

Learn more about COP 21 here. Follow Bee and Yaira's adventures here.

Local, state and national faith groups from around the U.S. are sending delegates to the talks. Meanwhile, back home in Texas, we know you’ll be calling for climate action in all kinds of ways:

Texas Climate Vigils

On Thursday evening, December 3rd, we hope you’ll join with others in your community to hold an interfaith vigil for climate action. These events will provide dedicated time for reflection, community connection, and shared commitment…plus, we’ll video-conference in from Paris to provide a live update! So far, Dallas, San Antonio, Austin, and Houston have events planned—and there’s still time to host a vigil if there’s not one already planned near you!

In the wake of the devastating terror attacks in Paris, some of the public actions planned for Paris won’t be possible. This makes global grassroots action—your action!—all the more important. Large and small, from Nacogdoches to El Paso, Amarillo to McAllen, our actions matter and can help make a difference.

As world leaders struggle toward agreements to protect the climate we all need to survive, faith voices are crucial. Faith groups from around the world are issuing calls for strong action, like this statement from the World Council of Churches/ACT Alliance. In the face of daunting challenges, the world needs faithful voices of hope. Join us!

Learn more about the Paris climate talks and ways to take action here.

We will be providing updates 2-3 times per day from November 30 until December 6. Join in the conversation on Twitter #BootsNBerets or follow @TexasInterfaith for news from Paris. You can also keep up with Bee and Yaira's travels on the TXIPL Facebook page or at http://texasimpact.org/Paris-2015.

Host an Interfaith Vigil for Climate Action!

This is an important time in terms of climate conversations and decisions at both the national and the global level, and our leaders need to see grassroots support for action on climate. 

We invite communities all across Texas to hold interfaith vigils for climate action on Thursday evening, December 3, 2015. 

We're all in this together. Climate change is global and affects all of us. It's time now to work in partnership with our brothers and sisters of different faith traditions in calling for a different way forward.

Together, we can pray, learn, and act. Click here to see which cities are already planning a vigil. Not one already happening near you? Sign up to host one!

Special Event! Catholic Climate Covenant in Austin, Oct. 20, 2015

On Tuesday, October 20, 2015 at 7:00 p.m. in Austin, Dan Misleh, Executive Director of Catholic Climate Covenant, offers a special presentation, Our Common Home: Care for Creation, Care for the Poor.

See event details.

Pope Francis’s encyclical on ecology, Laudato Si, says that climate change is real and mainly “a result of human activity.” The problem is urgent: “Never have we so hurt and mistreated our common home as we have in the last two hundred years.”

We must all change our day-to-day actions to live more sustainably: “Reducing greenhouse gases requires honesty, courage, and responsibility. Solving climate change means protecting the planet and vulnerable people, and we must hear both the cry of the earth and the cry of the poor."

Houston Creation Care Fest

The 2015 Houston Creation Care Fest & Environmental Extravaganza on September 27, 2015 will feature presentations by experts on the environment to address the The State of Our World.

In addition to the talks provided by the speakers, there will be childrens' activities about nature for children 5 and older, as well as informational materials from local environmental non-profit organizations.

You're Invited! Fort Worth IPL's "Pope and Potluck"

On September 24, 2015 at 9:00 a.m. central time, Pope Francis is scheduled to become the first pope to address a joint meeting of Congress. Following on the heels of Laudato Si, the pope's encyclical on ecology issued in June, this much-anticipated visit offers the opportunity for people to come together in community and explore how we can better care for God's creation and our neighbors.

On the evening of September 24, the day of the Pope’s Congressional address, Fort Worth Interfaith Power & Light invites you to a “Pope and Potluck” to reflect, discuss, and share good food. Mary Jo Kaska, PhD, Biblical Scholar, and Rita Cotterly, PhD, retired, will offer Catholic perspectives in response to the Pope’s address to Congress. People of all faiths are welcome to attend!

When: September 24, 6:00 PM

Where:  University Christian Church of Fort Worth, room 207

The 10th Anniversary of Hurricane Katrina: Thoughts, Prayers, and Resources

Ten years ago, New Orleans and the Gulf Coast were struck by one of the most devastating and costly disasters in U.S. history. The trauma of Hurricane Katrina spread across the world through shocking images of families stranded on rooftops, shattered homes, destroyed communities, and people seeking refuge in a dilapidated Superdome. The storm tore across the Southeast, claimed 1,833 lives, displaced nearly one million people, and left a wake of brokeness in its path. 

A decade later, rebuilding efforts are still underway and many people have returned home. However, in the continuing aftermath of this human and environmental catastrophe, we are faced with big questions: questions of increasing natural disasters due to climate change, of racial and socioeconomic inequality, and of social and environmental justice. 

Here, some resources from different religious traditions in commemoration of Hurricane Katrina. If you have a prayer, resource or link to share, please e-mail us.

The Trans-Pecos Pipeline Project

The Trans-Pecos Pipeline is a proposed 143-mile pipeline that would bring natural gas from West Texas to the U.S.-Mexico border, as part of an agreement with the Mexican Federal Electricity Commission (CFE). At 42 inches wide and just under 1,200 pounds of pressure per square inch, the pipeline will carry as much as 1.4 billion cubic feet of natural gas per day after its projected completion in 2017. The gas transported by the pipeline will originate in Texas’s Permian Basin at Fort Stockton and travel the length of the line, currently projected to run east of the Davis Mountains, skirt the town of Alpine, and pass through the famous Marfa Lights as well as the historic town of Shafter on its way south to the border at Presidio, TX, and Ojinaga, Mexico. From there, it will be piped further into Mexico for industrial use and power generation. The holder of the contract for this project is a consortium that includes two large energy companies—Mexico-based Carso and Dallas-based Energy Transfer Partners (ETP).

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