January News & Views
Jan. 19, 2023
In This Issue
GreenFaith Leader to Speak at Jan. 26 General Meeting
By Ace Leveen
All are invited to join Third Act Faith as we gather together on Zoom on Thursday, Jan. 26, at 7 p.m. EST (4 p.m. PST). We will have the privilege of meeting with, and learning from, The Rev. Fletcher Harper, executive director of GreenFaith, an international multifaith environmental movement.
The Rev. Harper is truly a pioneer in this work, recognizing early on the urgent necessity for a faith-based fossil fuel divestment movement. Among his many accomplishments, he co-founded Shine, an international campaign that supports women and community-led renewable energy access initiatives in Africa and India. He is also the author of GreenFaith: Mobilizing God’s People to Protect the Earth.
Pat Almonrode, co-facilitator of Third Act Faith, will interview the Rev. Harper about GreenFaith’s progress in targeting fossil fuel financing, an initiative shared by Third Act Faith through our Banking on Our Future campaign. Their conversation promises to be engaging and activating!
That will bring us to updates on Third Act Faith’s recent work through several newly formed committees that need you. At the meeting you will have the opportunity to match your interests with our work moving forward.
Finally, we will meet Anna Goldstein, Third Act Central’s point person for 3.21.23, the Day of Action set for March 21, 2023. She will update us on plans underway and also share actions that may be happening across the nation, possibly in your region. [Read about a local Faith plan below.] Your voice will be crucial in shaping our specific contribution as Third Act Faith.
So come learn and be inspired to act by matching your interests, skills and passion with the work of Third Act Faith. It does take a village. We need all of us!
Register for the Jan. 26 General Meeting at https://thirdact-org.zoom.us/meeting/register/tZ0of-GopzgsHNM1Pz3YIG3xiQT8lCfPKv_u
After registering, you will receive a confirmation email with information for joining the meeting.
3.21.23 DAY OF ACTION
A word from our new liaison
By Chris O’Keeffe
TAF 3.21.23 Liaison
I come to you from the Boston area, where I worship at The Paulist Center and serve in the Center’s Creation Care ministry. Recently retired from a 40-year career in nonprofits, I joined Third Act about a year ago, and have newly arrived at Third Act Faith. I will be serving as our liaison to the national organization in the planning of the 3.21.23 Day of Action.
As last month’s newsletter previewed, our goal is to pressure four megabanks that are bankrolling the expansion of fossil fuel extraction worldwide to stop investing in the acceleration of planetary destruction. Check out this blog post by Third Act founder Bill McKibben, who has much to say about this issue.
The Faith voice has a unique contribution to make. We can bring powerful symbolism and a sense of community to this national event. Actions we’re considering:
Nationwide interfaith sounding of church bells, shofars, drums and gongs
National prayer service over Zoom before and/or after the Day of Action
Concerted effort to maximize visible faith community presence at local events
3.21.23 is coming up fast. With only nine weeks to go, we need your help. There are several ways to lend a hand:
Share your ideas
Join the working team
Come out on 3.21 and bring your family and friends with you!
Interested? Contact us at email@example.com with 3.21.23 subject line.
Planning a local action
By Sharon Delgado
TAF Coordinating Committee
As the United Methodist liaison to Third Act Faith’s Faithful Banking Committee, I am trying to get the word out to United Methodists around the country about Third Act Faith and the Banking on Our Future Campaign. My article, “Climate Change and Faithful Banking,” was published on January 4 by United Methodist Insight, a national newsletter. It interprets the campaign from a Methodist perspective.
I live near Nevada City, a small town in the foothills of Northern California. I am pulling together a Third Act Faith group for a March 21 Banking on Our Future local action by reaching out to members of my denomination, speaking to pastors and some of the people I know in the three nearby United Methodist churches, and by reaching out through our local nonprofit, Earth Justice Ministries, which works with people from varied faith traditions.
Asking someone to pledge to change their bank is a big ask, especially in this time of direct deposits and automatic payments… Read more
IN THE NEWS
Presbyterians consider a “Faithful Third Act”
By Dan Terpstra
Faithful Banking Chair
“We boomers can do so much more than we may think. We’re a large generation with outsize responsibility and capacity to help save the future.…
Thank God we are not alone. We have clouds of witnesses, known and unknown, to share the work and double the joy.… This cloud of witnesses is growing. We who, like Moses, face the crowning third of our lives now have a movement to inspire us. It’s called Third Act.…” (Excerpts from “A Faithful Third Act”)
Earlier this month, the Presbyterian Outlook published an article by Patricia K. Tull, titled “A Faithful Third Act.” A retired Old Testament scholar, longtime environmental activist, and a member of Third Act Faith, Trisha submitted the article for review late last year. When the editor asked her if it could be included as a feature article in an issue dedicated to older adults in the church, she readily agreed.
The article is a beautifully written and compelling case for engaging “gray-haired Christians” to act on the climate crisis with a like-minded “cloud of witnesses.” Toward the end of the article, Trisha lifts Third Act and Third Act Faith as “a movement to inspire us.”
In conjunction with the article, the Presbyterians for Earth Care are hosting a webinar entitled Older Adults & Climate Change on Tuesday, Jan. 24, at 7:30 p.m. EST (4:30 p.m. PST). Trisha Tull, Jim Antal, and Dan Terpstra, all members of Third Act Faith, will each present briefly, followed by time for questions. Register here to attend.
Faithful Banking to reach out
The Faithful Banking Committee is developing a plan to reach our faith communities with messages and materials that will resonate with members of our various faith communities. We have liaisons identified for most major faith traditions within our membership list, and will be reaching out to you with specific actions to consider in the next few weeks. If you haven’t heard from us by the end of the month, or you’re particularly interested in getting involved with this effort, let us know! Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org with the subject: Faithful Banking. Don’t forget to let us know the denomination or faith community of which you’re a part. (By Dan Terpstra, Faithful Banking Committee Chair)
Weekly devotionals coming
The Hope & Lament Committee will be posting devotionals each Wednesday in February on the TAF Facebook page. In honor of Black History Month, each devotional will invite reflections on the devastation climate destruction is causing communities of color throughout the world. We encourage and welcome reflection and response to the messages posted, hoping to provide a deeper realization of our interdependence across all communities.
Resourcing spiritual resilience
Jerry Cappel, a new member of TAF’s coordinating committee, would like to form a team of Faith’ers focused upon providing resources for spiritual resilience. In an article in the December issue, he explained that we need resources that encourage patience, endurance, and perspective, and a “shared language” that builds community and empowers action. Interested? Email email@example.com with the subject Spiritual Resiliency.
NEWS FROM THIRD ACT CENTRAL
Lawyers’ group launch
The Third Act Lawyers Working Group will host its online launch today, Jan. 19, beginning at 7 p.m. EST (4 p.m. PST). Remarks will be given by Third Act founder Bill McKibben, and presentations given on climate-related pro bono opportunities, writing legislation, and confronting NIMBY challenges to sustainables. All lawyers are invited. RSVP to Lawyers Group Launch
This month’s All-In Call on Wednesday, Jan. 25, beginning at 8 p.m. EST (5 p.m. PST), will feature guest speaker Ben Jealous, former NAACP head and newly appointed executive director of the Sierra Club, and an “exciting reveal” for finding and hosting 3.21.23 Day of Action activities. RSVP to All-In Call
Responsible retirement finance
The fourth and final program in the Responsible Finance webinar series will begin at 3 p.m. EST (noon PST) on Thursday, Jan. 26. It will focus on implementing retirement plans, exploring how to move your money to support investments in clean energy, healthy communities, and climate solutions. And much more. RSVP to Responsible Finance Missed the earlier webinars? Video presentations are available.
On January 31, Third Act, partnering with 3Generations on a Youth Video Contest on the intergenerational movement, will hold a 60-minute “Community Conversation.” The program with a group of people coming from all walks of life and generations is organized to help elders gain insight into their passions and perspectives about the future of society and sustainability. The discussion at 6 p.m. EST (3 p.m. PST) will be a great place for youth and elders to gain inspiration for the contest videos AND to learn about intergenerational movement building and storytelling. RSVP to Intergen and invite the youth (18-24) in your life to join in.
NEWS FROM PARTNERS & FRIENDS
Order an IPL toolkit
You can keep the momentum from the 3.21.23 Day of Action going by taking part in Interfaith Power and Light’s annual Faith Climate Action Week. Scheduled April 14-23, the week’s theme is “Living the Golden Rule: Just Transition to a Clean Energy Economy.” Their comprehensive toolkit includes faith-based worship ideas, discussion guides, and action steps. Order a toolkit today.
Wild Goose Festival wants you
Third Act Faith hopes to bring our campaigns of climate justice and democracy to the Wild Goose Festival, an annual celebration of spirit, justice, art, and music in North Carolina in July. Plans are underway for Bill McKibben to be interviewed on the main stage by Brian McLaren! Contact Melanie Griffin for more information, and check out the festival’s invitation.
DID YOU KNOW?
Many of us start the new year by decluttering. If you are getting rid of any possessions, keep in mind that 146 million tons of solid waste goes into landfills in the U.S. every year. Returned clothing that was purchased online often goes to landfills as well, instead of being resold. Landfills are located in “someone else’s backyard” and are notorious for environmental injustice and for methane, which contributes to global warming. Instead, look for alternatives to trashing by donating, rehoming, or recycling. (Adapted from UMC Creation Justice Tips)
A refugia for us - TAF member’s book
The biological term “refugia” refers to places of shelter where life persists in times of crisis, such as a volcanic eruption, fire, or stressed climate. Ideally, these refugia endure, expand and connect so that new life emerges. In her book, Refugia Faith: Seeking Hidden Shelters, Ordinary Wonders, and the Healing of the Earth, and her podcast, "Refugia: a podcast about renewal," Third Act Faith member Debra Rienstra explores how Christian spirituality and practice must adapt to prepare for life on a climate-altered planet.
In applying this concept to human culture and faith, Debra asks such questions as, In this era of ecological devastation, how can Christians become people of refugia? How can we find and nurture these refugia, not only in the biomes of the earth, but in our human cultural systems and in our spiritual lives? How can we apply love and creativity to this task as never before?
A professor at Calvin University, she has appeared in several recent webinars, and will be featured in “An Evening with Debra Rienstra,” hosted by the BTS Center on Feb. 16, 7-8:30 p.m. EST (4-5:30 p.m. PST). She will discuss how the book came to be and how it can be used in communities of faith and beyond. This special event will also feature the music of Pax Ressler and conversations with other spiritual leaders engaged in climate action. The cost is $10, or $30 including a copy of the book, and details and registration are available at BTS Center "An Evening with Debra Rienstra.” (By Jane Ellen Nickell, Communications Chair)