A Climate for Change: People’s Pilgrimage, Rally, Conversation, Greening Our Faith

June 10, 2015
Dear Friend,
We are at a crossroads. Climate change calls for the mindful presence, compassion and action.

As the Vatican with Pope Francis’ leadership prepares to release the much anticipated Encyclical on Creation scheduled for June 18, we in Western PA are preparing. We will be considering care for creation, sustainable development and the impact that climate change is having on the world’s poorest people

The name of the Encyclical is Laudato Sii (Praised Be You), is taken from St. Francis of Assisi’s “Canticle of the Sun”, a prayer praising God for Creation. The subtitle will be Italian, Sulla cura della casa comune, “on the care of the common home”.

People of faith and spirit around the world will be mingling prayer and mindful actions. We are continuing and building practices that can make a difference. Together we can inspire our leaders to be bold, and protect our future as we and they prepare for the Paris Climate Talks in late November-early December.

As you can see we will be offering many activities. 


June 21 will find us participating in the Pittsburgh 350.org Rally for Climate Justice on Summer Solstice Sunday. 


The morning of that We will begin with the first People’s Pilgrimage, a Walk for Paris. Our hope is that everyone will organize a series of mini-walks to or around the places you love, the places you are concerned about, remembering that around the world people are loving and caring for a region, a place, a family. Peoples Pilgrimages is a wonderful resource for prayers and meditations from around the world. 

Time to begin ….

The Environmental Justice Committee

Thomas Merton Center 


East Park, Allegheny Commons, Intersection of Cedar Ave and Lockhart Street, North Side.

There are two opportunities to demonstrate your concern about the climate crisis: a morning walk will connect climate change to air pollution from a Neville Island coke plant. In the afternoon there will be a Climate Action rally on the Northside.

ACTION: Bring your friends, family, neighbors and fellow workers to learn and demonstrate about the climate crisis.

Bring your hand-made signs and after the rally join the sidewalk procession over to the fountain at the Point. *Music provided by the Squirrel Hill Billies.*Reading of the Pittsburgh Climate Action Day Proclamation – Councilman Dan Gilman *Introductions and Opening Remarks – Patty DeMarco (Institute for Green Sciences, CMU) and many other interesting speakers. Description of the Problem and thoughts from local campaigns working on Solutions.
Sidewalk procession from Allegheny Commons to the fountain at the Point.

To RSVP or for more information contact Peter Wray at pjwray@verizon.net with ‘Climate Action Rally’ on the subject line.

A Climate for Change: 

Multifaith and Enspirited 

Conversation on Pope Francis’ Encyclical, Thursday, July 2, 2015

Sponsored by the Thomas Merton Center, Pittsburgh 350.org, and Penn Environment.

Panelists will address global and local challenges posed by the encyclical.

This important letter is expected to raise difficult questions about climate change, our relationship to creation and our responsibility for care of the Earth.

Come and be part of the conversation on Thursday, July 2, 7 pm, at the Episcopal Church of the Redeemer, 5700 Forbes Ave, Squirrel Hill.

Greening our Faith:  

A project of the Thomas Merton Center

Participants will apply study of eco-theology to congregational advocacy for climate change action.

This eight session series will begin on July 9nd and run through October 15th.

All events will be held at Church of the Redeemer in Squirrel Hill.

Dates for the series A Climate for Change, Greening our Faith:   

Thursday July 9th and 23rd, August 6th and 20th, Sept. 3rd and 17th, Oct. 1st and 15th, from 7-9 pm.  

Participants will be asked to purchase a copy of Patricia Tull’s,

Inhabiting Eden:Christians,The Bible and the Ecological Crisis.

To see why this book has been chosen please visit this book preview.

Additional resources will be provided.

For information, or to register for the series only, please contact Wanda Guthrie, Church of the Redeemer (wanda.guthrie@gmail.com ), Claudia Detwiler, Community House Presbyterian Church (cdetwil@earthlink.net).

You do not need to register for the July 2nd Papal Encyclical session.

Series discussion leaders are: Wanda Guthrie, Church of the Redeemer, Claudia Detwiler, Community House Presbyterian Church, and Dr. Randy Wiesenmayer, 1st United Methodist Church of Pittsburgh.

For more information contact: wanda.guthrie@gmail.com or 412-661-1529

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Wanda Guthrie Begins GreenFaith Fellowship

greenfaith logo

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                       Media Contacts:

October 22, 2014                                   Rev. Fletcher Harper

revfharper@greenfaith.org | 732-565-7740, ext. 301

Wanda Guthrie


Wanda Guthrie Begins GreenFaith Fellowship

National Initiative Training Diverse Religious-Environmental Leaders

Today, GreenFaith announced that Wanda Guthrie will join the Fellowship Class of 2015.  Wanda Guthrie will join 30 classmates from religious traditions including Jewish, Christian, Hindu, Buddhist, Baha’i, and Unitarian Universalist.  Members of this class of Fellows work in a wide variety of settings, including congregations, universities, environmental and religious NGO’s, denominational organizations, and peace organizations  “I’m looking forward to joining the Fellowship community,” said Wanda Guthrie.  “I’m deeply concerned about the threats facing the planet, and believe that religious communities can make an important impact.  I want to contribute to that movement.”

“We’re thrilled to welcome these new Fellows into the Program,” said Rev. Fletcher Harper, GreenFaith’s Executive Director.  “We look forward to working with them to support their growth as religious-environmental leaders.”

Since 2008, GreenFaith has trained over 130 Christian, Jewish, Muslim, Hindu, Buddhist and Unitarian leaders for environmental leadership.  Through three residential retreats, monthly webinars, and extensive reading, the Fellows will receive education and training in eco-theology, “greening” the operation of religious institutions, environmental advocacy, and environmental justice. Each Fellow writes their own eco-theological statement and carries out a leadership project in their community, mobilizing religious leaders in relation to an environmental issue.  Upon graduating, they will join the Fellowship’s alumni/ae network and mentor other emerging leaders in this field.

Harper directs the Program, with support from a multi-faith and multi-disciplinary faculty.  “This program will offer these leaders the opportunity to become well-trained leaders in religious environmentalism,” said Harper.  “They will help create an environmentally just and sustainable world.”

GreenFaith is an interfaith environmental coalition whose mission is to educate and mobilize diverse religious communities for environmental leadership.  Founded in 1992, GreenFaith is a leader in the fast-growing religious-environmental movement and has won national and international recognition for its work.  For more information, see www.greenfaith.org.

GreenFaith is grateful to the Kendeda Sustainability Fund for support for the Fellowship Program.  For more information, visit www.greenfaith.org.


Fossil-fuel disinvestment campaign launched

A local social-justice group yesterday announced its push to get local institutions to stop investing in fossil fuels. And it had company: the world’s best-known proponent of such disinvestment. Bill McKibben, founder of climate group 350.org, had stopped in Pittsburgh after returning from Europe, where he sought to persuade cities to pursue disinvestment. He was here to receive the Thomas Merton Award from Pittsburgh’s Thomas Merton Center, which plans to start gathering signatures on petitions asking Pittsburgh City Council to disinvest… Read More on pghcitypaper.com

Thomas Merton Award goes to climate change activist

McKibbenThe Thomas Merton Center gave its annual award to environmental author and climate change activist Bill McKibben Monday evening and publicly kicked off its campaign to get Pittsburgh City Council to divest all of its fossil fuel investments.  The Merton Center’s campaign is an outgrowth of an international divestment campaign started a year ago by Mr. McKibben and 350.org, the global grass-roots organization he formed to combat global warming.

Read more on Post-gazette.com. Click here for more information about the divestment petition.