May 23, 2012

Local Interfaith Eco Networks

Texas Interfaith Power & Light works with local, interfaith networks around the state to articulate a religious response to shared environmental challenges. Networks are emerging in Fort Worth, Dallas, Houston and San Antonio - and there’s a well-established network in Austin - Interfaith Environmental Network, the Austin chapter of Texas Interfaith Power & Light. Below is some of the what and why of this work.

 Why local?
" Think locally, act globally." Some of the environmental challenges we face, like global warming, are huge and planetary in scale—but one of the best ways to make a difference is to take action and make changes at the local level. Texas is a big state! Our big cities each face a different set of environmental challenges. In order to provide an effective religious response to these challenges, we need local teams on the ground in our major cities.
Why Interfaith?
“The problems we face today, violent conflicts, destruction of nature, poverty, hunger and so on, are human-created problems which can be resolved through human effort, understanding and the development of a sense of brotherhood and sisterhood. We need to cultivate a universal responsibility for one another and the planet we share.” - The Dalai Lama
All of the world’s religious traditions offer teachings that instruct us to care for people and the planet that we share. You can access some of those teachings here. When leaders of different religious traditions come together in shared concern and a common call to service, we are all enriched and our work is more effective. We can do more, better, together.
Why Eco-?
“The maternal sea is polluted, the heavens are rent, the forests are being destroyed and the desert areas are increasing. We must protect creation. Better yet, we must embellish it, render it spiritual, transfigure it. But nothing will be done unless there is a general conversion of men’s minds and hearts.” - Patriarch Ignatius IV of Antioch, A Theology of Creation.
As people of faith, we care about a multitude of issues—hunger, poverty, strife, and so much more. We recognize, too, that global warming is already underway and that it threatens to exacerbate all of these concerns. Even as we address other issues, we are called to respond to the pressing environmental challenges of our time.

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