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Want to talk a little about how we ground and approach this work of Creation care. After hearing Monya talk last night, I d like to stress that this work is not grounded and embedded in the economy with a consumerist core. Rather, it is embedded in the reality of interconnectedness, wonder, awe of God s creation. Quote here.

Because we humans are part of Creation, the damage we do to the environment damages us. And so pollution from coal-burning power plants causes kids to get asthma, and makes it so we can t eat fish from local waters due to mercury contamination. And the people who suffer the most from environmental degradation are the poor, the elderly, children, and people of color. This is what we mean when we talk about Environmental Justice. Quote here.

So we find ourselves in a world with pollution, toxic chemicals in baby bottles and canned tomatoes, global warming what are we to do? Quote here. Rev. Sally Bingham, founder of IPL, was here in Austin in October at All Saints Episcopal Church. During her visit, she challenged us with this question: What if we took the words that we pray seriously? To really be stewards of Creation, to be our brother s keeper what would that require of us? Let s talk some now about what we can do.

TXIPL is a statewide network, connected to national IPL network, and encourages development of local IPL networks we ll talk more about that in just a minute. In the meantime, let s look at some current opportunities for engagement at these different levels.

On a national level: Statement in your binders in tab #4, copied on blue paper please sign on sign-on sheet at your table! Texas Impact supports legislation that will: Give the EPA authority to ban chemicals that are found to be unsafe for children; Test chemicals already on the market for safety and environmental impacts; Test new chemicals before they go to market; and Develop a new classification and labeling system to alert consumers to known toxins.

On a state level: Every month we host interfaith environmental conference calls and you are all invited to dial in. This month s call is How to Start a Green Team in Your Congregation. The complete schedule of calls is in your binder, behind tab #4, and is also on the website.

On a local level: This year, we are focusing on building up local, interfaith environmental networks across the state. Three parts of WHY: Local: builds community. Respond to local issues. Interfaith: We can do more, better, together. Environmental: Care for Creation both people and the planet that we share. Then introduce Sarah Macias, Steering Committee IEN. Sarah talks for a few minutes. Sarah and I will sit here during the break feel free to come visit with us to learn more or to talk about how to get a local, interfaith eco-network started in your area!

We exist to encourage, empower & support the work that you are doing. Please let us know how we can help.