As we look forward to 2019, it is important to look back and reflect.  Here we offer our readers a glimpse of the work that YOU helped us accomplish this past year.

In our effort to “nourish intentional and diverse relationships across Arizona,” we recruited 16 new activists who attended our March “Be the Spark” workshop, added five new covenant congregations, two new Board members (one of the Islamic faith) and produced 8 events outside the Phoenix area. Among these were “Can Ice Cream Save a Warming World?” in Tucson and leading a storytelling workshop at “Common Ground on the Border Conference” in Sahuarita. We partnered with our Hispanic partners at CHISPA in four events, including “Clean Busses for Healthy Ninos.” We added 215 new contacts to our email list.

We produced 6 food justice events.  Among these were the “All God’s Critters” storytelling concert and dinner at the Franciscan Renewal Center, “Just Food” storytelling at Saguaro Christian Church in Tucson, and the “A Climate for Change: What Can I Do? How Shall I Be?” workshop, Tempe. We featured three food justice articles in our newsletter. We met with Prescott area congregations to promote “Harvest of Care Gardens” and enlisted two congregations to create vegetable gardens in 2019 and work on Earth-care programming.

In our goal of “cultivating activism”, we hosted Erin Pratt, from Minnesota Interfaith Power and Light,  to conduct a “Be the Spark!” workshop that included 8 new activists from outside Phoenix. In addition to the 5 events outside Phoenix, we hosted 15 events in Phoenix. We provided testimony twice at the Corporation Commission and we gave tremendous energy to support ballot initiative 127, “Clean Energy for a Healthy Arizona,” collecting signatures of support from 65 faith leaders, writing LTE’s and offering two workshops.  Two of our Board members were trained by the Climate Reality Project. We sent our ED and a Board member to the IPL Conference in D.C. We promoted 5 “March for Climate, Jobs and Justice” events and helped lead the march in Prescott.

We did “find creative ways to help people connect with Earth and communicate about climate change” by producing 5 Earth-related storytelling concerts with 30-60 participants at each. Among these were “Tree Stories” for Tu B’Shvat at Temple Emanuel and two “They Will Inherit the Earth” workshops with Fr. John Dear in Prescott and Tempe. We participated on a panel with the National Council of Jewish Women. We utilized the Marshall Ganz “Public Storytelling” approach in 4 workshops with 20-40 participants/workshop. We promoted 3 events that offered direct encounters in nature with 10-40 participants/event including a “Super Moon Walk” and a “Lovers Walk” in cooperation with the Museum of Walking.

We thank all of our partners and fellow activists in the climate change movement for their inspiring work.  Even in the midst of these unsettling (you pick your own adjective!) times, we see hope in local communities across America as well as across the planet.  Let us commit to continuing the fight to protect Mother Earth!