PPEAT Meeting Minutes: December 14, 2021

Cathedral Church of St. Luke

Public Policy and Environmental Action Team (PPEAT) 

Dec. 14th, 2021 

Facilitator: Sarah Braik 

Minutes: Charles Skold 

Present: Sarah Braik, Charles Skold, John Hennessy, Sue Inches, Mary Linneman, Barbara Ryland, Connie Bingham, Sam Allen, Elizabeth Parsons, Dick Farnsworth, Ted Kanellakis 

Territory Acknowledgement 

The Cathedral of St. Luke sits on unceded Wabanaki territory. We acknowledge that we have benefitted from the exploitation and subjugation of those whom our forebears failed to understand and honor. 

We also acknowledge the legacy of colonization embedded within the technology, structures, and ways of thinking we use every day, leaving significant carbon footprints and contributing to changing climates that disproportionately affect indigenous people worldwide. 

Let us acknowledge all this, and take collective responsibility to make good use of our meeting time, and to work towards dismantling the ongoing legacies of settler colonialism, to preserve lands and waters for future generations, and to support indigenous sovereignty. 

  1. Meditation: 
  2. We are not alone. We human beings are here in exactly the same sense, and for the same purpose, that sea urchins, banana trees, icebergs, quartz crystals, asteroids, interstellar hydrogen clouds and astronomical black holes are here. Our purpose, and that of all our fellow creatures, is, as the Psalmist so often proclaims, to praise our Creator with all our being. Lynn Townsend White Jr. “Christians and Nature,” p. 11 
  3. Conversation with Sue Inches, author of Advocating for the Environment: How to gather your power and take action
  4. Book premise: Yes, our environment is in a bad situation, but what can ordinary citizens do about it? 
  5. How we can influence the process and outcome 
  6. Sue’s advocacy roles right now 
  7. Pine Tree Amendment
  8. Our Power 
  9. Actions we can take 
  10. Storytelling – the power of our stories 
  11. What are your earth stories? 
  12. Positive: moments of natural awe and beauty
  13. Negative: witnessing the consequence of destructive 

practices 

  1. Show how ordinary people are affected by policies 
  2. Advocacy — sharing our stories and perspective with decision-makers 1. Citizen voices are really important! 
  3. Decision-makers need help 
  4. Understanding the problem 
  5. Coming up with solutions 
  6. Takes about 5 phone calls for legislators to start paying 

attention 

  1. Advocacy is about relationship-building 
  2. Many different roles needed 
  3. Some needed for advocacy 
  4. others needed for direct action 
  5. Understanding what concerns the decision-makers have 
  6. Advocacy is asking decision-makers to do what you want them to do 
  7. Have a specific ask for their action 
  8. Make sure the decision-makers have the power to do what 

you are asking 

  1. Everyone has a role in addressing this environmental challenge 
  2. All-hands-on-deck approach 
  3. Find out what works for you! 
  4. Need more critical mass of people involved 

iii. Embrace a vision – focus on the positive thing we are moving towards 1. Sue’s vision: where life is respected, revered, and nurtured 

  1. What is the positive vision we all want? 
  2. Turn disruptions into opportunities 
  3. Great Depression into New Deal 
  4. 1960s into Environmental Legislation 
  5. Current disruptions are difficult, but they could be a huge 

opportunity for us to act! 

  1. Take action to support the Pine Tree Amendment 
  2. Website here
  3. Diocesan and legislative updates 
  4. The primary focus will be on LD 1626, “An Act Implementing the Recommendations of the Task Force on Changes to the Maine Indian Claims Settlement Implementing Act” 
  5. Tool for taking action on LD 1626
  6. Ongoing matters (brief updates) 
  7. Flyer revision (Charles and Ralph) 
  8. Charles will send along what they worked on
  9. Everyone review their proposals and give input on the questions 

they ask 

  1. Bridging the Two Maines update (Sarah) 
  2. Sarah, Dick and Mary have determined this is more appropriate for the Diocesan level, so Emily Keniston will be bringing up our idea with the Bishop. 
  3. Energy Star for Congregations (Sarah) 
  4. No one thus far has been able to take the lead. Sarah asked Ben to tell the vestry we think it is an excellent idea, and that Jamie Cough is willing to help. We also recommended a few others, including Sam Allen. 
  5. Sam will try to think about what it would involve after the holidays d. Ecotips (Sarah) 
  6. Most recent one is on investment portfolios. Encouragement to divest funds from fossil fuels 
  7. Diocesan Climate Justice Council (Sarah and Barbara) 
  8. Bishop will be sending letters out to each congregation about creation care ii. Diocese will be sending out large hand-made crosses for each 

congregation as a gift for creation care 

  1. New matters 
  2. PURPLE, a new short documentary from political mediation organization Resetting the Table (RTT) and Emmy Award-winning Transient Pictures, tells the story of everyday Americans with opposing viewpoints addressing their differences head-on. Filmed in a swing region in rural Wisconsin and Iowa, PURPLE models a rare conversation that uplifts and inspires even while going toward the heat of passionate political differences. We have been invited to screen with the congregation as a tool to build greater empathy, critical thinking, and civic skills and dispositions. Resetting the Table provides a Discussion Guide, social media toolkit, and support materials for free. Mary will preview the film and bring a report to the next meeting. 
  3. Sam Allen has become an En-ROADS ambassador (trainer). En-ROADS is a powerful climate solution simulator. Sam would like to give some online workshops 
  4. Action items 
  5. Respond to the draft flyer (coming soon) with suggestions 
  6. Mary will preview Purple 
  7. Sam Allen will look in to Energy Star work for St. Luke’s 
  8. Look into Pine Tree Amendment and contact legislators 
  9. Sign up for Sue’s newsletter at sueinches.com
  10. Sam Allen will work with us and St. Luke’s to schedule an En-ROADS workshop 
  11. Next meeting Tuesday January 11, 2022, 6-7 PM 
  12. Suggestions for agenda? 
  13. Review PPEAT flyer
  14. Sam Allen could lead a climate response simulation workshop