PPEAT Meeting Minutes: July 12, 2022

Public Policy and Environmental Action Team Minutes

July 12, 2022

6-7 PM

Facilitator: Charles Skold

Minutes: Sarah Braik

Present: Mary Linneman, Charles Skold, Ralph Cordes, Meredith Tipton, Dick Farnsworth, Sarah Braik, Sam Allen

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. 

Reflection  (Charles) excerpt from poem by Langston Hughes “Let America be America Again.”

  1. Announcements
    1. Feedback 
      1. Sarah received a suggestion from Shana Rose that PPEAT be more visible, so Sarah has adjusted notices in the eblast and bulletin to make PPEAT more prominent. She also suggested we collaborate on some project with the group of 18-35 year olds that Shana co-leads at St/ Luke’s. Charles has attended a few activities of theirs and could facilitate something, perhaps voter registration. We will put this on the agenda next month
  2. Diocesan and legislative updates
    1. Tribal legislation 
      1. HR 6707-Gov. Mills sent a letter to members of Congress in an effort to work around members of the congressional delegation to get lawmakers to slow down a measure championed by Reps. Jared Golden and Chellie Pingree. Mills is arguing that the state is getting cut out of a major issue affecting tribes here, while Golden sees the issue squarely as a congressional one. Sens. Angus King and Susan Collins have not indicated stances so far and may have to soon. Golden’s position comes with some risk as he faces a tough re-election battle with former Rep. Bruce Poliquin, a Republican, in the swing 2nd District. Mills is arguing for a negotiated settlement. The measure would mean that Maine tribes would be eligible for more federal programs than they are now because of the nature of the 1980 settlement that involved the state, federal officials and the tribes. The legislation, however, would not give the tribes the right to operate casinos. Golden says a vote is likely next month so we are urged to write to Sens. King and Collins to support HR 6707. Information and talking points from the Wabanaki Alliance.  Charles and Sarah will draft a group letter with our signatures. Sarah will look to see what we have and could adapt.
      2. September 30 tribal celebration at Wolfe’s Neck in Freeport hosted by Wabanaki Alliance-stay tuned for more details.
  3. Ongoing matters 
    1. Update: BARS update (Ban Assault Rifles & Save Children) (Jeri Edgar, Paula Gillies, Ruth Roemer)-no update
    2. Kathleen is a member of Episcopal Peace Fellowship, which is working with Moms Demand Action on gun violence, and she will invite Jeri, Paula and Ruth-this group has their act together, and collaboration with them will be much more efficient than starting something new. Their next meeting is July 10. We could dedicate one meeting to this topic and invite some of these folks to join us and speak.
    3. Update: Season of Creation services and other activities
      1. Meredith will join Sam, Mary, Dick and Barbara to formulate a plan for Sunday worship, one non-Sunday outdoor event and engaging the congregation in making changes in their own households. Sam will schedule and convene a Zoom meeting next week. They will  go to Ben to present their plan. This is also a good way for PPEAT to make ourselves known. Suggestions included a Stroudwater Trail meditation walk and joint work between St. Alban’s and the Cathedral as well as getting other Episcopal Churches involved. This is a great opportunity to strengthen our network. The World Too Beautiful community may be interested. The Committee will connect with them, as well as the young adult group.
      2. Sarah is about to begin reading a book that she might like to lead a discussion on during the Season of Creation: Refugia Faith: Seeking Hidden Shelters, Ordinary Wonders, and the Healing of the Earth by Debra Rienstra
      3. Celebration Guide 2022
      4. Bishop’s letter on climate justice
      5. Diocesan Climate Justice Council letter
    4. Brainstorm: Covenant of Creation Commitments c.f. Episcopal Covenant to Care of Creation – please review prior to meeting
      1. Cool Congregation Certification
      2. Composting
        1. Food pantry has informal composting – Mary started taking it home so Mary has put it in G to G could be focus of Season of Creation We can talk with Mary Doughty, Laura Lyons or Jeri Edgar.
      3. Diocesan Carbon Tracker: Sustaining Earth, Our Island Home
      4. Interfaith Power and Light pledge to cut emissions by 50% by 2030 and 100% by 2040 individuals and congregations can pledge 
      5. Reduce use of plastic bags in St. E’s and Food Pantry
      6. Send Sarah your ideas-we will discuss these next month. Sarah will be meeting with the vestry on this during July.
    5. Discuss and plan: Voting strategies
  4. League of Women Voters suggestions (Mary)
    1. LWV will be using our kitchen and lower hall for their annual meeting
    2. Engage kids and young adults
    3. St. Albans is working with SMCC
    4. St. Luke’s with USM?
    5. Voter registrations St. E’s and food pantry last year only 10 people registered
    6. Public forum with Democrats and Republicans using a list of 3-5 questions, either as a panel or rotating between tables asking the same set of questions
    7. Rides to polls
    8. Could do program on rank choice voting
    9. LWV has materials in different languages explaining the voting process
    10. We will make a plan at the August meeting, devoting 10-15 minutes to it
  5. Faithful Voter Reflection Guide
  1. New matters
    1. Sarah shared a few highlights from General Convention. We elected Julia Ayala Harris as the first Latina President of the House of Deputies and Rachel Taber Hamiltion the first indigenous Vice President PHOD. There were a number of social justice and creation care resolutions. Sarah will compile a list with a brief description of each and send it around.
    2. How shall we respond to the overturning of Roe vs. Wade and other recent Supreme Court decisions? TABLED
  2. Action items
    1. Everyone-write letters to Senators King and Collins supporting HR 6707
    2. Everyone-send Sarah suggestions for possible Covenant to Care for Creation goals
    3. Sarah will meet with the vestry to discuss the Covenant to Care for Creation 
    4. Charles and Sarah will collaborate on a joint letter of support of HR 6707 and send it around for our signatures and then send it on to Senators King and Collins.
    5. Sam will convene a meeting to plan Season of Creation activities
    6. Sarah will read Refugia and begin thinking about scheduling a book discussion
    7. Meredith will continue discussions with St. Albans about collaborating with  St. Luke’s on creation care and other projects.
    8. Sarah will compile a description of the General Convention resolutions relevant to PPEAT.
  3. Next meeting Tuesday August 9, 2022, 6-7 PM. Sarah will probably not be present.
  4. Other suggestions for agenda? Send them to Sarah

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