Evanston IL Celebration of Creation & a Call for Climate Healing

A Message from Rabbi Brant Rosen on plans for Noah Shabbat in Evanston IL.

This fall, Shabbat Noach -- when Jews around the world read the Torah portion about the Flood, Noah, the Ark, and the Rainbow -- comes on October 23-24, the day when a number of experts on the global climate crisis have called for world-wide actions to protect our planet from climate disaster. The Shalom Center has called for a nation-wide “Global Climate Healing Shabbat” to acknowledge the severity of climate change and to call on international leaders at the December UN conference in Copenhagen to make the decisions necessary to greatly reduce threats to our climate.

Here in Evanston, we propose to expand this special Sabbath to include the entire community with an interreligious celebration and a weekend of religious services. We welcome your participation.

The Interreligious Celebration

What: A dynamic, family-oriented interreligious celebration that calls Evanston residents to faith-based action to address Climate Change
When: Saturday, October 24, 7 PM
Where: St. Athanasius Roman Catholic Church
Religious Theme: Noah and the Rainbow as God’s Promise to Protect the Creation
Congregational Commitments: Evanston religious congregations will use this event to identify and share their plans in the coming year to decrease their carbon footprint, including possibly:
Low Carbon Transportation Sabbaths
Recycling bulletins
Commissioning an Energy Audit
Implementing a No Idling Zone near the congregation
Moving away from disposable cups and dishes
National Policy Action: Communicating the concern of Evanston’s religious congregations about Climate Change and the need for decisive action at the Copenhagen UN Conference through a letter from the religious community through its clergy in cooperation with the national mobilization coordinated by 350.org
Local Policy Action: Support the implementation of the Evanston Climate Action Plan TBD
Grass Roots Action: Habitat restoration at Harms Woods on Sunday, October 25th, 1-4 PM
Proposed Activities:
Various Religious Reflections on God’s Covenant with Noah
Reading of Interreligious Letter on Climate Change to Political Leaders from Evanston congregations and clergy
Reading of Congregational Climate Commitments

Organizing Process and Timeline

August: Clergy Breakfast at Jewish Reconstructionist Congregation
When: Late August
Purpose: to invite congregations to co-sponsor the Celebration of Creation
Proposed hosts:
Rabbi Brant Rosen, Jewish Reconstructionist Congregation
Rabbi Andrea London, Beth Emet the Free Synagogue
Rev. Tom Libera, St. Athanasius Roman Catholic Church
Rev. Richard Mosley Jr., Hemenway Methodist Church
Proposed invitees: all Evanston clergy
September: Congregation Activities
Publicize October 24th event
Identify a Congregational Climate Commitment for 2009-2010
Plan Celebration of Creation and a Call for Climate Healing Congregation service for October 23-25
October: Celebration & Call
Interreligious Celebration: Saturday, October 24: 7 PM for families
Congregational Services: Friday-Sunday, October 23-25, Incorporation of the themes of the Celebration of Creation and Call for Climate Healing into the regular religious services of the co-sponsoring congregations
November: Publicizing Congregational Commitments
Sharing of congregational commitments with the community at large

Entertainment (In Process)

(1) Jim Croegaert: folk singer and songwriter, member of St. Nicholas Church, singing “Why Do We Hunger For Beauty”. on the beauty of the created world and its importance to us as human beings. Her also has one or two others that could suit also. (Steve Perkins contact)

(2) Evanston Children's Choir: Gary Geiger is very enthusiastic about the event. .He would like to have the choir perform two numbers. One is an African song about all kinds of people working together, which they have done before. The other is a peace song, which they could develop for this program and use for their other holiday concerts. He is willing to sing pro bono, but would be happy if there was a free will contribution opportunity for donations to the Evanston Children's Choir. He would like to know as soon as possible, both to order the music and to firm up their fall/holiday schedule. (Julie Dorfman contact)

(3) Marilyn Price: Story teller and member of Beth Emet (Gladys Bryer contact)


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