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Faith Climate Action Week 2024 Inspired Community-wide Educational Events

May 20, 2024 | Blog, Faith Climate Action Week, Uncategorized |

Written by Rev. Broderick L. McBride, IPL Program Manager

“We had the largest attendance EVER at our Earth Sunday showing. Thank you so much for making this film available.”

St. Thomas Episcopal Church; Sun Valley, Idaho

Common Ground: Cultivating the Connection between Food, Faith, and Climate

Faith Climate Action Week 2024 was a huge success this year. Congregations came together to preach, teach, and act for climate change and Earth justice. The theme for 2024, “Common Ground: Cultivating Connections between Food, Faith, and Climate,” explored our duty to adopt sustainable agricultural practices that protect our Sacred Earth and how our faiths urge us to find just solutions for all. Affiliates, congregations, and individuals were encouraged to engage in ten days of activities celebrating Earth Day.

Faith Climate Action Week reached nearly 2 million people, with over 2,400 congregations accessing our organizer kits and 18,600 individuals nationwide attending screenings held at their congregation of this year’s featured film Common Ground, thanks to the efforts of people like you. All major faith traditions call on their followers to be good stewards of Sacred Earth and to care for their neighbors, particularly those most affected by environmental injustice. Join IPL in emphasizing this mission. While IPL celebrates Faith Climate Action Week around Earth Day, the programming resources can be used throughout the year to engage communities of faith in Earth care.

Faith Climate Action Week 2024 Promo Video

The 2024 Faith Climate Action Week kit included a Guide with information on the faithful call to care for our soil through regenerative agriculture practices. Healthy soil is the basis of all life. It provides food with all the nutrients we need for healthy bodies and draws more carbon pollution out of the atmosphere, helping to restore a healthy climate. The kit also included suggested short films, an updated climate change fact sheet, faith-based discussion materials on faith and agriculture, and suggestions and resources for supporting local action. As an emphasis on advocacy, we also included postcards to gather signatures from faith communities to pledge to vote with the climate in mind.

Many congregations and conscious groups hosted a movie screening as an excellent way to ignite discussion and motivate their communities to join in your Faith Climate Action Week activities. 

IPL provided movie screening kits with a discussion guide featuring faith-based questions and sample promotional language and images to help engage the congregation. Thanks to Roco Films, the film was available on DVD or as a streaming link for in-person events, with free screening rights. 

The featured film of Faith Climate Action Week 2024 aligned with our theme, “Common Ground: Cultivating the Connection between Faith, Food, and Climate.” 

Common Ground, the film, is the highly anticipated sequel to the globally impactful Kiss the Ground, which reached over 1 billion people and inspired the USDA to allocate $20 billion toward soil health. Combining investigative journalism with personal stories from the food movement, the film uncovers the dark interplay of money, power, and politics in our food system. It highlights farmers’ struggles and showcases a hopeful movement of white, black, and indigenous farmers using regenerative agriculture to balance the climate, enhance health, and stabilize the economy.

Here are a few examples of actions affiliates, congregations, and individuals took during Earth Week while utilizing resources provided by IPL:

“We invited a young couple practicing regenerative grazing practices to watch the film and discuss their operation and experience with us afterward as we enjoyed an ice cream sundae. Before the movie, a reporter from the local newspaper (Yankton Press and Dakotan) interviewed our “Green Team” and the regenerative animal producers, which was written up in the paper promoting the green church and regenerative agriculture movements.”First United Methodist Church; Yankton, SD.

“We are building raised bed backyard gardens for economically challenged people with limited access to fresh fruits and vegetables”East Suburban Unitarian Universalist Church; Murrysville, PA.

“We provided educational resources, a campus walk for children to explore the plant life and pollinator garden, reusable grocery bags, and the “Common Ground” theme was interwoven into our April worship experiences (including a special climate-themed children’s moment).”Central Christian Church (DOC); Lexington, KY.

Tennessee Interfaith Power and Light hosting Garden Blessing at the community garden used to address food insecurity in East Knoxville. 
State Rep. Kassner speaks in Earth Day service 2024; Northshore Unitarian Universalist Church; Danvers, MA

“We focused on the 8 big reasons for deforestation – beef, soy to feed animals that we eat, coffee, tea, chocolate, palm oil, tropical hardwood harvesting, toilet paper. The effects of deforestation were the focus of the sermon. A workshop afterward dealt with alternatives to the 8 reasons. The follow-up will be weekly Green Tips again on alternatives to the 8 reasons.”Ladera Community Church; Portola Valley, CA.

“We had a screening of the film Common Ground on Sunday afternoon. On that Wednesday, we hosted a dinner and discussion of the film. We had about 60 people who attended one or both of those events. The dinner was catered by a chef who served an amazing meal of “reclaimed food” from recent catering events, and we were able to discuss food production and food waste and its impact on the climate.”Covenant Presbyterian Church; Augusta, GA.

Exciting News for Nonprofits: Screen Common Ground for Free!

The film team behind Common Ground now offers nonprofits, including faith communities, the opportunity to screen the film anytime for free! To license your event, visit the film team’s website and register as a ‘community/non-profit’—there will be no license fee. The film team will provide all the necessary materials for your screening.

Typically, these screening rights cost about $90, but thanks to the generosity of the film team at Roco Films, IPL congregations and faith communities can enjoy this offer for free.

You can host an in-person screening at your congregation by streaming the film from your computer and projecting it onto a screen or wall.

The free IPL screening kit includes faith-based discussion questions, a sample newsletter blurb, social media language and images, and links to Faith Statements on Agriculture from various traditions.

Webinar Interview with Regenerative Farmer Gabe Brown from the featured film Common Ground

Rev. Susan Hendershot, IPL President; Rev. Broderick McBride, IPL Program Manager; and Gabe Brown, Regenerative Farmer and featured voice on Common Ground, gathered for an in-depth conversation regarding the featured film. During the interview, Gabe Brown shared how his faith influenced his decision to become a Regenerative Farmer and activist. 250 individuals caught the live interview for one hour and asked engaging questions. Click here to see the replay on YouTube.

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