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Religious Leaders Converge On Philadelphia To Talk Climate, Responsibility

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hatrack Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-09-06 05:13 PM
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Religious Leaders Converge On Philadelphia To Talk Climate, Responsibility
Religious leaders will gather in Philadelphia tomorrow to discuss global warming, and to recognize special days in several religious traditions. "Sacred Seasons, Sacred Earth: An Interfaith Call to Reflect and Act" will consider what believers can do to temper the effects of climate change that organizers call a "crisis of global scorching." "We felt that 'warming' was a term that is too pleasant," said Rabbi Arthur Waskow, who will moderate a panel discussion at tomorrow's event. "It's not honest. The heating is not some kind of benign warmth. It's dangerous."

The event, at Arch Street Friends Meeting House in Old City, will feature a panel discussion about the ways that various religious traditions approach environmental preservation. Christians, Muslims, Jews, Buddhists and Sikhs will be among those participating in the conference, which is a combination educational seminar, call to action and holiday observance. Between Sept. 22 and Oct. 24, the faith calendar includes the high holidays and Sukkot in Judaism; the month of Ramadan in Islam; the Feast of St. Francis of Assisi and World Communion Day in Christianity; and the birthday of Mohandas "Mahatma" Gandhi, who was Hindu.

Events to mark the convergence of days are being held in Maryland, Washington, California, Florida and elsewhere. They are being organized by The Tent of Abraham, Hagar & Sarah, a national network of Jews, Christians and Muslims. The local event is sponsored by the Shalom Center, the Philadelphia Interfaith Walk for Peace and Reconciliation and the Arch Street Friends Meeting.

Area organizers have chosen to focus on environmental preservation as the theme of their "Sacred Seasons" celebration. The convergence of days occurs for three consecutive years, starting last year. After 2007, it will not occur again for another three decades, said Waskow, of the Shalom Center. Tomorrow's event is free and open to the public. "Global warming isn't just environmental," said Joy Bergey of the Pennsylvania Interfaith Climate Change Campaign. "It is a real issue of justice because global warming as it unfolds will hurt first and foremost the people who can't get out of the way."

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