Sunday, May 19, 2019

Dramatic Youth Reading for Congregational Use

ONE VOICE at Earth Sabbath 

Earth Sabbath is a celebration that was designed for environmental activists to step aside from their sometimes-disheartening work and renew their spiritual connection to the Earth. Many faith communities offer this practice in an outdoor setting, including the Church of Reconciliation in Chapel Hill, NC. At their recent annual Earth Sabbath at New Hope Camp & Conference Center in Chapel Hill four youth members of the church presented a dramatic reading based on the words of young climate change activist, Greta Thunberg; the piece was written and directed by Allison Davidson. Here is her introduction for the dramatic reading script which follows:

“Most people know Greta Thunberg is a high school student in Sweden, who skipped school and went on strike in front of Sweden's parliament to protest political inaction on Climate Change. This started the worldwide school strike movement. Her speech at the 2018 UN Climate Change COP24 Conference in Katowice Poland brought her message, “Imagine what we could do together if we really wanted to,” international attention.

This is admirable in itself but what many do not know is that Greta is on the autism spectrum and is challenged by a condition known as 'selective mutism'. Those who contend with this disorder can speak cogently with those they know and trust (family, teachers) but often become too cognitively distressed to verbalize in other circumstances. She wrote her initial message on a piece of wood. Her message to others is ’If I can speak out, anyone can.’ ”

Watch the video here: Part 1 and Part 2

 Readers (left to right)
 Albert Carlson
 Stella Bowers
 Symone Burt
       and Evan Carlson (right)

 Photos by Jordan Haywood

A Dramatic Reading
Based on the Words of Greta Thunberg

Allison Davidson

Reader #1: Climate change is real.

Reader #2: Environmental devastation is happening now.

Reader #3: Climate change threatens the future.

Reader #4: Everyone’s future, and it’s only getting worse.

Reader #1: I may not have been the first to say it.

Reader #2: But it bears repeating:

Reader #3: Our collective home – our house

Reader #4: Is falling apart.

Reader #1: I am 16 now.

Reader #3: I first learned about climate change when I was 8. They showed a film at school.
Reader #4: I couldn’t stop crying.

Reader #2: I couldn’t believe adults didn’t do anything: they didn’t take the issue seriously.

Reader #1: I became depressed.

Reader #3: I kept thinking about it.

Reader #4: I wondered “Am I even going to have a future?”

Reader #2: I figured if adults wouldn’t do anything, maybe I could do something to help.

Reader #1: I used to think, “I’m too young.”

Reader #4: I’m too small.

Reader #3: I don’t matter. I’m only one.

Reader #2: But I changed my mind – and that is when I started the school strike movement “Freedom Fridays”.

Reader #1: I painted a sign on a piece of wood.

Reader #3: I sat alone outside Sweden’s Parliament from 8:30 AM to 3:30 PM.

Reader #2: And then….the next day….people joined me. I was never the only one again.

Reader #4: Now hundreds of thousands of students all over the world have gone on strike.

Reader #1: I have addressed more than one parliament.

Reader #2: As well as the United Nations.

Reader #4: Spoken to world leaders.

Reader #3: And I don’t care that I’m working for free.

Reader #1: I especially don’t care that people attack me on social media and in person.
Reader #3: In fact, I expected it when I started!

Reader #2: I told myself, “If this is going to become big, there is going to be a lot of HATE. It’s a positive sign. Our voices are now seen as a threat. That means something has changed in the debate…”

Reader #4: And we are making a difference.

Reader#1: Our house is falling apart.

Reader #2: And our elected officials need to act accordingly.

Reader #3: Some say, “People need hope.”

Reader #4: “Your message isn’t very hopeful.”

Reader #1: Erosion of fertile topsoil.

Reader #3: Deforestation of old-growth trees.

Reader #2: Acidification of our oceans.

Reader #4: Up to 200 species becoming extinct every day? I don’t want you to feel hopeful!

4 Voices Together: I WANT YOU TO FEEL PANIC!”

Reader #1: We must do what we can.

Reader #2: Demand political action.

Reader #3: Don’t stop.

Reader #4: It starts with one.

Reader #1: Only one.

Reader #2: You aren’t too young.

Reader #3: You aren’t too old.

Reader #4: You aren’t too small.

Reader #1: Or too insignificant.

Reader #2: It

Reader #1: Starts

Reader #3: With

Reader #4: One

4 Voices Together: One. Voice.

Wednesday, May 15, 2019

Seedlings are planted for PEC's 2019 Conference

Planting Seeds of Strength,
Durability and Hope

On the farm at Stony Point Center, the seedlings are in the ground. PEC is looking forward to the delicious food they will produce right around the time that we gather there for our 2019 National Conference, “Peace for the Earth: from the Bible to the Front Lines," August 6-9.Even as the news about climate change may have us despairing, signs of resilient life are all around us. 

Our time in August will plant seeds of strength, durability, and hope as we – together – face life in a harsher climate. An incredible group of workshops is planned to equip you, as people of faith, with the spiritual and organizational tools to effect real change for the good of this planet and all who dwell on it. Take a look at the full listing of workshops in the conference program

Our dynamic plenary worship leaders will include Rev. Dr. William Brown of Columbia Theological Seminary, Rev. Dr. Jill Crainshaw of Wake Forest School of Divinity, and Sacred Jazz musician, Minister Warren B. Cooper. A plenary session on Wednesday night led by Dr. Susan Clayton of the College of Wooster will explore the psychological impacts of climate change and challenge us to create strong communities of care, especially where severe weather threatens. There will be ample opportunity for you to engage with one another, to connect and imagine together about eco-justice where you live. We especially look forward to conversations at Thursday evening’s Global Warming CafĂ©, hosted by Phoebe Morad of Lutherans Restoring Creation.

Conference participants can sign up for early morning hands-in-dirt time on the Stony Point Center farm or kayak and canoe paddling in one of the beautiful lakes of Harriman State Park. Thursday afternoon activities and free time will offer more time to get out into this incredible part of God’s creation.

Did we convince you yet that you need to be present with us in August? We would love to have you! Please register now to reserve your spot at this August’s gathering at We will stay in touch with you in the next couple of months with updates about conference activities and highlights to look forward to during our time together. 

Spring blessings, 
PEC Conference Planning Team