Fall Climate Justice Speaker Series at All Souls, Berkeley

Posted on November 26, 2019. Updated on November 26, 2019

“It’s a great time to be alive!  Everything we’ve ever learned about solidarity and compassion can be put to use,” Joanna Macy, PhD, author, teacher, and activist, told a rapt audience Sunday at All Souls Episcopal Parish, Berkeley. The event, the third packed house for this congregation’s Climate Justice speaker series in as many weeks, opened with an acknowledgement of the rich indigenous history of the All Souls site, encouraged attendees to practice Dr. Macy’s concepts in “transformational teams of two,” and offered the opportunity to weave natural objects bespeaking the beauty of creation into a giant suspended bentwood loom.

Dr. Macy spoke on the concept of “active hope,” the title of one of her books. “Of all the dangers we face, from climate chaos to nuclear war, none is so great as the deadening of our response.”  Hope, in contrast, animates us, especially when it transforms despair into constructive, collaborative action.  Hope must not depend on what one expects to happen, fixated on the past and future, but rather on the options for action in the present moment.  As we look for opportunities in the moment, our automatic response is gratitude.  Dr. Macy exhorted her audience to remember “the efficacy of power with as opposed to power over.”

This Sunday’s event marks the end of All Souls’ fall series, Caring for Creation: Hope & Action for Climate Justice.  On November 10, Bishop Marc spoke on “Building Beloved Community through Climate Justice.”  His remarks can be heard at http://www.allsoulsparish.org/serving-our-world/protecting-our-environment/.  On November 17, David Hochschild, Chair of the California Energy Commission spoke on state policy and upcoming legislation in “Building a Clean Energy Future for California.”  All Souls’ Vestry has committed to prioritizing climate justice as a key initiative during the 2019-20 year, and more speaker events are planned for the spring.



1. Dr. Joanna Macy

2 .Dr. Macy adds a sprig to the bentwood loom created for the event by Jeannie Koops-Elson

3. Dr. Macy (second from left) with All Souls parishioners Paloma Pavel, Margaret Sparks, Lewis Maldonado, and Mimi Robinson, members of the Justice & Peace Ministry

4. A full house — over half, by a show of hands, were visitors to All Souls!