November 16, 2009

Interfaith Power and Light

"The faith community must be heard, now is the time for people of faith to take a moral stand to save our planet." –Reverend Canon Sally G. Bingham, president and founder of The Regeneration Project and Interfaith Power & Light. 

I attended a talk given by Rev. Bingham on October 24th in Framingham at the Massachusetts Council of Churches annual meeting. 

She said that evening, "The common ground we all share is the earth itself. War, terrorism, and poverty all pale in comparison to the threat from climate change." 

She asked us to think of the person we love the most in the world. 

She gave us a moment to envision ourselves with that person.  

Then she asked us to imagine that we'd just been told that person was severely ill, but that the doctor recommended waiting 3 years before starting treatment. 

What would be your response?  She asked... 

IP&L defines itself as "a national religious response to global warming, promoting renewable energy, energy efficiency and conservation." Its enrolled 10,000 congregations cover 30 states. Its five year goal is to have 30,000 congregations in all fifty states.
IP&L's efforts combine the power of the pulpit and practical support. From the pulpit rabbis, ministers, priest and imams are delivering a call to action for people of faith to defend God's green earth. IP&L provides guest ministers, priests, rabbis or imams to address a congregation on issues of faith and individual environmental responsibility. 
I highly recommend her book, Love God, Heal Earth

It consists of 21 short and inspiring essays from rabbis to evangelicals to Catholics, Muslims and Buddhists each contributing an original essay-chapter, with personal stories of awakening to the urgent need for environmental awareness and action.
IP&L is fighting the inclusion of public policy supportive of coal-fired power plants in the emerging climate change bill. On its website  you can download their legislative factsheets and priorities.
The IP&L's practical actions are focused upon helping the church, synagogue, mosque or temple and its members use energy more efficiently. It has a website called ShopIPL that offers information and price discounts on Energy Star appliances, higher efficiency lighting and water conservation technology. It provides case study examples and suggestions–ranging from installing roof top solar power to car pooling to church–on how congregations and their members are adopting sustainable practices.
Rev. Bingham summarizes, "Its time we start using the energy from heaven like solar, wind and the human spirit for doing right to save God's green earth."

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