December 2015

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In this issue

  • Tri-State Interfaith Conference on Creation Care in Evansville
  • Paris Climate Conference
  • New Grant Funds H-IPL Advocacy
  • Preach-In 2016
  • Discussion and Spring H-IPL Gathering
  • Youth Event for MLK Day
  • Consider a Year-End Donation

You Are Invited to Evansville …. Tri-State Interfaith Conference on Creation Care

Location: Good Shepherd Catholic Church, 2301 Stockwell Road, Evansville, IN
Date and time: Saturday, January 9, registration & exhibitor tables open 8:00 - 9:00 a.m. (CST), speakers 9:00 a.m. to noon (CST), optional free lunch from noon to 12:30 p.m. Free admission and open to the public.

• Keynote speaker: Maryknoll missionary Sr. Janet Miller, an Evansville native. Sr. Janet spent many years teaching organic farming on the African continent and working in Panama’s rain forests. 
• Four breakout sessions to choose from.
• Interfaith panel discussion on Encyclical Laudato Si and other theological responses to this document. 

Pre-registration is not required, but is recommended, especially if you want to stay for the optional free lunch. Pre-register at www.tristatecreationcare.org by December 28.

For more information, contact Caroline Nellis at 812-424-6832 or at acnellis@wowway.com.

 

Paris Climate Conference

Paris 2015The long-anticipated United Nations Conference on Climate Change, COP21, is meeting in Paris through December 11. Although most of the planned rallies were cancelled after the violence last month, the meeting of representatives of 195 countries stayed its course. 

Its purpose is to work toward limiting global warming to 2 degrees Celsius (3.6 Fahrenheit), a level that scientists agree that the world must work hard not to exceed. (Our current path will take us to 5-6 degrees Celsius.) While the Paris agreements alone won’t reduce our greenhouse gases as much as we need, they do move us in the right direction. 

After last year’s COP20 meeting in Lima, Peru, each country spent this year determining its own pledge to carbon reduction (called its “Intended Nationally Determined Contribution”). Now some 170 countries including the world’s ten largest polluters had published their plans, representing 93% of the world’s greenhouse gas emissions. 

During this meeting, the concrete goal is to ratify a draft agreement for this plan that

• Is universal and binding for all participating countries;
• Is ambitious enough to stay below 2 degrees, setting the agenda for economic players to make their transition to a low-carbon economy;
• Provides access for all countries to financing, technologies, and capacity building;
• Takes the needs and situations of developing countries into account; 
• Is sustainable and dynamic. 

A major component of the conference’s success is the Green Climate Fund that is being pledged by the world’s wealthy nations to help countries who are too poor to have contributed as much pollution, but who are suffering the most extreme weather events already. 

As of November, 38 countries have pledged $10.2 to the fund. The $3 billion dollars the US has pledged sounds like a lot, but it’s less than a tenth of one percent of our annual budget, less than a tenth of what we give every year to foreign aid in general. It’s one-twentieth of our military budget, and about as much as we spend on foreign military aid every year. It will make a difference, though, as one part of the giant puzzle that the world’s nations are assembling together. 

Let’s continue to pray for our leaders as they conclude their Paris negotiations and come home to carry them out!

 

New Grant Funds H-IPL Advocacy

Hoosier Interfaith Power & Light has been awarded a grant of $18,000 by the Energy Foundation through our national IPL office. This award will enable us to continue the work of advocating for the cessation of coal burning in Indiana during the 2016 program year. In partnership with other Hoosier environmental organizations, we witnessed last year's success when Indianapolis Power and Light decided to convert the Harding Street coal-fired power plant to natural gas. This grant will allow us to continue that partnership advocacy, focusing on other coal plants in the state, through the following strategies:

• Continue educating faith leaders and congregations to lead the fight for clean energy in Indiana through workshops, guest sermons, and one-on-one meetings with faith leaders.
• Mobilize people of faith to participate in community vigils in neighborhoods near the plants, rallies, and other events calling for action.
• Organize prominent faith leaders to write Letters to the Editor and speak out in the media in support of retiring these plants.
• Mobilize people of faith to speak at public hearings regarding these coal plants.
• Organize formal meetings between faith leaders and key decision makers.

 

Preach-In 2016: Plan Now

IPL Preach-In

The next annual Interfaith Power and Light Preach-In about climate change begins in February, and it’s not too early forcongregations and leaders to begin planning. While it generally kicks off around Valentine’s Day, the season lasts through Earth Day in April.

Last year congregations in 45 states participated officially, and probably more unofficially. Yours can too, by preaching or leading a class about global warming, especially the moral challenges it presents to people of faith who value human life and creation’s vitality. Better yet, if your liturgy is flexible, plan the worship service itself around creation care, with emphasis on prayers, litanies, music, and art that highlights gratitude and care for all that God has made.

To inspire your thinking about what to talk about and why, you might wish to begin with this resource, which includes reasons to preach on climate change, facts from climate science, biblical themes for preaching, strategies for overcoming stumbling blocks, and resources.

 

Discussion on Social Justice and Climate Change

Mark Your Calendar: March 12, 2016

On this spring Saturday afternoon of March, a statewide gathering of diverse faith backgrounds will share in a round table conversation focused on the social justice issues of creation care and energy efficiency. Many of the focal points raised in Pope Francis' recent encyclical will offer reference points for this discussion. Details will be available soon.

 

Opportunity for Youth Lock-In on MLK Day--Share with Your Congregation's Youth Group

ICEY LogoIndiana youth are invited to join ICEY this coming Martin Luther King Day for YES (Youth Empowering Sustainability): a Statewide Environmental Kickoff! Members of the Bloomington group ICEY (Interfaith Community of Environmentalist Youth) will lead teens in a day-long, overnight event about leadership and building a sustainable future. YES will include

• interactive workshop about starting environmentalist groups
• training for cutting energy usage
• hands-on greening in real homes
• movie, ice breakers, and more fun activities!

The event will start at 3:00 pm on Sunday, January 17, at the Eastside Christian Church (Disciples of Christ), E. 16th St, Indianapolis, and continue to 4:30 pm on Monday. Dinner, breakfast, and lunch will be included, along with some snacks in between. For more information, contact the organizers at ICEYBloomington@gmail.com.

 

Consider a Donation

2016 promises to be a critical year in the struggle against climate change. Please consider a year-end gift to help H-IPL continue to grow and build the movement to care for creation.

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