In this issue
- Executive Branch Has Left Paris—But Americans Are Still There
- Upcoming Events:
- Green Taste of Ramadan in Fort Wayne
- “From the Ashes” screening in Indianapolis
- Climate Change discussions in Bloomington
- Hoosier Solar Initiative training in Indianapolis
- Fourth of July Parade in Bloomington
- Creation Care Ministry Webinars statewide
- Solar Forum in Indianapolis
- Using Energy Prudently Workshops in Fort Wayne, South Bend
- Climate Boot Camps in Fort Wayne, South Bend
- Is Your Congregation Thinking Solar?
- Jumpstart Solar in Your Community with Hoosier Solar Initiative
- Planning for a July Gardening Article
- Check the Events Calendar
- Consider a Donation
Executive Branch Has Left Paris
But Americans Are Still There
Let’s Show How We Stay
A majority of citizens in all 50 states supports continued U.S. participation in the 2015 Paris climate accord, as this Yale research on American opinion shows. About half of Trump supporters do as well. But not the White House. Last Thursday afternoon President Trump announced that he will begin the process of withdrawing the U.S. from the historic agreement to work with 196 other countries to curb carbon and fight together against the threat of global warming. Read Interfaith Power & Light’s response here. Read statements from a variety of religious groups here.
Whether we are surprised by this decision or not, those of us who believe it’s our moral duty to act now to help bring humanity to a healthy and sustainable future are being galvanized. Hoosier Interfaith Power & Light is, in one sense, an amazingly small organization, with three part time staff members and eleven board members. But we’re also dozens of very active volunteers and supporters, hundreds of readers, and thousands of Hoosiers who have been touched by H-IPL’s work in Indiana—not to mention the tens of thousands people who have been moved to action by Interfaith Power & Light chapters in forty other states.
The 2012 book Beautiful Trouble: A Toolbox for Revolution describes what the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC) did in 1964 to garner support for civil rights in the American South: instead of bemoaning and berating the racists around them, they decided to activate their passive supporters: students in the north who were sympathetic and only needed an entry point to get moving. So they sent buses to bring people to the south for “Freedom Summer.” The students, coming in droves, saw firsthand what racial hatred looked like, and wrote back to parents about their experiences—galvanizing them—and thus created a profound shift in American culture and law.
So here are your test questions for today:
- If you are already an environmental activist—that is, if you go to some trouble to live out your love for creation by organizing, communicating, reducing carbon, or otherwise reflecting your environmental commitments in your daily activities—which “passive allies” in your world can you invite to join you?
- If you are a passive supporter—that is, if you agree that someone ought to do something about climate change—what will you do to activate yourself?
- Would you like to donate money to an organization like ours—or to ours? That will help, and be much appreciated!
- Would you like to pick up the phone or pen and communicate with your legislator, and voice your opinion about Paris, the Clean Power Plan, or other environmental matters that are before us now? That, too, will mean a lot!
- How about going out for a dozen or two LEDs and installing them in your home—and your friends’ homes—and then signing up to monitor your utility use?
- Or giving a testimony in worship about what creation means to you?
- Or asking your local utility to give you a free home energy audit?
- Or tending a vegetable garden with your children or your neighbor’s children?
- Or starting a book club to read about environmental issues, or a working group to tackle a pressing local problem?
- Or taking the time to research which products, from which companies, are sustainably developed—from clothing to food to appliances to travel options—and basing your shopping decisions on what you learn?
- Or identifying one of H-IPL’s many programs and initiatives to join, and inviting your friends to do so as well? Several of them—upcoming webinars and workshops, solar initiatives, action items—are described in this newsletter and in recent ones, and at our website.
… and, having felt that wonderful “acting on your values” whoosh, moving on to larger and greater actions. Let’s show the world how Hoosiers stay engaged with the world’s 196 sanest countries!
Upcoming Events—June through September
Friday, June 16, Fort Wayne
Green Taste of Ramadan and Silent Auction at IPFW
- Auction begins 5 pm; event 6:30-10:30 pm
- IPFW International Ballroom; 2101 E. Coliseum Blvd.; Fort Wayne, IN
- Speakers will be Jesse Kharbanda (executive director of Hoosier Environmental Council) and Mahan Mirza (lead faculty at the KROC Institute for Peace Studies at Notre Dame University with expertise in Islamic Studies).
- At sunset, Iftar breaking of Ramadan fast and multicultural dinner celebrating Fort Wayne’s diverse faith community.
- Hosted by the Pen and Inkpot Foundation, free and open to the public
Friday, June 16, Indianapolis
“From the Ashes” screening at St. Luke’s United Methodist Church
This National Geographic Special captures Americans in communities across the country as they wrestle with the legacy of the coal industry and what its future should be under the Trump Administration. From Appalachia to the West’s Powder River Basin, the film goes beyond the rhetoric of the “war on coal” to present compelling and often heartbreaking stories about what’s at stake for our economy, health, and climate. The film invites audiences to learn more about an industry on the edge and what it means for their own lives. Sponsored by Creation Care Ministry of St. Luke’s United Methodist Church.
7-9 pm, Parlor of St. Luke's UMC, 100 W. 86th St, Indianapolis, IN
Free and open to the public
Fridays, June 23, July 28, and August 25, Bloomington
The Just Friday Discussion Group at First United Church meets the fourth Friday of the month and is focussing on issues related to climate change this summer. In May the group discussed issues related to transportation. In the coming months the schedule is
- June 23: Climate Change and What We Eat
- July 28: Climate Change and Our Daily Habits
- August 25: Climate Change and the Stuff We Own
For more information contact the organizer, Hopi Stosberg at email@example.com or go to their Facebook Event Page. The group meets 7-9 pm in the Roger Williams Hall at First United Church, 2420 E. 3rd St., Bloomington. All are welcome.
Saturday, June 24, Indianapolis
Hoosier Solar Initiative Training
Day-long training for solarize teams for Hoosier Solar Initiative. See article in this newsletter “Jumpstart Solar in Your Community.” 10:30am to 4:30pm. For details, contact Madi Hirschland at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Tuesday, July 4, Bloomington
Fourth of July Parade. Earth Care Bloomington and the Monroe County Time to Choose Coalition will be marching in Bloomington's Fourth of July parade, starting at 10 am. For more information contact Molly O'Donnell at email@example.com.
Wednesday, July 19, 7-8 pm or Thursday, July 20, 12-1 pm
Statewide Webinar: Starting and Nurturing Your Creation Care Ministry
No matter how hardworking and successful they are, green teams or creation care committees are often beset by frustration: Why isn’t everyone more involved? Why does the congregation move so slowly? Are we really making a difference? What can we do?
This webinar will offer tools and resources for creation care in your congregation or community. Assess, plan, evaluate, and build your ideas for making environmental action an everyday ethic in the life of your faith community. Discuss your successes, questions, and ideas with other creation care teams. To participate, you will need a computer, preferably with webcam, speakers and microphone. Led by H-IPL Program Facilitator Trisha Tull. Free and open to individuals and teams statewide. Register at the Hoosier IPL Calendar page.
Saturday, August 12 in Indianapolis
Solar Panel Forum at Eastgate Christian Church
Harnessing the sunshine at your congregation or home is a great way to reduce your environmental footprint and free up financial resources to be redirected to energy conservation measures and other ministries in your faith community. Even if your congregation might not be ready for solar now, this is a great way to get an introduction and begin planning. Come and learn about the new solar panels at Eastgate Christian Church and what it takes to install and finance solar power. Darrell Boggess, expert at SIREN (Solar Indiana Renewable Energy Network) will lead and answer questions.
10 am-12 pm, Eastgate Christian Church, 8100 E. 16th Street, Indianapolis, IN
Free and open to the public.
Using Energy Prudently Workshops in Fort Wayne, South Bend
- Saturday, Aug 26, 1-5 pm at Beacon Heights Church of the Brethren, Fort Wayne
- Saturday, Sept 9, 10 am-3 pm at First United Methodist Church, South Bend
H-IPL’s Using Energy Prudently workshops equip congregations with the tools they need to greatly reduce energy use in houses of worship and save significant funds for other purposes. Gain practical information about sealing your building's envelope; maintaining and replacing HVAC equipment; using zoning and thermostats to slash energy waste; lighting technologies for various rooms; and detecting energy hogs in your building. With stories and step-by-step tools, we’ll show you how to cut your congregation’s energy use and get your congregation on board. You’ll have time to figure out what will work for you. You’ll get just what you need to put your learning into action.
Go here for more information, and register here. Participants may also register and pay at the door. Covers refreshments and a notebook of materials to take with you.
Climate Boot Camp in Fort Wayne, South Bend
- Thursday, September 14, 9 am-3:30 pm at Plymouth Congregational Church, Fort Wayne
- Saturday, September 16, 9 am-3:30 pm at St. Anthony de Padua Catholic Church, South Bend
Day-long workshops for faith leaders and members, led by climate scientist Dr. Ben Brabson, environmental theologian Dr. Trisha Tull, and H-IPL board chair the Rev. Wyatt Watkins. They will discuss the scientific, theological, economic, and pastoral challenges and rewards of speaking out about climate change. We hope to help every Hoosier of faith to speak confidently and boldly about global warming and its impacts, and to encourage their communities to respond with vigor and hope.
Go here for more information, and register here. Immediately upon registration you will receive downloadable articles to read to prepare you for the day. Registration covers lunch, a folder of materials, and a two-hour support follow-up meeting three months later.
Is Your Congregation Thinking Solar?
With new restrictions on net metering introduced by the Indiana state legislature, the best time for Hoosiers to install solar panels is this year. Renewable energy makes environmental and moral sense, we know, and that’s why many faith communities seek to install solar. It also makes long term economic sense.
Homeowners and businesses can take advantage in 2017 not only of 30 years of net metering and rapidly falling solar panel costs, but also the 30% renewable energy federal tax credit. Together these help bring the return on investment down to 10-15 years, making the long term cost of solar one-half or even one-third the cost of utility-fed electricity. (Pictured from top to bottom: Islamic Society of Michiana in South Bend; Progressive Community Church in Gary; Winchester Friends in Winchester; All Souls Unitarian in Indianapolis; First Presbyterian Church in Jeffersonville.)
Congregations, as nonprofits, don’t benefit from the tax credit. But solar panels are still a good economic choice, especially in 2017. A solar array is one capital investment that actually reduces, not increases, a congregation’s budget. And it is a visible manifestation to everyone who sees your building of your faith commitment to care for creation.
Since 2012, Hoosier IPL has found grants to help 25 Indiana congregations install solar arrays, and had aided many others in planning and promoting their installations. We would like to help your congregation too.
If you are thinking solar (whether this year or later, whether grant-funded or not), read here for basic steps to begin the journey. H-IPL keeps a roster of congregations that are becoming solar-ready. To add your congregation to this list, fill out this form, save it, and send it as an email attachment to firstname.lastname@example.org. You can always update and resend it as your plans develop.
Jumpstart Solar in Your Community with Hoosier Solar Initiative
You don’t have to be a solar installer—or even a solar owner—to help solarize your community. You just have to volunteer to work with a local team to receive training and begin growing solar installations in your city. Solarizing this year is particularly crucial in view of the limitations on net metering that will begin in 2018.
Solarize programs speed solar uptake by making it easy and affordable. This program equips local teams to implement solarize programs. There are two ways to get involved:
First, if you live in Elkhart, Evansville, Fort Wayne, Johnson County, Goshen, Indianapolis, Muncie, Napanee, Northwest Indiana, Salem, or South Bend, there is already a team being assembled in your city. Contact Madi Hirschland to find the movement in your community.
Second, if you live in an area not named above, you can still found and foster a team in your community by contacting Madi Hirschland to let her know you are available.
Your team will receive all it needs—tools, training and support—to grow solar in your community. All promotional materials will be provided. Training will take place on Saturday, June 24, 10:30 am to 4:30 pm in Indianapolis.
Many people like the idea of having panels on their homes but feel daunted by their lack of knowledge, or worry that solar may not be a sound investment. Others don’t know how to find a reputable solar contractor. Still others may not see solar as something regular folks do. Solarize programs engage a large number of people to go solar, provide them the information they need, and ensure that they receive quality equipment at a good price.
Planning for a July Gardening Article
Does your congregation have a community garden, rain garden, native prairie, native tree planting, or other outdoor sign of your shared love for God’s creation, like this one at Progressive Community Church, one of our solar congregations in Gary?
Let us amplify your story! Send a paragraph about your garden or landscaping, along with a picture or two of the garden and the people who tend it, by Monday, June 26, and we will include it in the next H-IPL newsletter. Send your stories and pics to Trisha Tull at email@example.com.
If you are looking for ideas, be sure to come back next month to find them!
Check the H-IPL on-line calendar
Find future events in your area, including movies, lectures, and workshops.
Consider a Donation
Grassroots efforts to address climate change are more important than ever. Please consider a gift to help H-IPL continue to grow and build the movement to care for creation in 2017.