AnnualMeeting
RI IPL Annual Meeting
featuring The Rev. Dr. Jim Antal
Minister and President of the Massachusetts Conference of the United Church of Christ
Monday, April 16, 2018
5:30 - 8:00 PM
Westminster Unitarian Church
East  Greenwich, RI
 
For more information and to register please  CLICK HERE.
  
April 2018    
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In This Issue


 
Advocacy Update

3/28/2018 RI IPL testified in support of the Energize RI Act (S2188) at the Senate Committee on Environment and Agriculture meeting. Summary: The Energize RI Act is a bill that creates a Clean Energy and Jobs Fund, paid for by a fee on fossil fuel polluters. The Fund will invest in clean energy while protecting consumers from rising energy costs. Carbon pricing is a market-based solution to carbon pollution that will lower emissions while energizing the economy. View Testimony

3/8/18 RI IPL joined many environmental organizations in a sign-on letter  Opposing New Offshore Oil and Gas Leases [BOEM-2017-0074] Summary: This sign-on letter is addressed to Secretary Ryan Zinke, Secretary of the Interior, and Kelly Hammerle, Chief, National Oil and Gas Leasing Program. The letter opposes the expansion of oil and gas activities in each of the program regions-the Atlantic, the Gulf of Mexico, the Pacific, and all waters off Alaska. It urges them to offer no new oil and gas leases in federal waters.

3/23/18 RI IPL joined Stop the Algonquin Pipeline Expansion and many other environmental groups in a sign-on letter Opposing Fracked Gas Infrastructure. Summary: This sign-on letter is addressed to the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC). The DEC is in the pre-proposal phase of modifying its regulations affecting emissions from the oil and gas sector and is currently seeking public stakeholder input. This letter incorporates expert recommendations that, if adopted, would greatly strengthen today's rules, thereby reducing air pollution and greenhouse gases.


Happening:
A Clean Energy Revolution
Film of the Month

At RI IPL, we are always adding new films to our Film Lending Library. All of our films are available for member congregations to borrow. Many of them come with discussion notes as well. You can easily bring a movie to your congregation, just contact Kristen Ivy at 

Filmmaker James Redford embarks on a colorful personal journey into the dawn of the clean energy era as it creates jobs, turns profits, and makes communities stronger and healthier across the US. Unlikely entrepreneurs in communities from Georgetown, TX to Buffalo, NY reveal pioneering clean energy solutions while James' discovery of how clean energy works, and what it means at a personal level, becomes the audiences' discovery too. Reaching well beyond a great story of technology and innovation, "Happening" explores issues of human resilience, social justice, embracing the future, and finding hope for our survival.



BOARD of DIRECTORS
 
The Rev. Dr. Anita Schell
Emmanuel Newport
Newport
 
Ray Frackelton, PhD
Newman Congregational
Rumford
 
Marty Davey
St. Gregory the Great
Warwick
 
Christine Muller
Baha ' i Community
Kingston
 
Christine Cassels
St. Luke's
East Greenwich

Sarah Atkins
Emmanuel Newport
Newport
 
The Rev. David Helfer
Unitarian Universalist  
Congregation of
South County
Peace Dale

Steve MacAusland
Emmanuel Newport
Newport

Tim DeChristopher
First Unitarian Church of
Providence

John Gonzalez
Lakota
Wakefield

   
STAFF
 
Kristen Ivy Moses
Executive Director
First Unitarian Church of
Providence

 

Lord, grant us the wisdom to care for the earth and till it.
Help us to act now for the good of future generations
and all your creatures.
Help us to become instruments of a new creation,
founded on the covenant of your love.
Amen.

 

As we welcome the season of Easter, we welcome the spirit of renewal. Easter falls on the first of April this year and somehow I feel like it is a fresh start. We are being given a clean slate. What mark will you make on your slate? What action will you choose to take?

We welcome spring, a season of rebirth and rejuvenation. Have you noticed signs of spring? My hyacinth and crocus have begun to bloom and I know that spring is upon us. 

We welcome April, a month to celebrate the earth and all its bounty. To celebrate the future generations who will inherit this earth. Recently in the media, we have witnessed young people clearly articulating their needs and desires for gun control. Pope Francis encouraged them to keep shouting ( link). These young people are strong and brave. Many of them can already vote, and others will be voting soon.

Not as prevalent in the media are the young people fighting to protect our environment. Our Children's Trust won a victory last month when their lawsuit suing the government over climate change was allowed to proceed to trial ( link). In May, RI IPL will co-host an event featuring Mary Christina Wood, one of the lawyers on the Our Children's Trust case ( link). Members of Nature's Trust Rhode Island will join us. Nature's Trust RI is  based on a game-changing, youth-driven, global climate´┐╝ recovery campaign to secure the legal right to a stable, healthy climate (link).

Are you ready to be brave and strong alongside these youth? Our Advocacy Action this month features a letter to send to your legislators in support of 100% Renewable Energy. It will take you less than two minutes to send. This Thursday, Join the RI IPL South County Action Team for Climate Action Close to Home. At this event, we will discuss  concrete actions we can take in our personal lives, in our houses of worship, and as a community. Begin Faith Climate Action Week at our Annual Meeting and meet our new board of directors. See the Upcoming Events section for the many environmental events coming up this month.

How will you choose to start this season of renewal, rejuvenation, and rebirth?
Blessings,
Kristen Ivy Moses
Executive Director
Rhode Island Interfaith Power & Light
Stopping to Give Thanks
RI IPL Board President

In 2010 I began a chapter in my faith journey as an Episcopal priest. I accepted a call to be the 18th rector of Emmanuel Church, Newport. Part of that chapter has included involvement with the RI IPL board. At our Annual Meeting, I am going off the board as both director and as President. The end of my term has come.

When I came to Rhode Island, RI IPL beaconed. It is one of the first organizations in Rhode Island that I wanted to get to know, besides my new parish of course! I had been a member of Vermont IPL and had been an active environmentalist in my parish, as well as in the Episcopal Diocese of Vermont, in particular, founding the Diocese of VT's environmental committee, "Earth Stewards," and leading the 2008 Convention "Tending God's World: - NOW!" which featured climate activist Bill McKibben. Upon my move to Rhode Island, I was eager to continue my work.

Since 2012 I have been engaged in the vital work of RI IPL, made lifelong friendships, learned so very much about the science of climate change (particular thanks here to outgoing officers Ray Frackelton and Christine Muller who have also taught me so much about listening) and shared and benefitted from others the practices from many faith traditions, especially Jewish, Muslim, Christian, Hindu, Unitarian Universalism and Baha'i. I have learned that support of colleagues is invaluable, and never to be taken for granted. Thank you to officers: Vice President Ray Frackelton; Christine Muller, Secretary; Chris Cassels, Treasurer, and to Directors: Sarah Atkins, Marty Davey, Tim DeChristopher, David Helfer, and Steve MacAusland, my husband, an inspiration in this work to which we are all called.

I will miss my weekly check-ins with our Executive Director Kristen Ivy, who is exemplary in the way she supports the board with resources, and me in particular as I am forever challenged by technology.

I remember fondly those with whom I have worked who are no longer directly connected to RI IPL: Executive Directors Liz Marsis, Kathy Black, and Donna Childs; and former board members: Kim Caron, Marty Cooper, Rich Evans, Allison Hubbard, Michelle Hughes, Karriem Kanston, Beth Milham, Mark Kravatz, Paola Lois, and Rabbi Pearlman. What a wealth of experience and deep compassion is in this group of committed citizens of our planet!

More is not always better, particularly for an environmentalist, but in these instances RI IPL benefitted from increasing the number of board members as well as RI IPL membership, adding new categories for membership as well as advisory board members: Paul Alexander, The Rev'd Janet Cooper-Nelson, Priscilla De La Cruz, Seth Handy, J. Timmons Roberts, and Mary Jane Sorrentino. I have delighted in partnerships we have created with People's Power & Light, Advanced Energy Panels, Smart Power in the Interfaith Solar Initiative, as well as ongoing relationships with Citizens Climate Lobby, and Energize RI.

I consider one of the greatest achievements we made as an organization to be the creation and implementation of our strategic plan, which continues to guide our work in 3 intersecting ways: advocacy, education and energy conservation and implementation. With Kristen Ivy Moses as our Executive Director, we have significantly increased our online presence and use of social media platforms, as well as ways in which we fundraise - including our participation in 2017 in "Giving Tuesday." We have also been increasingly called upon to issue statements of support and join in conferences, been more active than ever in letter writing campaigns and testimonials at both the local and state levels, workshops, webinars, and speaking engagements. I have been particularly impressed by the work of the RI IPL South County Action Team. I see such regional programming as a model in all our communities throughout the state. One way to decrease our carbon footprint is certainly to work most closely with our geographical neighbors.

These things I have learned or had underscored these past years as President. We need people. Who really wants to do such work alone? We need courage and a deep and abiding sense of purpose and focus. Working in the field of climate change is not a sprint. We need hope, as much as we need love, for without hope there is little to keep us going. We need to be inspired and to continually look to be inspired and enlightened. We need joy. We need more young people to inspire us and give us courage, hope, and joy. We need to continue to embrace models that are both local and interfaith, savoring the rich religious traditions and spiritual practices that have always held creation care at their core and in their scriptures, even if they were not recognized as such. Above all, we need one another - in community.

The key word is community. Community is at the heart of all our religious and environmental work - people thinking, living, breathing and working together to build a cleaner, safer, kinder, gentler, and slower world. In the Christian tradition, the roots of such community are found in the command that Jesus, gave his followers, "to love your neighbor as yourself" (Luke 10:27). How then do we love all of God's creation? We have our traditions and one another to show us the right way to both get on and stay on paths of holiness and righteousness all the days of our lives. We already have all that we need.

To love means to care for all we have been given, the love that we have known from our birth, the love we see in God in giving us this wonderful world. Courage, hope, faith, and love are our methodologies as we live in God's world, the only one we have. May RI IPL and the good people in this state continue to lead the way in caring for this blue planet and all its inhabitants. I have been honored to lead RI IPL these past four years. Thank you.

AdvocacyAdvocacy Action Opportunity
Support a cleaner future for our children

As people of faith, we have a moral obligation to future generations to leave them a planet that is not polluted or damaged by climate change. The U.S. needs to act to avoid catastrophic climate change. Our local, state, and federal governments need to be creating laws and policies that reduce our dependence on fossil fuels. We should be investing in clean renewable energy now.

We must act now if we have any hope of preserving the Earth's bounty for future generations. Ask your legislators to support legislation that gets us to 100% renewable energy by 2050. With your help, we can make sure the faith voice is heard loud and clear in Washington.

to send a message to your legislators.

Taking local action on the
foremost social justice issue of our time
An Interfaith Gathering for South County clergy and parishioners

Climate change is the foremost social justice issue of our time. Many people all over the globe are already suffering from severe climate-change impacts. Poor people and people of color suffer the most. These impacts include more severe storms, floods, droughts, and water scarcity. Moreover, climate change poses an existential threat to future generations.

As people of faith, we must work together to address this issue in our personal lives, communities, and houses of worship That's why we are planning an interfaith gathering.

The gathering will begin with a brief talk by Tim DeChristopher. Tim is a co-founder of the Climate Disobedience Center and a Rhode Island Interfaith Power & Light board member. Table discussions will follow. We'll discuss concrete actions we can take in our personal lives, in our houses of worship, and as a community. Action areas will include food, waste and recycling, transportation, and energy. 

Thursday, April 5th
7:00 PM - 9:00 PM

Peace Dale Congregational Church
261 Columbia Street
Peace Dale, RI

Organized by the RI Interfaith Power & Light
South County Action Team.
This event is free and open to the public.
Please, invite your friends personally or via our Facebook event.

FaithClimateAction Faith Climate Action Week encompasses nine days in April surrounding Earth Day. It focuses on how we can take action to protect our climate. All major faith traditions call on their supporters to be good stewards of Creation. Join IPL in highlighting this calling.

The week's theme Charged with Faith: Leading the way to a clean energy future will include many events. Some examples include celebrations, sermons, service projects, workshops, and nature walks. We will focus on ways we can green our facilities and homes. We will take local action and advocate for positive steps towards a 100% renewable energy future. Join us for a whole week of Creation celebration and carbon-cutting activities.  

To learn more about how you can host a Faith Climate Action Week event at your congregation CLICK HERE.

The Faith Climate Action Kit includes:
  • Postcards to senators
  • Organizer's Instructions
  • Global Warming Fact Sheet
  • "Make a Climate Statement" Youth and Green Team project
  • Photo and Social Media Activity
  • "We're Still In" Pledge
Printed kits are available now! Order yours Here.
Click Here to download and print your own.

Parachutes for the Planet

Parachutes for the Planet   is a collaborative art project  inviting kids all over the world to express their concerns about climate change. Their original parachutes will be displayed in massive exhibits around the world to amplify youth voices and inspire action to protect the future of our planet. The display will begin in Washington DC this fall.

The project was started by Kallan Benson, a 13-year-old climate activist in Maryland. She is hoping  to  get   banners from each of the states and territories of the US. She's already collected 85 parachutes from states and countries all over the world, but she still needs one from Rhode Island. This would be a great Climate Action Week project for your congregation's religious education team. Click the video below to hear more from Kallan.


Parachutes for the Planet website

RI IPL Committee Members Wanted

RI IPL needs your help to broaden our advocacy work, strengthen our education programs, increase our membership base, and further our energy conservation efforts. We are  seeking volunteers to serve on the following committees:
  • Advocacy
  • Education
  • Membership
  • Energy Conservation and Implementation
  • Climate Action Summit Planning Committee
Most commitments run between 5 - 10 hours a month, involve email correspondence and in person participation, depending on the tasks and interest. If you are interested in serving on a committee, please contact Kristen Ivy for committee descriptions and further information.

What it means to be a member
of Rhode Island Interfaith Power and Light

RI IPL individual membership involves more than just reading our newsletter and attending our events. Here are 5 simple steps to being an active RI IPL member:
  1. Give  a portion of your financial resources to RI IPL for our vital work. You may give online here, or by check.
    Annual Membership Dues
    Student/limited    income    $30
    Regular  Membership   $50
    Sustaining  Membership   $100
    Sponsoring  Membership   $150-249
    Circle  of  Friends   $250-$999
    Lifetime Membership   $1000+
  2. Pledge Take the RI IPL Membership Pledge to increase your awareness of global climate change and intensify your actions. You can download your pledge form here.
  3. Be Aware Stay current with information about the science of climate change and the human role in such change, as it evolves. 
  4. Speak Out Support and advocate for public policies that further these goals and communicate with local, state, and national elected representatives
  5. Take Action Follow through with one or more of the ideas from our pledge sheet. Challenge yourself!
Your support allows us to continue our crucial work. To learn more about the benefits you receive with RI IPL membership click here.
UpcomingEventsUpcoming Events
 
Apr. 3, 2:00 PM - 4:00 PM, Newport

Apr. 4, 4:00 PM - 6:00 PM, Providence

Apr. 5, 7:00 PM - 9:00 PM,  Peace Dale

Apr. 10, 7:00 PM - 9:00 PM, Providence

Apr. 15, 1:00 PM - 3:00 PM, Providence

Apr. 16, 6:00 PM - 8:00 PM, East Greenwich

Apr. 19,  7:00 PM - 9:00 PM, Providence

Apr. 25, 3:15 PM, Providence

For more Earth Month activities visit

Save The Date

May 10, 3:30 PM - 5:30 PM, Providence

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Is your congregation or organization planning a climate change or environmental event? We want to know about it! Email us the details of your event and we'll share it on our webpage and in our newsletter. Please send newsletter submissions by the 15th of the month.  Send events or announcements to Kristen Ivy Moses, Executive Director, at kristenivy@ri-ipl.org .


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Rhode Island Interfaith Power & Light
PO Box 15043, Riverside, RI 02915
(401) 324-9142  inquiry@ri-ipl.org