May 2018    
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In This Issue

Advocacy Update

4/4/2018 RI IPL joined People's Power & Light and Acadia Center in a sign-on letter opposing any proposals that undermine Rhode Island's cost-effective energy efficiency programs, including S2499 and H7808. Summary: Senate Bill 2499 and House Bill 7808 would cap the system benefit charge and artificially limit the amount of cost-effective efficiency ratepayers could benefit from. The sign-on letter highlights the many significant environmental and economic benefits of energy efficiency.  View Letter

4/5/18 RI IPL joined the Sierra Club and many other environmental groups in a sign-on letter requesting the removal of Scott Pruitt as administrator of the EPA. Summary: This sign-on letter is addressed to President Trump and lists the reasons why Scott Pruitt should be removed.  View Letter

The Hungry Tide
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 

The central Pacific nation of Kiribati is one of the countries in the world most vulnerable to climate change.  Sea level rise and increasing salinity are threatening the lives of  105,000 people spread over 33 atolls in this remote corner of the Pacific.  It's the same ocean, which for generations has sustained the country that is now the source of its destruction.
The Hungry Tide shows clearly the tragic impact of climate change on Kiribati and exposes the stark global inequalities driving the global warming phenomenon. The film personalizes the story by following the life and work of Maria Tiimon, who evolves to become one of the most prominent advocates for the rights of Pacific Islanders. Originally from Kiribati, Maria works for an organization in Sydney as an impassioned campaigner for her sinking nation. But right from the start, Maria finds herself frequently torn between the needs of her family on Kiribati and her role on the world stage.

Sarah Atkins
Emmanuel Newport

Tim DeChristopher
First Unitarian Church of

John Gonzalez

Steve MacAusland
Emmanuel Newport

Martina Muller
Baha'i Community

Kristen Ivy Moses
Executive Director
First Unitarian Church of


Creator Spirit, we thank You for this beautiful world with its amazing variety of animals and plants. May we never forget that we are stewards of Your Creation and that we hold it in trust for future generations. Help us to respect the earth's rich diversity and to share with each other and all living creatures in responsible ways.
- Unknown


Thank you to everyone who attended our Annual Meeting last month. Jim Antal's powerful address asked us, "W hen will climate change feel immediate enough for us to think and act decisively on behalf of future generations?" If your answer is, "Now!" then take a look at this month's Advocacy Action and sign the petition from Our Children's Trust. Your action will support kids in their lawsuit to get the government to take climate change seriously.

Join us at our Youth and Climate Justice Conference  to learn more about the case from Our Children's Trust. You'll also hear from Nature's Trust RI, a group of local youth advocating for climate recovery action and policy making for a sustainable future.

You can make a difference for future generations. Now is the time to think and act decisively.
Kristen Ivy Moses
Executive Director
Rhode Island Interfaith Power & Light
Introducing the New RI IPL Board

Sarah Atkins, President
Sarah is Grant Administrator for the City of Newport Department of Civic Investment, focusing on economic development projects involving resiliency, cyber security issues, climate change impacts, and sea level rise.  She began her work in Rhode Island as the Newport Program Director for Social Enterprise Greenhouse, a network of business and community leaders who support positive change through social enterprise, and worked at the Aquidneck Island Planning Commission as the Administrative Assistant before serving as the Interim Executive Director until 2014.  She serves on the Board of Bike Newport and is an active member of Emmanuel Church, currently serving on the Vestry, the Outreach Committee, and singing in the choir.

Tim DeChristopher, Secretary
Tim DeChristopher disrupted an illegitimat Bureau of Land Management oil and  gas auction in December of 2008, by posing as Bidder 70 and outbidding oil companies for parcels around Arches and Canyonlands National Parks in Utah.  For his act of civil disobedience, DeChristopher was sentenced to two years in federal prison.  Held for a total of  21 months, his imprisonment earned him an international media presence as an activist and political prisoner of the United States government.  He has used this as a platform to spread the urgency of the climate crisis and the need for bold, confrontational action in order to create a just and healthy world.  Tim is a founder of the Climate Disobedience Center and recently graduated from Harvard Divinity School.

John Gonzalez, Board Member
John is a South Kingstown, Rhode Island   resident of Ta├Čno descent.  Adopted int o th e Nehiyaw Tribe of the northern Cree, the ceremonial name Kanipawit Maskwa (Standing Bear), was given to him during the final days of the Standing Rock occupation.  As a Water Protector who spent three months on the front lines, John worked with leadership to help evacuees and those who remained during one of the worst blizzards in North Dakota history, prayerfully engaging in nonviolent direct action against the Dakota Access Pipeline.  Since the closing of the camps, John continues to raise awareness through social media as a full-time activist, drone pilot, journalist, author, public speaker and documentary filmmaker.

Steve MacAusland, Board Member
Steve grew up attending St. Paul's Episcopal Church in Dedham, MA where he sang in the choir, l ed the You th Group, and was a member of the Mission Committee and Vestry.  Steve was very active in The Episcopal Diocese of Massachusetts where he served on the Environment Committee and was a Delegate to the National Convention of the Episcopal Church. In the 1990's Steve joined the Diocesan (Massachusetts) Committee on Faith and the Environment. He was invited to represent Province One (New England) on the National Episcopal Environmental Network. In 1999 he cofounded Episcopal Power and Light which soon became Interfaith Power and Light. After his marriage to Anita Schell in 2013, he transferred his membership to Emmanuel Church in Newport and continued his environmental work at both the local and state levels in Rhode Island.

Martina Muller, Board Member
Martina is currently a postdoctoral researc fellow at the University of Rhode Island. She has spent the past 1   5 years studying how free-living animals interact with their environment. Most of her research has been on seabirds, and her fieldwork has brought her around the world where she witnessed alarming declines in seabird populations largely due to anthropogenic climate change. Climate change also impacted communities she was living in, making very apparent that it is not only an environmental issue but also a justice issue. She feels the ethical/moral/spiritual imperative of climate action is often overlooked, yet should be the most effective for calling people to action. Martina is a Baha'i, with an enthusiasm for interfaith collaboration and fellowship, and sings in the Unitarian Universalist Congregation of South County choir.

AdvocacyAdvocacy Action Opportunity
Kids vs. U.S. Government & Big Oil:
Adopt A Climate Recovery Plan Now
Support kids in their lawsuit to get the U.S. government to take climate change seriously. This petition backs the 21 kids from across the U.S., ages 8-19, who have taken the U.S. government to federal court, demanding science-based action on climate change. Every person, regardless of age, race, gender or religion has the right to a clean environment and a safe future - and the U.S. government's continued acts that prevent meaningful climate recovery undermine that right.

When these kids spoke up, Big Oil companies like ExxonMobil, Shell, BP, and Koch Industries got scared and through their trade associations joined the U.S. government in trying to stop the lawsuit.

Our children know that we can't wait to achieve a binding climate justice deal. Stand with them in demanding that the U.S. government stop the continued permitting and subsidy of the fossil fuel industry and adopt a national science-based Climate Recovery Plan to bring atmospheric CO2 concentrations below 350 ppm by the year 2100.

YouthYouth and Climate Justice Conference
Support a cleaner future for our children


Mary Christina Wood, an environmental law professor at the University of Oregon, has developed a novel legal framework to confront the global warming crisis in the courts. The public trust approach is part of an overall paradigm shift which demands that our government starts protecting the resources that we, the public, own.
Peter Nightingale is a theoretical physicist and teaches at the University of Rhode Island. He strives to leave behind a more just and peaceful, sustainable post-capitalist world for future generations, particularly for  his children and grandchildren.
Refreshments available. Invite your friends and family!
Validated parking available.
Can't attend? The Zoom presentation will be available online. Details will be sent to all registered participants.

Thursday, May 10th
3:30 PM - 5:30 PM
University of Rhode Island Providence Campus

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
May 5, 11:15 AM - 12:15 PM, Providence

May 9, 6:00 PM - 7:00 PM, Warwick

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

May 18, 9:00 AM, Providence

May 17, 5:30 PM - 8:30 PM, Providence

May 18th, All Day, Everywhere

May 19th, 10:00 AM - 4:00 PM, Providence

Earth Day Cleanups continue this month.
For listings see  What Grows on In Rhode Island

Save the Date

Jun 4, 3:00 PM - 8:00 PM, Cranston

Bee Rally at the State House
Jun 19, 2:00 PM - 4:00 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 .

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Rhode Island Interfaith Power & Light
PO Box 15043, Riverside, RI 02915
(401) 324-9142