March 2018    
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In This Issue


 
Advocacy Update

2/5/18 RI IPL joined over 500 environmental organizations in a sign-on letter to asking Governor Jerry Brown of California to take the historic step of becoming the first elected leader of a major producing region to  announce an end to fossil fuel industry expansion , and a production decline consistent with the Paris Agreement climate goals.


Racing Extinction
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 

Racing Extinction is an eco-thriller that examines mankind's role in mass extinction. Academy Award-winning documentary filmmaker Louie Psihoyos joins scientists, environmentalists, artists, and engineers to draw attention to this pressing issue.

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

   
STAFF
 
Kristen Ivy Moses
Executive Director
First Unitarian Church of
Providence

 

My profession is to always find God in nature.  
-Henry David Thoreau

 

Many people in our coastal state of Rhode Island find God in nature through the ocean. If you enjoy our beaches, boating, fishing, swimming, surfing, and more, now is the time to take a stand against offshore oil drilling. See this month's Advocacy Opportunity to learn more.
Blessings,
Kristen Ivy Moses
Executive Director
Rhode Island Interfaith Power & Light
Registration Now Open
 
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
6:00 - 8:00 PM
Westminster Unitarian Church
East Greenwich , RI

For more information and to register please CLICK HERE.

The Unique Mission of RI IPL
By Christine Muller, RI IPL Board Secretary

Numerous environmental organizations are doing an excellent job fighting for the protection of the Earth's natural systems. They have defined goals, some of them over-lapping, some of them very specific. They all have important roles to play and are worth supporting. So what is the mission of Interfaith Power & Light? Do we have a unique and vital mission, a special niche to fill?

During the past eight years that I have served on the Board of RI IPL, the Board has discussed the special nature of Interfaith Power & Light on several occasions. After thoughtful reflections, we have always come to the conclusion that our uniqueness comes from our faith-based approach and that our strength is grounded in interfaith collaboration. The spirit of faith strongly motivates people to work for the common good.

If we want to save our climate, our biosphere, and our civilization, we need a radical transformation, (radical meaning "from the root"). It is not sufficient to just change the light bulbs or even put solar panels on all houses of worship. We must change the whole energy system, the transportation system, the way we grow our food, and reinvent the production and recyclability of almost everything we are using, etc.

Rescuing humankind from catastrophic climate change demands a whole new way of how we relate to nature and to other human beings. It requires love and justice and overcoming greed and materialism. People must be willing to change everything, to consume less, to sacrifice, and to live a much simpler lifestyle.

Moreover, climate change is inextricably connected with other environmental and social problems as Pope Francis wrote in the Encyclical Laudato Si':
It is essential to seek comprehensive solutions which consider the interactions within natural systems themselves and with social systems. We are faced not with two separate crises, one environmental and the other social, but rather with one complex crisis which is both social and environmental. Strategies for a solution demand an integrated approach to combating poverty, restoring dignity to the excluded, and at the same time protecting nature.  ( Laudato Si' #139 )

Such fundamental change requires deep knowledge about climate change and other environmental and social problems as well as a transformation of the heart.

Therefore, I see three important dimensions in the mission of RI IPL:
* We endeavor to raise the level of awareness and knowledge about climate change by providing resources such as movies, speakers, and newsletter columns such as this. We are also standing up for the truth and reality of climate change and advocate for effective climate policies, as well as publicly opposing bills or planned infrastructure that would fuel more global warming. This goal we share in common with other environmental organizations.
* We are nurturing faith-based motivation. All religions call for creation care in some way or another. Moreover, they all teach that the meaning of our life is to express love and justice in our actions. We cannot be silent and complacent when people are suffering and the greatest injustice is being committed - depriving future generations of a good life on this beautiful Earth. Since the dawn of recorded history, religion has been a powerful force for changing individual hearts, for motivation to sacrifice for the common good, and for advancing civilizations.
* As an interfaith group, we are promoting unity and collaboration among people of diverse backgrounds. There is a growing divisiveness in US society. People don't listen to other views anymore and are getting their facts and fiction (misleadingly labeled as alternative facts) from media and internet sources that confirm their personal biases. But reducing the amount of further global warming and preventing catastrophic climate consequences requires unified action on an unprecedented, large scale. So, while other environmental organizations are fighting specific battles, we are working to reach people from all backgrounds, to help them accept our common responsibility to take care of the planet and its people, to mentally prepare them for the difficult transition that lies ahead, and to galvanize them to unified actions that will bring about fundamental social change. Our non-confrontational and non-partisan methods may not always get media attention. But in this manner, we can build a grassroots movement that unites people of different faiths and political views to work together for profound and enduring social transformation.

Four years ago, the Board instituted term limits for Board members. That's why I will step down from the Board after our Annual Meeting in April. Of course, I will continue to support RI IPL in many ways such as continuing to coordinate the RI IPL South County Action Team and serving on the RI IPL Education Committee. I believe that all need to contribute in some way to protect and restore the Earth for the sake of our children, grandchildren and countless future generations. I hope that you will also become actively involved! RI IPL always welcomes dedicated volunteers for our Board and various committees. Please, contact Kristen Ivy, our executive director, at (401) 324-9142 for more information about how you can help.

AdvocacyAdvocacy Action Opportunity
Oppose Offshore Oil Drilling

The current administration is presenting an ecologically devastating proposal that seeks to open over 90% of the U.S. Outer Continental Shelf to new offshore drilling, putting our nation's coastal communities, beaches, and marine ecosystems at serious risk of catastrophic oil spills, economic and environmental disaster. All this at a time when science says we need to curtail fossil fuel burning to preserve a stable climate.

The 2019-2024 Outer Continental Shelf Oil and Gas Leasing Program proposed by the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management  (BOEM) includes 2 oil and gas lease sales in the North-Atlantic region. One in 2021 and one in 2023. Read the full proposal HERE.

Tell BOEM why you oppose Offshore Oil Drilling by submitting a comment online and attending the events listed below. 

We recommend that you review
Comments should be submitted by March 9, 2018

Wednesday, February 28th, 3:15 PM
Rhode Island State House
82 Smith St., Providence
Join the Environmental Council of Rhode Island (ECRI)  in the State Room for a press conference on Opposition to Offshore Oil Drilling in New England.

Wednesday, February 28th,  3:30 PM
Rhode Island State House
82 Smith St., Providence
Join Save The Bay on the north side of the State House at 3:30. At 3:45 march to the Marriott for the BOEM meeting.

Wednesday, February 28th, 3:00 PM - 7:00 PM
Providence Marriott Downtown
1 Orms Street, Providence
BOEM is holding one Rhode Island public meeting  to provide information and the opportunity for public comment about the proposed offshore oil drilling plan. The meeting will be held using an open house format. The open house format allows members of the public to come to a meeting any time during meeting hours to view information, provide comments, and discuss proposed offshore oil drilling with BOEM staff. Computers will be available for people to submit comments.

Wednesday, February 28th, 5:00 PM - 6:00 PM
Providence Marriott Downtown
1 Orms Street, Providence
Join Climate Action RI for a peaceful and bold event designed to showcase your opposition to the offshore drilling plans. Arrive at the Marriott anytime before 5:00 pm. Dress respectably, as if you're attending a public hearing. Enter the public meeting room where the BOEM meeting is taking place. To the best of our ability, we will conduct a proper hearing, allowing attendees to speak for 1 minute each. Come prepared to applaud others' statements, or if you like, deliver your own.

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.

Action Faith Climate Action Week will encompass nine days in April surrounding Earth Day. It will focus 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:
  • Prayer Flag Project
  • Postcards to Senators
  • Fact Sheets and organizer guides
  • Action Sheets
  • Photo Project
SIGN-UP now to receive information  on how you can plan for Faith Climate Action Week and take part in urgent actions .

Eco-Palms
Palm Sunday is March 25th, 2018


By choosing Ecopalms for Palm Sunday you can promote environmental and social justice through your congregation's palm purchasing decisions!

Promote Social Justice
-Harvesting palms is an important source of income but gatherers receive a low price
-Gatherers will receive a higher price for their "fair trade" palms improving their income.

Promote Environmental Stewardship
-Palms protect valuable natural forests because they provide income to forest communities.
-Palms will be sustainably harvested and managed protecting the palms and the forests they need for shade.

Why a "Fair Trade" Palm?
-To improve income and living conditions for the communities gathering the palm.
-To protect the palms and the important forests from which they are gathered through sustainable harvest programs.

Order now! Deadline is March 4th.
Order EcoPalms here:  www.ecopalms.org

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
 
Mar. 1, 6:00 PM - 7:30, Providence

Mar. 1, 7:00 PM, Newport

Mar. 3, 8:30 AM - 4:00 PM, Kingston

Mar. 7 10:00 AM - 12:00 PM, Providence

Mar. 7, 7:00 PM - 8:00 PM, Harrisville

Mar. 8, 9:00 AM - 3:00 PM, Providence

Mar. 10, 7:45 AM - 4:30 PM, Kingston

Mar. 14, 7:30 PM, Newport

Mar. 15,  6:00 PM - 7:45 PM, Jamestown

Mar. 24, 7:00 PM, Little Compton

SAVE THE DATE

Climate Action Close to Home:  Responding to the foremost social justice issue of our time with local action
An Interfaith gathering
Apr. 5, 7:00 PM - 9:00 PM,  Peace Dale Congregational Church
(Details to follow in April's newsletter)

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

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

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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