RI IPL 10th Annual Interfaith Conference on Climate Change

Transforming Prayers into Passionate Action
with Tim DeChristopher
Monday, October 16, 2017
5:30 PM - 9:00 PM
Registration open through 10/8
October 2017      
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In This Issue

Advocacy Update

9/14/2017 RI IPL joined over 250 environmental organizations in a sign-on letter to Oppose repeal of the 2015 Clean Water Rule  Summary: The Clean Water Act is a popular, much-needed, and carefully-developed action taken to protect the nation's waters from pollution and destruction. Repeal of the Act will remove regulatory oversight and protections for headwaters and some ephemeral waters, making source waters for the drinking water supplies for as many as 1/3 of Americans unregulated.

9/23/17 RI IPL joined nearly 200 environmental organizations in a sign-on letter to Protect the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge  Summary: The letter advocates retaining the prohibition on exploration and extraction of fossil fuels from the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge in Alaska.

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. In order to showcase the films we have available, we're adding a Featured Film of the Month column to our newsletter.   You can easily bring a movie to your congregation, too. Just contact Kristen Ivy at 

Ocean Frontiers  III: Leaders in Ocean Stewardship & the New Blue Economy  spotlights the United States' first-ever regional ocean plans in the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic. This  truly unique and hopeful ocean film chronicles our efforts to plan for a healthy, safe, and sustainable future. It explores the intersection of national security, maritime commerce, fishing, and recreation, plus expanding industries such as offshore wind energy and aquaculture, coupled with scientific discovery. The film tells the story of how ocean planning helps us manage and balance all the uses of our ocean to keep it thriving for generations to come.
Savor rare underwater footage of stunning marine life along the coast from Virginia to Maine and hear from a range of people who are leading the way to a sustainable and thriving ocean.

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

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

Steve MacAusland
Emmanuel Newport

Kristen Ivy Moses
Executive Director
First Unitarian Church


No one knows precisely how fast the coming changes will engulf us. If they come rapidly, they may spur us into action;
if they come more slowly, we may dally.

Dear Friends,

The severity of hurricanes Harvey and Irma is evidence that the changes are coming rapidly. In "Yes, climate change made Harvey and Irma worse ," an article from CNN (link), scientists and meteorologists agree that,  "climate change makes these very bad storms worse ." The combination of warming oceans on which hurricanes thrive and rising sea levels create the ideal mix for record flooding. 

So many people's lives will remain engulfed in the aftermath of these storms for years to come. Our prayers are with each and every individual affected by these storms, and we are ready to transform our prayers into action. Please join us at our 10th Annual Conference on Climate Change.
Kristen Ivy Moses
Executive Director
Rhode Island Interfaith Power & Light
Conference10th Annual Interfaith Conference on Climate Change:
Transforming Prayers into Passionate Action

Join Rhode Island Interfaith Power & Light for our 10th Annual Interfaith Conference on Climate Change: Transforming Prayers into Passionate Action, featuring Tim DeChristopher, a prominent leader in the Climate Justice movement,  with the music of Bryan Cahall.

Enjoy a delicious dinner, network with climate change enthusiasts, and take local climate action all in one evening! Our educational conference will inspire immediate climate action and a group of Rhode Island based environmental companies and organizations will be available to assist you.

Monday, October 16, 2017
5:30 PM - 9:00 PM

Providence College
251 Huxley Avenue
Providence, RI 02908

General Admission $30
Students $10
Registration closes 10/8

All Our Work Is Personal
Sarah Atkins, RI IPL Board Member

I am not what happened to me, I am what I choose to become. 
- Carl Jung

During a visit to Colombia last year, not long after the peace with FARC-guerillas was successfully negotiate d by Colombia's President, I heard a former FA RC soldier say, in describing his life as a soldier and the subsequent peace he made with victims of the FARC, that, in the end, all our work is personal. And since then, I find myself quoting this young man a lot, because, as it turns out, when I speak to friends and colleagues about their careers, their service in the community, their hobbies and interests, - lawyers, firefighters, teachers, preachers, insurance salespeople, stone cutters, electricians, veterinarians and sailboat captains - they all ended up in these roles as a result of where they started and the subsequent personal choices they made. Our work is personal, generated not just by where we landed, but by the personal forces which drive our choices. 

On a larger scale, the condition of a given community is the result of collective decisions - cultural, economic and political. Here we are, residents of Rhode Island, citizens of the United States, witnessing the suffering of our neighbors to the South, in the US and the Caribbean, after extraordinarily strong hurricanes, and facing serious concerns regarding our own preparedness for weather crises of this kind, as well as the long-term effects of sea level rise. It is well established that this is caused by our past behavior, as a community - albeit a large, international, multi-generational community - to embrace the conveniences of modern life at the cost of the stability of our environment.

What do we do now? As Al Gore pointed out in An Inconvenient Truth, we shouldn't go from denial to despair, but make choices - personal choices - mindful of our impact on our immediate, local and global environment, through energy conservation, recycling, reusing, advocacy, and by being kind to ourselves and others. Indeed, global concerns are addressed in the large and small choices we make every day as individuals. In these choices, we change what is possible. It reminds me of the adage, How do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time.

Recently, I returned from a 10-day bike trip from Burlington, VT to Quebec City. Traveling about 50 miles a day, one has a chance to smell the apples in the apple trees, the pine in the forests, the farms, and the whiffs of passing flowers. One feels the sun, the wind, tastes the dust, hears the birds, crickets, and the wind in the fields. One has a chance to admire the offerings at farm stands and stop easily for a box of tomatillos, raspberries, an apple or two, and be offered a couple of extra carrots. Riding through the countryside, I was amazed, again, by the magnificent abundance of the earth. The Cooperative Extension System says that on one acre of land, one can grow 42,000 pounds of strawberries, 25,400 pounds of potatoes, or 11,000 pounds of iceberg lettuce ( link). It's awe-inspiring! And yet, in many ways, we've abused these gifts.

I wondered, going past mile after mile of corn and soy, how the decision to grow cash crops, which deplete the soil and which require chemicals to thrive, is made by individual company executives, and individual farmers, who have concerns of their own. The decision to buy products made from these cash crops and support these companies are made by consumers - and they, too, have concerns of their own. Choices are often driven by our financial situation, our awareness, our belief systems, and ultimately, what is offered. What needs to happen within us as individuals to start making choices that benefit our earth and others? Conscious choices, as consumers, begin with being aware of the impact we have on others, on our immediate circle, on our local and global environment, and on our local and global brothers and sisters. It also requires us to help others by making beneficial choices accessible and affordable. In the end, that moment of decision is at the heart of our humanity, and at the heart of the work of Interfaith Power & Light. This work embraces urgent global issues, brings them into our churches, synagogues and temples, and ultimately to those who seek, through faith, to grow as human beings who make grateful and loving choices, day-by-day, moment-by-moment.

Cool Congregations Challenge
The Cool Congregations Challenge is a contest hosted by Interfaith Power & Light that awards prizes to congregations  that are becoming energy efficient and sustainable role models in response to climate change. Projects of any size completed during the year December 31, 2016 to December 15, 2017 qualify. 
Congregations are eligible if they finished an energy efficiency, renewable energy, or grounds and water conservation project this year, or have engaged with the community in response to global warming. There is also a planning category for those that have recently finished an energy audit and developed plans for improvements. Cash prizes of $1,000 will go to the winning contestants in each category. All winners will receive a frameable certificate. The deadline for entries is December 15, 2017.

Host a Cool Harvest Potluck this fall
Holding a Cool Harvest Potluck is the perfect fit for faith communities that love food, and are also concerned about global warming.  RI IPL can help you plan and host your own Cool Harvest Potluck for friends, green team members, or for your entire congregation.  It's fun, it's easy, and it's a great way to address climate change. We can help you plan, publicize, and even recommend an appropriate movie to show afterwards.  Contact Kristen Ivy to learn more. Bon app├ętit!

For more information visit: www.coolharvest.org

Environmental Tours on Riverboat Explorer
Blackstone River Cruises

Discover the river's environment alongside Mystic Aquarium Science Educators. Learn about the science of the river's plants, animals, wetlands and recovery from pollution. These 45-minute tours also feature a unique opportunity to interact with an underwater remotely-operated vehicle allowing you to see what's below the river's depths. You never know what you'll find!

1st & 3rd Saturday of each month at 10 AM and 11 AM.

Adults : $12
Children (under 12) : $10
Seniors (over 62) : $10

For more information CLICK HERE.

As Family Service of Rhode Island celebrates their 125th anniversary, join us for an evening to reflect on the challenges and opportunities our communities will face in the coming century. For 125 years, Family Service of Rhode Island has worked to improve the overall health and well-being of underserved individuals, families and communities through high impact partnerships and high quality innovative programs. In this dialogue, we will explore how societal and racial inequities can be exacerbated by climate change impacts and discuss the new partnerships we will need to form to rise to the challenge.  This event is free and open to the public.

To Register CLICK HERE.

Making the Creation Connection
Christians and Environmental Justice

The Christian Faith is often portrayed as being "anti-environment," but in fact Christianity has deep roots in theology, the Bible, contemplative traditions, and ethical principles that call us to care for creation and create a just and life-sustaining society. In this day-long retreat, Margaret Bullitt-Jonas will offer a three-part framework to transform hearts and minds about our environmental responsibility as Christians and to inspire bold and faithful action.

Rev. Margaret Bullitt -Jonas, Ph.D., serves as  Missioner for Creation Care in the Episcopal Diocese of Western Mass. and the Mass. Conference, United Church of Christ. An experienced retreat leader and spiritual director, she is also a long-time climate activist dedicated to inspiring a wave of religious activism to address the climate crisis. Margaret is a founding member of Massachusetts Interfaith Coalition for Climate Action (MAICCA), and a leader in New England Regional Environmental Ministries (NEREM). Her most recent book (Joy of Heaven, To Earth Come Down, Forward Movement) is a collection of daily Advent-Christmas meditations on the sacredness of the natural world. She has published numerous articles in books, journals, and anthologies. She maintains a website: RevivingCreation.org.

Saturday, November 11, 2017
9:30 AM - 4:00 PM

Rolling Ridge Retreat and Conference Center
660 Great Pond Road
North Andover, MA 01845

Registration: $48

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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 RI IPL related events or announcements to Kristen Ivy Moses, executive director, at kristenivy@ri-ipl.org .

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