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November 2016

Dear MIP&L members and friends,

Displaying the Lantern of Soul in Shadowy Times

displaying lanterns

"My friends, do not lose heart. We were made for times like these." Those words begin a beautiful reflection by American poet Clarissa Pinkola Estes. In it she compares each of us to seaworthy vessels saying,

"Look out over the prow; there are millions of boats of righteous souls on the waters with you .... In any dark time, there is a tendency to veer toward fainting over how much is wrong or unmended in the world. Do not focus on that .... One of the most calming and powerful actions you can do to intervene in a stormy world is to stand up and show your soul ....To display the lantern of soul in shadowy times like these—to be fierce and to show mercy toward others; both are acts of immense bravery and greatest necessity." Read the full version here.

As people of faith we intuitively recognize how to both "be fierce and to show mercy toward others." It may be bewildering that the increasing heat, extreme weather events, and fires that we observe around us; the overwhelming consensus of climate scientists; and the Paris treaty signed by more than 190 countries all tell us that we are in the midst of a climate crisis, but that half of our own country either does not see it or refuses to accept it. So, yes we must be fierce in taking bold action in our lives within our institutions and at the local and state level. Displaying "the lantern of soul" also includes being mindful of the wisdom of building a broader consensus on the need for action – and that involves mercy. Pinkola Estes reminds us that these are acts of necessity. As an Argentine climate negotiator once summed it up: "We are all in the same boat – and there's no way half the boat is going to sink".


Become an IPL Cool Congregation — Deadline Dec. 16, 2016

cool congregations challengeHas your congregation completed an energy efficiency, renewable energy, or grounds and water conservation project during the past year? Or, has your house of worship engaged its community on energy saving efforts? Or perhaps you've been busy planning a project? If so, be sure to enter the Cool Congregations Challenge for your chance to win cash prizes and earn national recognition from Interfaith Power & Light.

Five $1,000 cash prizes will be awarded in each of five categories. Houses of worship may enter up to three categories. Projects can take place anywhere, as long as they are led or coordinated by a congregation. That means inside the sanctuary or other buildings, on the grounds, in congregants' homes, or in the community.

Temple Beth Elohim in Wellesley, Church of the Covenant in Boston, The First Congregational Church of Stoneham, St. Andrew's in Framingham and St. Dunstan's Dover have been recognized by Cool Congregations. So can yours! Visit to download a free entry guide and then enter before the final deadline on Friday, December 16. Winners will be chosen by an interfaith panel of faith leaders, IPL staff, and experts in congregational energy efficiency and sustainability.



Wishing You a Green Thanksgiving

happy thanksgiving

This Thanksgiving season, we will be giving thanks for you, our network, our activists, our congregations, and our supporters. You have sustained this movement to build a new relationship with the Earth. You are making a difference in so many ways: from your table to your home to your house of worship.

As we gather together in gratitude, let's be thankful for the bounty of Creation and mindful of how our food choices affect the Earth and the climate. Reducing our carbon "food-print" is one small thing we can do. Why not begin this Thanksgiving by sharing with your friends and family how your food choices and cutting your food waste will help the climate?

Click here to see our Green Thanksgiving Guide or to try the Thanksgiving calculator to help you waste less food.

Socially responsible, small-scale farms that produce food locally can cut down the need for transportation – and greenhouse gases. This alternative produces high-quality food, and supports farmers who produce healthy, meat, eggs and dairy products using humane methods.

Learn more about how you can host a Green Thanksgiving this year.


"More Renewable Energy for ALL"

Campaign Launch, December 8th

green electricity
Thursday, December 8, 2016

7:15 pm - Food and networking
7:45-9:00 pm - Program

First Baptist Church
633 Centre St., Jamaica Plain


People want green electricity, and there is a simple way for everyone to get it. We CAN get more green energy for all—at little or no cost.

In Massachusetts, the city can choose a renewable supplier for all residential and business customers. Everyone in Boston can get renewable energy, without price spikes, even if they can't put a solar panel on their roof. We can cut Boston's greenhouse gas emissions-fast! This is called "Community Choice Aggregation (CCA)." Brookline, Melrose, and Dedham have all done it!

Let's join together to convince the city to vote "yes" for climate justice and renewable energy!

Come hear all about it on December 8th!

Contact us for more information: or (857) 544-6846.


Mass Energy Consumers Alliance's 34th Annual Meeting & Holiday Party

Greg Watson

Featured Speaker Greg Watson

Wednesday, December 7th, 2016
5:30 - 8:30PM
The Westin Hotel
10 Huntington Avenue, Boston MA 02116
(a short walk from Back Bay or Copley Stations!)

Free and open to the public. Please RSVP.

Contact Pua Higginson with questions: 617-524-3950 x142 or




Sunday, February 12, 2017 2 pm to 6 pm
South Church, Andover, 41 Central St, Andover, MA 01810
RSVP to Vince Maraventano at:

Would your congregation like to lower its utility bills? Decrease its use of fossil fuels, and the contribution they make to global warming? Are you interested in learning more about solar energy? Mass. Interfaith Power & Light's Sustainable House of Worship will show you how.



Audubon sanctuary

Calling all youth and youth groups (Grades 7-12) — and adults, too!

Sunday, January 29, 2017 2-4 PM
Broad Meadow Brook Wildlife Sanctuary, Worcester
RSVP: Sue Moore (

Sunday, March 12, 2017 2-4 PM
Boston Nature Center, Boston
RSVP: Dr. Barbara Darling (

Sunday, March 12, 2017 2-4 PM
Arcadia Wildlife Sanctuary
RSVP: Rev. Dr. Margaret Bullitt-Jonas (
Presented from a Christian perspective

All events held at Mass Audubon Sanctuaries — Free admission with RSVP to group leader!
Sponsored by Environmental Ministries of the Mass. Conference, United Church of Christ


Reflection of the Month

sufi art

This being human is a guest house.
Every morning a new arrival.

A joy, a depression, a meanness,
some momentary awareness comes
as an unexpected visitor.

Welcome and entertain them all!
Even if they're a crowd of sorrows,
who violently sweep your house
empty of its furniture,
still, treat each guest honorably.
He may be clearing you out
for some new delight.

The dark thought, the shame, the malice,
meet them at the door laughing,
and invite them in.

Be grateful for whoever comes,
because each has been sent
as a guide from beyond.

"The Guest House"
by Jalal al-Din Rumi, translated by Coleman Barks


Peace and blessings,

Your friends at MIP&L


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