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December 2019

Dear friends,

Massachusetts is the #2 State for Solar Houses of Worship!

HOWs
From top to bottom, left to right: St Peter's Lutheran Church, E. Harwich; First Parish, Needham;
St. Dunstan, Dover; Kingdom Hall, Leominster;
South Church, Andover; Cambridgeport Baptist, Cambridge

The national Interfaith Power & Light organization just published a directory and accompanying report showing that Massachusetts has 64 houses of worship with solar panels, second only to California's 190! But that is not the full story — there are at least another 24 that didn't make the list, bringing MA's total to 88, nearly half of California's total!

Over half of these solar houses of worship partnered with MIP&L for their project since we launched our solar program in 2013.

Check out the list and the report.

If your house of worship is interested in going solar, contact MIP&L's solar advisor Jim Nail at jimnail@mipandl.org who will give you a quick evaluation of the solar potential of your building, connect you to MIP&L's solar partners, and coach you through the process.

 

Donate to MIP&L's Year-End Appeal and Help Us Continue This Work!

creation careSuccess like our Solar House Of Worship Program isn't possible without the support of our member congregations and individuals. In fact, individual contributions make up 20% of MIP&L's income and is critical to us carrying on our mission to build a faith-based movement to address the climate emergency.

Won't you consider giving today?

Go to www.mipandl.org and click on the red Donate button in the upper right hand corner of the page to donate at our secure Pay Pal site.

Or make a check out to Massachusetts Interfaith Power & Light, and mail it to 14 Collins Road, Waban, MA 02468.

Thank you!

 

Interfaith Power & Light Opposes US Withdrawal from the Paris Climate Agreement

Susan HendershotLast month, the Trump Administration officially withdrew the US from the 185-nation agreement to address climate change. IPL president Rev. Susan Hendershot, issued the following statement:

"People of faith and conscience throughout the United States have spent countless hours and resources responding to climate disasters in their communities and around the world. The Paris agreement, signed by every country in the world, expresses the intention of the global community to respond to this existential crisis with the seriousness that is desperately needed. President Trump's decision to withdraw from the Paris climate agreement is a grave injustice, and will further burden those who are disproportionately suffering the impacts of rising sea levels, droughts, wildfires, and pollution caused by the fossil fuel economy. Regardless of this reckless action, faith communities continue to signal that 'We Are Still In', and working to meet the goals of the Paris accord."

Rev. Hendershot is in Madrid now for COP 25, the global climate change conference that brings world leaders together to coordinate the implementation of the commitments made in Paris. In this blog post, she notes that 15 members of Congress are representing the US, led by Speaker of the House, Nancy Pelosi. In speaking with this delegation, Rev. Hendershot reports:

"What we heard very clearly from them is that they are not hearing enough from people of faith in their districts about the urgency to act on climate ... Please use your voice, and call your Senators and Representatives and tell them that it is urgent that they take bold action on the climate crisis."

You can easily find your House of Representatives member by entering your zip code at Find Your Representative.

For our Senators, Ed Markey and Elizabeth Warren, it's even easier with their contact info at Senators of the 116th Congress.

Here is a suggested message, but feel free that adapt it in your own words: "As a person of faith, I believe it is our moral obligation to take bold action to address the climate emergency, to protect God's Creation as well as the vulnerable people around the world most affected by the floods, droughts and other natural disasters that climate change is making worse each year. I urge you to work with your colleagues to pass strong legislation promoting renewable energy, energy efficiency, and other initiatives to meet and exceed the commitments the US made in the 2016 Paris Climate Accord."

 

Sign up for Faith Climate Action Week, April 16-20, 2020

Faith Climate Action Week 2020

One way that your congregation can show that you are still in is to take part in Faith Climate Action Week, scheduling worship, activities, or other ways to engage you congregation with the climate emergency.

Find a variety of resources and ideas — and list your participation — at https://www.faithclimateactionweek.org/.

This will coincide with the 50th Anniversary of the first Earth Day in 1970 when 20 million citizens rallied in support of environmental action, so it is important to honor the work accomplished by these early advocates for our island home and rally to continue their work today.

MIP&L can offer guest preachers, coffee hour presentations, or help with other activities you plan. We have limited availability and we will book these events on a first-come-first served basis. To learn more about how we can help, contact president Jim Nail, jimnail@mipandl.org.

 

The Most Important Climate Action: Talk About Climate Change!

Boston Catholic Climate Movement logo

Participants from 16 parishes in the Boston and Worcester area recently attended the Boston Catholic Climate Movement's Greening Your Parish Conference at St. Julia's Parish in Weston.

John Anderson, former Education Director of the New England Aquarium gave suggestions for talking about climate change. His formula:

  1. Ask: Why does it matter? Share your reasons and find out what might motivate your audience. Appeals to protect our Common Home and to act as responsible stewards resonate with people of faith.
  2. Answer: How does climate change work (use research tested language — i.e. CO2 forms a blanket around the Earth; the more CO2, the thicker and warmer the blanket)
  3. Connect climate change and local impact — one example.
  4. Answer the question people will have once they understand the impact of climate change: How can we help? Offer some exciting solutions including specific ways we can help such as the exciting news about Massachusetts solar houses of worship noted above, or case studies where MIP&L members have lowered their carbon emissions, energy use, and cost by up to 50%: see these stories at http://mipandl.org/ss_congregation.html.

John advises against use of words "crisis" (implies too big to solve) and "debate" (97% of climate scientists agree that humans are changing the climate) in describing climate change. An extensive resource list from the Greening Your Parish Event, including John Anderson's presentation, can be found here.

In addition, our sister IPL affiliate in Pennsylvania has an excellent guide as does our partner the Union of Concerned Scientists. While these both suggest conversations over Thanksgiving dinner, you can use the same points at any holiday dinner or family get-together.

 

Environmental Voter Project Seeks Interns For Election Year

EVP logo

At the 2018 MIP&L Annual Meeting, Environmental Voter Project executive director Nathaniel Stinnet presented their findings that citizens concerned about the environment and climate change vote at a significantly lower rate than the population as a whole. But to enact the laws and policies needed to combat the climate emergency, we need to get these concerned voters to the polls to elect representatives who share our concern. The 2020 elections will be a critical opportunity to get on the right course.

The Environmental Voter Project's Spring Internship Program is great for highly motivated undergraduates who are interested in learning more about environmental politics, cutting-edge voter turnout techniques, and data analytics. Positions will be located in the Environmental Voter Project's Boston office.

Consider mentioning this opportunity to your college age children or grandchildren over the holidays. They can learn more about the opportunity and find out how to apply at https://www.environmentalvoter.org/jobs/intern.

 

Offset the Carbon Emissions of Your Holiday Travel

Jetset Offset banner

Flying, of course, generates carbon emissions that contribute to climate change, but having the family together during the holidays is important, too. Fortunately, JetSetOffset enables you to buy carbon offsets to mitigate the carbon emissions of your flights.

So give the Earth a gift this holiday season, and offset your air travel at https://jetsetoffset.com

 

Awaken to Our Interconnectedness

zen garden

Once we awaken to our inextricable connection to the universe, and the knowledge that everyone and everything we care for is also a unique part of the universe, then a love for our world and for all beings flows forth from us. A strong wish for all beings to be cared for, to feel joy, and to be free from harm and suffering naturally follows .... The situation in the world calls out for a wise response, the core of which is compassion.

Linda Ruth Cutts, Zen Buddhist Priest
Excerpted from Love God Heal Earth

 

Peace and blessings,

Your friends at Massachusetts Interfaith Power & Light

 

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