Nashville Interfaith Climate Vigil and Service
Nashville TIPL Chapter had a Climate Vigil and Service at Christ Church Cathedral on December. About 50 gathered for the outdoor candlelight vigil and 80 for the indoor interfaith service.
Christ Church Cathedral Episcopal of Nashville
Christ United Methodist Church
Chattanooga Friends Meeting
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.
A Sacred Calling: Faith Communities Caring for Our Earth.
Sat., October 14 2017
West End United Methodist Church
The keynote address by Rev. Fletcher Harper, Executive Director of GreenFaith, an international interfaith environmental organization.
TIPL Submits Comments to TVA
Courtney Shea, a TIPL Steering Committee member, has submitted comments in behalf of TIPL on TVA’s plans to drastically reduce its requirements to prepare environmental assessments on its projects. You can read these comments here.
Chattanooga Unitarian Universalist Church Newest TIPL Partner
During the 1960s when church membership became involved in civil rights activities in Chattanooga, a fire bomb was set in the Sunday School building and then the main building was fire-bombed. An upright piano in the present church still bears the marks of the fire.
TIPL welcomes the historic Chattanooga Universalist Church as a faith group partner.
Glendale Baptist Church TIPL Faith Partner
For Glendale Baptist Church of Nashville, concerns over racism and economic injustice came into sharper focus during the debates over the desegregation of Nashville’s public schools in 1971. Public positions taken by church leadership in support of desegregation efforts, along with changes in leadership style, caused the majority of church members ultimately to leave the church.
Today Glendalers have forged new understandings of the church and Christian discipleship. These members proclaimed a strong belief in God’s grace and mercy and held that God’s disciples should work as agents for change in the world. During this process, the church embraced gender equality, with both women and men serving as deacons and as heads of the divisions that carry out the work of the church.
TIPL welcomes this historic justice church as a faith group partner.
TIPL Asks TVA for Extention of Comment Period
The TIPL Steering Committee joined other environmental organications in requesting TVA to extend its public comment period for its Proposed Changes to TVA’s National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) Procedures, by adding an additional 60 days for review.
These changes represent the first time TVA has revisited its own NEPA procedures in over 30 years and will affect how TVA conducts environmental analysis across an incredibly broad range of activities, establishing procedures that will likely remain in place over the next 10-20 years. Thus, it is critical that the public have sufficient time to review and offer comments on TVA’s proposed changes.
TVA has granted a 30 day extension to the comment period.
Calculate your carbon footprint to see how you compare to similar households and find out how to make reductions. Perhaps the best carbon calculator on the internet: CoolCalifornia.org
Nashville TIPL Fall Conference
A Sacred Calling: Faith Communities Caring for Our Earth.
Sat., October 14 2017
At the end of April, TIPL Steering Committee Vice-Chair, Paul Slentz, and TIPL-Nashville Coordinator, Dan Joranko, attended the annual National Interfaith Power & Light Conference. The two days at the Bon Secours Retreat Center outside of Baltimore were packed with networking, success sharing, organizing workshops, and interfaith worship. Many of the 50+ attendees representing 30 states strategized how to move forward as a national interfaith movement in the face of the current political challenges and during a time of transition for the organization, as IPL Founder and Executive Director, Rev. Sally Bingham, looks toward retirement in the next couple of years. On Thursday, April 27, everyone headed to D.C. for a lobby day on Capitol Hill. Dan and Paul met with staff members from the offices of Senators Alexander and Corker and 5th District (Nashville) Representative, Jim Cooper. On Saturday, Paul and Dan were joined by other TIPL members, including Steering Committee President, Jennifer Alldredge, for the People’s Climate March. Two hundred thousand walked from The Capitol to the White House — a brightly colorful and highly audible witness on behalf of this beautiful, bountiful, miraculously complex planet and all its creatures.
IPL Current Policy Issues (5/10/17)
Nonprofit Energy Efficiency Act: The bipartisan nonprofit energy efficiency Act has been introduced in the House and the Senate. The new bill numbers are S. 981 in the Senate, and H.R. 2197 in the House.
House Climate Solutions Caucus: First major piece of legislation introduced from the House Climate Solutions caucus, the Climate Solutions Commission Act. Total of 12 co-sponsors, evenly split between parties. Read more here.
Bipartisan letter sent from caucus members to Trump urging him to maintain US commitment to Paris deal. Read more here.
Cafe Standards: A bad bill reducing the current fuel efficiency standard is expected in senate in the next two weeks.
Regulatory Accountability Act (S.951): Introduced by Senator Portman (R-OH). The “Regulatory Accountability Act” would make it difficult if not impossible for new rules to take effect. The bill would give those who oppose new rules tools to block them at agencies and in the courts. The result would be to shut down efforts to adopt important new health and safety standards.
TIPL welcomes Unity of Music City as our faith group partner. We join with Unity in fulfilling its “sacred responsibility, individually and collectively, to make a positive difference through personal example and active service in our church, our community and our world.
TIPL welcomes the Green Team of Edgehill United Methodist Church of Nashville as our newest faith group partner. The Green Team has a mission to live as a faith community in convenant with God and each other, as stewards of creation, using natural resources responsibly and helping others do the same.
TIPL has put together a Creation Care Survey to learn about the sustainability practices of your faith group. We ask you to take the lead to complete this survey or to give this survey to someone else to take the lead, letting us know who that person is.
We would like to take several next steps with the completed surveys:
- Share the survey results with our partner faith groups in your community.
- Develop with local media a feature article on how faith groups are taking the lead in practicing sustainability and reducing their carbon footprint.
- Invite Creation Care leadership within to a networking meeting to learn more about each others’ programs, identify ways we might mutually support of efforts, and how we might encourage other faith groups to start their own sustainability programs.
Please contact email@example.com to learn more and get started.
Nashville TIPL had a great meeting with Amanda Garcia with the Southern Environmental Law Center making an excellent presentation on the Mayor’s Livable Nashville draft report on “Climate and Energy.” The Chapter will engage in shaping Nashville’s response to climate change and how that response can benefit all Nashvillians, including our low-income neighbors.
The next meeting is Monday, March 27, 6:30 p.m. at Holy Name Catholic Church, 521 Woodland Street (corner of Woodland and 6th St. in East Nashville to plan all the different activities/actions around Earth Day week, which includes:
- Saturday, April 22: Rally for Science and Climate March in Nashville. Exact timing, place, etc., are still being worked on. TIPL-Nashville supports the combined rally and march. Please mark your calendar. More information soon.
- Saturday, April 22: Earth Day Festival in Centennial Park. TIPL-Nashville will have a booth. booth.
- Saturday, April 29: People’s Climate March in Washington, D.C. Some will be car pooling from Nashville and the Sierra Club is organizing a bus from Tennessee. The link to the Facebook page where folks can sign up for the Sierra Club bus: https://www.facebook.com/events/872936742846612/ or http://bit.ly/2lYp8d9.
The choirs of Church of the Savior, Clinton Chapel AME Zion, Messiah Lutheran Church, and St. Mark UMC Church joined the Knoxville TIPL Chapter in choral celebration. Many thanks to the choirs and to all those who presented this offering to the Knoxville community.
TIPL welcomes the KJA to its interfaith partnership. The KJA supports Jewish life in Knoxville through values of justice, compassion, kindness, and inclusion.
Nashville Chapter had a meeting to plan its 2017 activities: policy action alerts, a presence at the Nashville Earth Day, a conference, a December climate vigil,and advocacy to encourage TVA to develop lower income weatherization programs, recruit faith group partners and members, and much more. The next meeting is Feb. 27 at 6:30 pm. Place t.b.a. For info on how to get involved, contact Paul Slentz.
Green Interfaith Network of East TN will show environmental and nature films on the 4th Sunday of each month starting at 2 PM at St. John’s Episcopal Church, 500 North Roan Street in Johnson City. A moderated discussion may follow the showing of the movie. GINI also is hosting a symposium on climate change and resiliency to celebrate Earth Day, Saturday, April 22, 2017. For more information about these events, please visit the GINI website.
Knoxville Interfaith Climate Prayer Vigil
The December 11 interfaith climate prayer vigil included prayer, reflections, and songs to celebrate caring for the earth and all creation. Clergy offering prayers included Rev. Chris Battle (Tabernacle Baptist), Rev. Donna Butler (AME Zion), and Rev. John Gill (Church of the Savior).
Petitions were signed asking our congressional delegation to join TIPL in caring for the earth and all, which were added to those signed by the congregations of several of the TIPL faith group partners.
National IPL awarded TIPL a $2500 matching grant in 2016. We have met our match!!! Thanks to all who made that happen.
Risky Business is an initiative to assess and publicize the economic risks to the U.S. associated with climate change. Read about the Tennessee economic risks associated with climate change here (starting on page 77.)
The TIPL Steering Committee recently approved engaging in policy work to urge the State of Tennessee to expand protected forested lands. Forests are home to much of life, and trees are critical for capturing carbon. To support that policy, TIPL partners with Tennessee Forever Green to advance this policy. Steering committee member Paul Slentz represents TIPL in this partnership.
Sandy Kurtz and Olin Ivey, both former board members of an earlier reincarnation of TIPL, have rejoined our Steering Committee to nurture a TIPL presence in Chattanooga. Much is already going on within the city. The UU Church of Chattanoogal and Chattanooga police department recently presented a restorative justice workshop on healing memories, based on the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of South Africa.
With the 2016 elections around the corner, it is crucial that we take steps to address global warming and lead our country to a sustainable and just future. TIPL invites you to look at the national IPL’s Faith Voter Guide. This guide highlights the values underlying the issues at stake in this election – including climate change.
Please share this guide with others you know might have an interest.
The Nashville TIPL conference had right around 100 in attendance, a beautiful day for the outdoor tours of the grounds of Franklin First United Methodist, with great talks and workshops. Many thanks to all who attended and who made it happen.
Front : Pam Hindle, Courtney Shea, Brenda Haymore, Rev. Paul Slentz, Jennifer Alldredge. Back Ted Jackson, Rev. Kay Randolph, Todd Waterman, and Louise Gorenflo
New 2017 TIPL Steering Committee Elected!
The TIPL Annual membership meeting reelected and newly elected its steering committee and officers:
Jennifer Alldredge (St. Mark UMC / Knoxville)
Rev. Chris Buice (TN Valley Unitarian Universalist Church / Knoxville)
Brenda Haymore (UMC Holston District Creation Care / Knoxville)
Pam Hindle (Church of the Savior UUC / Knoxville)
Ted Jackson (St. Johns Episcopal Church / Johnson City)
Sandy Kurtz (Unitarian Universalist Church of Chattanooga)
Rev. Kay Reynolds (Church of the Good Shepherd / Knoxville)
Rev. Paul Slentz (Nashville UMC District Creation Care Ministries)
2017 TIPL Officers
President Jennifer Alldredge
Vice-President Rev. Paul Slentz
Secretary Pam Hindle
Treasurer Rev. Kay Reynolds
Recognition of Departing Steering Committee Members
TIPL Steering Committee members can serve three years and then need to leave the board at least for a year. TIPL recognized the service of our four departing steering committee members: Gene Burr, Dan Joranko, Toby Rogers, and Todd Watermand. Each of them will have ten trees planted in a national park in their honor.
TIPL’s Interfaith Energy Justice Letter Delivered to TVA
143 religious leaders have signed TIPL’s letter to TVA board members, asking TVA to develop home weatherization programs for its lower income customers. Rev. Chris Buice, TN Valley Unitarian Universalist Church in Knoxville, presented the faith leaders’ letter to the TVA board at its August 23 meeting in Knoxville.
Presently, more than half of those who live in the TVA service area do not have the sufficient income to benefit from TVA’s current home weatherization programs. The design of TVA’s energy efficiency rebate program assumes that the customer has money to pay for the upfront energy efficiency work.
Rev. Buice also urged TVA to benefit from engaging in its recently formed lower income stakeholder process the lower income energy justice groups that have recently formed within Tennessee’s major cities
Tennessee faith leaders called upon the TVA board to
- Ensure that lower income households can benefit from TVA home weatherization programs, and,
- Make a long-term commitment to partner with local power companies, lower income voices, and state agencies to both overcome the barriers to lower income home weatherization programs and to expand lower income energy efficiency opportunities.
For more information, contact Louise Gorenflo, TIPL executive director, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Green Interfaith Network energy assessment team conducted an environmental audit of a state historical site at the Rocky Mount Museum in the Johnson City area. GINI’s energy audit team provided a large number of short-term and longer-term recommendations to reduce their environmental footprint. The Rocky Mount Historical Association’s Board of Directors will review the recommendations at a future board meeting.
Climate activist Todd Waterman, a TIPL Steering Committee member for the past three years and a humanist, places deep faith in evidence and believes in the human capacity to avoid the worst of climate change. His interest in climate change goes back twenty years, which eventually attracted him to TIPL when he recognized he could make a contribution to our interfaith efforts as a humanist.
Todd co-leads Citizens’ Climate Coalition (CCC), based at his church, Oak Ridge Unitarian Universalist. Last October, CCC co-organized the Oak Ridge Climate Prayer Vigil & Sparky and Rhonda Rucker Free Concert with TIPL, adding the concert and a networking opportunity.
Todd shared his artistic skills creating a certificate for TIPL’s Green Halo award. The Knoxville TIPL group has relied on Todd for his social media and networking skills.
Todd is a sparkplug of activity. He says, “I have no time, no money – and no regrets. Because I get to live from the heart.”
The Obama Administration has halted new leasing of coal on federal land pending a complete program review, which includes consideration of climate concerns. TIPL presented comments at the May 25 US Department of Interior public hearing in Knoxville. You can read the TIPL comments here.
TIPL welcomes our newest faith group partner, St. Luke Missionary Baptist Church in Memphis, TN. We look forward to mutually supporting our spiritual responses to climate change.
East TN: TIPL partner Green Interfaith Network will conduct two energy audits soon, one for a church and another a public building.
Greater Knoxville will have a climate prayer vigil on June 26 (see above.) It is also planning a clergy interfaith panel and an Earth Choir event later in the fall.
Greater Nashville members met on May 18 to develop plans for advocacy and education. The next planning meeting is June 22. For more information contact Rev. Paul Slentz: email@example.com
Greater Memphis has just formed! See below.
Sandra has joined the TIPL Steering Committee, bringing with her a wealth of talents and experience. She is our TIPL anchor in Memphis.
Sandra is a member of our newest partner faith group – St. Luke Missionary Baptish Church in Memphis. She currently works as an organizer for Southern Alliance for Clean Energy in Memphis, promoting low-income energy efficiency programs and growing clean energy resources. She retired from teaching industrial chemistry for 20 years and has served on several boards and committees over the years including: Tennessee Clean Water Network, Sierra Club Tennessee- Chickasaw Chapter, the 2010 “Gather at the River Conference”, and the Cypress Creek Health Exposure Committee.
Sandra coordinated Green the Block, a 9.11 National Day of Service for “Green for All” in conjunction with her school. She was honored as one the 2009 Green Role Models and was awarded the 2011 Satterfield Award for “Volunteer of the Year” by the Memphis Public Library. She was also honored for her accomplishments as one of the fifty “2012 Women of Excellence” by the Tri-State Defender. This tireless woman is currently pursuing a doctoral degree at Walden University at Walden University, in Minnesota.
Gene Burr, a member and past-president of the Tennessee Valley Unitarian-Universalist Church (TVUUC) in Knoxville, is an architect and urban planner. His career as an architect and urban planner includes serving as planner for historic preservation for the City of Key West, project manager for the conversion of a 500-acre 1942 Army Depot in Memphis to a modern business park, and years in private practice and teaching. Gene remains actively engaged within many Knoxville civic organizations. Rosemary, his wife of 59 years, and he have two grown children.
Gene facilitated the TVUUC installation of a 117-panel solar array, which led to his first association with TIPL in 2005. He currently serves on a national review committee for the UU Green Sanctuary program, an accreditation program for UU congregations’ environmental achievements.
Over the past three years on the TIPL Steering Committee, Gene has benefited TIPL by sharing his many talents and wisdom, serving on many different committee and helping with our Knoxville events. Truly, Gene has been a founding father of Tennessee Interfaith Power and Light.
Thank you to all who have responded to our spring fund drive. Please consider making a small contribution to further the work of TIPL. You will need to make your check to Southern Alliance for Clean Energy (SACE), our fiscal sponsor. Please send your contribution to TIPL, PO Box 26313, Knoxville TN 37912. Thank you.
St. Mary’s Catholic Church Wins IPL’s Cool Congregation Challenge!
Interfaith Power & Light has announced that TIPL faith group partner St. Mary’s Catholic Church of Johnson City Tennessee has won its Cool Congregations Challenge as the national Energy Saver congregation in the United States. This award recognizes a united effort by religious congregations across the country to address global warming by reducing their carbon footprint and by becoming inspirations to their members and communities. St. Mary’s Catholic Church will receive one of the five top prizes, a $1,000 check for the use of future conservation projects.
IPL and its state affiliate, Tennessee Interfaith Power & Light, and local affiliate, Green Interfaith Network, join in recognizing St. Mary’s Catholic Church for this award.
Don Davis, GINI Board member and congregant at St. Mary’s, said, “Our challenge was to step up to Pope Francis’ direction for all to help green the world. We not only wanted to save dollars, making our church more energy efficient, but to help the parish to understand the importance of being good stewards of our earth. The Green Interfaith Network helped us conduct an energy audit to see where we could be more energy efficient.” St. Mary’s replaced lights with LED lights and put timers on appliances. By adding a water collections and fixing leaking toilets and drinking fountains, the church saved 1,000 gallons a month. St. Mary’s encouraged church members to get a home energy audit, and over 40 did and also made energy saving actions. Within the first six months, St. Mary’s had saved over $1,000 in energy costs, and it continues to save thousands of dollars annually.
Welcome Knoxville District AME Zion Church
TIPL Thanks Messiah Lutheran of Knoxville
Much gratitude for Messiah Lutheran Church’s generous contribution, the proceeds of donations made to TIPL during its crafts fair. The church’s donation goes twice as far as it is matched by a Challenge Grant TIPL has received from the national IPL. Thank you!
TIPL Volunteer Spotlight – Carol Landis
Carol Landis moved to TN from Ohio, where she was active with Ohio Interfaith Power & Light. She retired her job as the Education Outreach Specialist for the Byrd Polar Research Center at Ohio State, where she coordinated climate change education for the Center. She attends First Presbyterian Church in Elizabethton and the Holston Valley Unitarian Universalist Church in Gray, TN.
Even before she was settled into her mountain home, Carol helped establish the Green Interfaith Network of East TN (GINI), which models faith-based sustainable living for green faith communities in the Northeast TN and Southwest VA region. Back in Ohio, she had participated in the state’s IPL affiliate, and she brought IPL back to Tennessee, where she helped restart Tennessee Interfaith Power and Light.
Carol has recently stepped back from her climate protection work to care for her family. But she is always there to lend her support and encouragement whenever she can. Much gratitude for all she has done for TIPL and our East Tennessee partner, GINI.
Weekly Study Group of Laudato Si
St. John XXIII University Parish
1710 Melrose Place, Knoxville TN
TIPL partner St. John XXIII welcomes the community to a weekly study on Pope Franvis’ Encyclical concerning the environment and climate change. Contact the parish for more information: 865-523-7931.
News from East Tennessee – Green Interfaith Network
Sunday evening April 17, 2016. Starting at 7 PM.
St. John’s Episcopal Church, 500 North Roan Street, (downtown) Johnson City, Tennessee. Panel Discussion and Reception following to be held in the Great Hall.
Can our religious beliefs help our environment? Come listen and participate in a discussion to foster an increased desire and action to protect the creation on Sunday, April 17th. A panel of six faith leaders will explore our common understandings of how congregations can address environmental stewardship. Invited speakers come from the Catholic, Protestant, Taoist, Islamic, and Jewish faith traditions. It is sponsored by the Green Interfaith Network and United Religions Initiative, who are working collaboratively on various issues facing the Tri-Cities area.
Nashville TIPL Planning Meeting
Eastwood Christian Church 1601 Eastland Ave.
This will be TIPL’s first formal Greater Nashville planning meeting to outline some activities for the upcoming year. A simple vegetarian meal will be provided. Please RSVP at NashvilleCreationCare@gmail.com
Knoxville Interfaith Earth Day Gathering
TN Valley Unitarian Universalist Church
2931 Kingston Pike Knoxville TN 37916
TVUUC is hosting an interfaith Earth Day gathering. Knoxville Mayor Madeline Rogero, who served on President Obama’s task force for climate change, will offer opening words.
A panel of environmental leaders from many different faiths will speak to the relationship of our beliefs and values to the protection of our planet. Breakout discussions will let everyone meet people of different faiths and learn more about each other. There will also be workshops and information tables to help learn how to get involved in local efforts to make a global difference. TVUUC’s goal is to recognize and reinforce earth friendly efforts in the local community and engage in spiritual, theological and practical exploration of faith-based approaches to eco-sustainability.
TIPL will have a table at the event. Come on by and say hello!
TIPL Volunteer Spotlight on Dan Joranko
Dan Joranko, a founding member of TIPL, has worked for many years on social justice concerns, primarily through Tennessee Alliance for Progress but also with the TN Chapter of Sierra Club, the Nashville Peace and Justice Center, and the TN Environmental Council.
He also teaches at the Vanderbilt Divinity School within its Practical Ministry Program, teaching sustainability, Church in the City, and social action. Dan coordinates Vanderbilt’s Riverbend Prison Program which holds classes for inmates and divinity students. He increasingly turns to his roots through the United Methodist’s Creation Care programs.
TIPL thanks Dan for his years of service and ongoing passion to offer a spiritual response to climate change. We look forward to the many ways that under the TIPL banner he will work with the Nashville interfaith community to offer a collective spiritual response to climate change and justice.
TIPL Welcomes Clinton Chapel AME Zion Church
Pastor Paul Slentz Joins TIPL Steering Committee
Rev. Paul Slentz has recently retired as the pastor of the 61st Avenue United Methodist Church in Nashville, where he had pastored for the past 18 years. He left because he felt called to focus his life on stewardship of the earth. Paul is not with the Nashville District Creation Care Ministry. In a December letter to the editor in the Nashville Tennessean, Pastor Slentz urged people of faith to help achieve the goals of the the Paris Climate Agreement.
TIPL welcomes Paul to our Steering Committee.
News from East Tennessee – Green Interfaith Network
Sunday evening April 17, 2016. Starting at 7 PM.
St. John’s Episcopal Church, 500 North Roan Street, (downtown) Johnson City, Tennessee. Panel Discussion and Reception following to be held in the Great Hall.
Can our religious beliefs help our environment? Come listen and participate in a discussion to foster an increased desire and action to protect the creation on Sunday, April 17th. A panel of six faith leaders will explore our common understandings of how congregations can address environmental stewardship. Invited speakers come from the Catholic, Protestant, Taoist, Islamic, and Jewish faith traditions. This second meeting in a discussion series highlights the upcoming Earth Day celebration on April 22. It is sponsored by the Green Interfaith Network and United Religions Initiative, who are working collaboratively on various issues facing the Tri-Cities area.
TIPL wants your words of wisdom to share with others. Please send to firstname.lastname@example.org wisdom sayings, which support and guide your spiritual response to climate change. The wisdom can come from scriptures, from something you’ve read, or your own words. Sixty words is the maximum. Please include the author and source. This request is 60 words.
TIPL at East TN Episcopal Diocese Convention
TIPL had the great opportunity to table at the East TN Episcopal Diocese Convention the weekend of February 5. We met so many good people doing so much to reduce the suffering of others. Many expressed an interest in having their church become a TIPL faith group partner, and so we have lots of follow-up to do. Many thanks to Bishop George Young and the staff of the Diocese, which is a TIPL partner. Also thanks to TIPL members Rev. Kay Reynolds and Courtney Shea of the Episcopal Church of the Good Shepherd for working the TIPL table at the convention.
Eleven Energy Audits Completed
Through the partnership of TIPL and Southern Alliance for Clean Energy, 11 faith groups have completed a TVA energy audit of their buildings obtained through their local power companies. Much appreciation for the hard work of Taylor Allred, a TIPL member and SACE staff, for making this great success
possible. If your faith group wants a similar energy audit, contact email@example.com..
Elizabeth Eason Architecture was awarded the TIPL Green Halo award for its recognition of climate change and effective response to it. Picture below, froom left to right are Emmie Corgan (EEA), Jennifer Alldredge (TIPL), Elizabeth Eason (EEA), Michael Scott (EEA), and Geoffrey Cavalier (EEA.) Also, much gratitude to Todd Waterman for creating the Green Halo award.
TIPL had a great year in 2015 offering spiritual responses to climate change. People of faith moving together can change the world.
Advance the inclusion of lower income and marginalized communities in climate justice decision-making within the Clean Power Plan and TVA.
Develop with clergy a statewide clergy sign-on letter to advance a climate justice policy. Obtain the signatures of 50 clergy before mid-year.
Regional Partner and Member Engagement
Each of TIPL’s regions (Greater East TN, Greater Knoxville, Greater Nashville) will arrange one or more climate vigils and clergy panel seminars. Knoxville TIPL will partner to weatherize two lower income homes. We will reach out to other faith communities through their regional faith group associations and will meaningfully engage our existing partners.
TIPL will attend the IPL annual meeting and its regular national conference calls and promote the IPL Preach-in and Cool Congregation programs. TIPL will network with other state IPLs and regional partners in advancing energy equity through the Clean Power Plan. TIPL will convene a bi-monthly IPL conference of state IPL leaders that focuses on lower income engagement in their states’ CPP implementation planning process.
TIPL will develop funds to meet its 2016 budget of $6,600.
The Steering Committee will have monthly conference calls and arrange the Fourth TIPL Annual Meeting in September 2016. The Steering Committee will hold a one-day leadership development retreat.
To learn more about our 2016 Strategic Plan, follow this link.
TIPL has matched national IPL’s 2015 Challenge grant.
Many thanks to all who helped make that happen.
Charles Sims of the UT Howard H. Baker Jr. Center for Public Policy has concisely summarized the Paris Climate Agreement. You can read it following this link.
Nearly 200 people gathered for a Candlelight Climate Vigil on the evening of December 3 at Belmont United Methodist Church in Nashville to witness for a strong climate protection agreement at the Paris Climate Talks. Clergy from various faith traditions led a prayer service in the sanctuary. Those gathered then lit candles and proceeded outdoors for a silent witness on the street of Hillsboro Village. Immediately prior to the vigil there was a live webcast update from four people from Nashville who were at the talks in Paris.
The Green Interfaith Network, a TIPL partner, focuses this fall on completing the energy audits of area churches, which were funded in 2013 from the Harris Fund of the East Tennessee Foundation. It also will have quarterly meetings in 2016 to engage its members.
In November, GINI will conduct an energy audit of the Summit Leadership Foundation in Johnson City to demonstrate the energy audit process and help the foundation save energy. Partners of the Summit (many of whom are charitable, civic, and/or faith-based organizations) will be invited to participate and to take the information and process to their home organizations or congregations.
TIPL welcomes John XXIII University Parish Catholic Center. Located on the University of Tennessee campus in Knoxville Tennessee.
Follow this link to read the article, Local Groups Plan for Climate Change in Knoxville from the October 7 issue of the Knoxville Mercury. The journalist, Heather Duncan, did a great job asking the right questions of the right people. TIPL supplied Heather the background information about the projected ways climate change will affect Knoxville.
Knoxville TIPL’s Weatherization Day
22 TIPL and other volunteers weatherized the home of Jasmine Harris in Knoxville on October 31. TIPL partnered with USGBC and Volunteer Knoxville in this climate protection and climate justice service day. At the end of the day, the weatherizing volunteers had brought this home up to the Energy Star standard.
On Sunday, October 11, Oak Ridge held its first TIPL Climate Prayer Vigil at Melton Lake Park.
After the vigil, the Oak Ridge Unitarian Universalist Church’s Citizens Climate Coalition is hosting an opportunity for to meet climate organizations, scientists, and others and discuss opportunities for action. Free snacks and drinks will be offered. Then Sparky and Rhonda Rucker of Maryville will perform traditional acoustic blues and their own climate songs. You are encouraged to stay, connect, and plan actions afterward.
The diocese of East Tennessee comprises 34 counties in East Tennessee and three counties in North Georgia, with the Cumberland Plateau as the western border. Within this area are 45 congregations and three worshiping communities servicing nearly 16,000 active members. The Rt. Rev. George D. Young, III is the fourth bishop of East Tennessee.The Episcopal Church has taken a strong stand for climate protection and caring for the vulnerable. TIPL welcomes our newest partner.
TIPL Election Results
The TIPL Annual Meeting elected these great leaders to serve on the Steering Committee: from Knoxville, Jennifer Alldredge, Taylor Allred, Gene Burr, Brenda Haymore, Rev. Steve Musick, Rev. Kay Reynolds, Toby Rogers, and Todd Waterman. From Nashville: Dan Joranko and Cliff Cockerham. From East TN: Ted Jackson.
Officers: Cliff Cockerham, President; Gene Burr, Vice-President, Treasurer,Rev. Kay Reynolds, and Secretary, Toby Rogers.
Oak Ridge Climate Prayer Vigil
The Pavilion Melton Lake Park Oak Ridge
Oak Ridge’s first TIPL Climate Prayer Vigil will circle on the grass near Melton Lake Park Pavilion (directions), in view of Bull Run Fossil Plant, for prayers by three faith leaders; music; candles; brief statements on the missions of TIPL and on the urgency of climate action; and commitments to individual actions.
After the climate vigil, the Oak Ridge Unitarian Universalist Church-based Citizens Climate Coalition is hosting an opportunity for to meet climate organizations, scientists, and others and discuss opportunities for action. Free snacks and drinks will be offered. Then Sparky and Rhonda Rucker of Maryville will perform traditional acoustic blues and their own climate songs. You are encouraged to stay, connect, and plan actions afterward.
Weatherizing homes both protects the climate by reducing carbon emissions and helps us adapt to a changing climate. Join TIPL and other partners in weatherizing two lower-income homes in Knoxville on Saturday. SAVE THE DATE!
Sermon for Children, Taylor Allred, Westminster Presbyterian Church. Presented July
Do you know what this is? [Earth] Do you know how many Earths there are? There is only one Earth, and all the people who have ever lived, and all the stories in the Bible took place on this same Earth. We get our food, clean water and everything we need from the Earth that God gave us. Read more.
TIPL in the News
Demonstrate care for others, nature.
Laudato Si (Praise for the Earth), Pope Francis’ encyclical for all people, calls out climate change as the overriding moral issue of our time. This profound contemplation elucidates the harm our economy, science, and technology have inflicted upon creation and then opens the way to healing. Read more…
You are encouraged to read the encyclical for yourself. Follow this link.
Climate change as faith issue a tough sell
By Holly Deese, Nashville Ledger (June 19, 2015)
It’s been a tough few years for Tennessee Interfaith Power and Light. The state affiliate of a national network of faith communities, the organization offers its members a spiritual way to respond to climate change issues and challenges from political and other sources. Read more…
TIPL welcomes the Cookeville Friends Meeting, our first faith group in Cookeville, Tennessee!
ORUUC becomes TIPL Faith Group Partner
Welcome to Oak Ridge Unitarian Universalist Church! It is a lively, welcoming, diverse community practicing the progressive faith of Unitarian Universalism. At ORUUC, people claim many different spiritual paths and practices–Christian, Atheist/Agnostic, Jewish, Pagan, Buddhist, questioning, seeking, wondering, loving, and others–but walk together in love.
TIPL submits comments on TVA’s IRP
TIPL submitted comments on TVA’s 2015 draft Integrated Resource Plan, a process that TVA goes through with stakeholders to consider its energy future. TIPL praised TVA for its stakeholder process and innovative modeling of energy efficiency as a resource. However, TVA distorted the results of how much it could rely upon energy efficiency by assigning energy efficiency a much higher cost than nationally experienced and by giving it a very timid growth rate. Also, TIPL expressed its concern that TVA is moving forward with construction of so much natural gas capacity that the need for energy efficiency in its portfolio will be marginalized. By TVA’s reluctance to rely on energy efficiency, it does not protect its ratepayers from high power bills caused by the extreme temperatures of climate change or rising natural gas prices. Read more.
TIPL wants to join the ENERGY STAR 2015 National Building Competition, where teams from across the United States compete to see who can achieve the biggest energy and/or water use reductions. The deadline for application is May 31. You can read more at www.energystar.gov/battleofthebuildings
We need to form a team of faith groups and include at least 5 buildings. The buildings can be worship facilities, seminaries, schools, colleges, camps – whatever faith community buildings have energy saving potential.
Contact firstname.lastname@example.org if your faith group wants to join the TIPL team!
TIPL Partners with Knoxville Energy Scores
Knoxville has been selected as one of 50 communities contesting for the Georgetown University Energy Prize, a national competition that challenges small- and medium-sized communities to develop and implement creative, sustainable, and replicable strategies to save energy. Through this competition, the City of Knoxville will work with utility and community leaders to reduce energy consumption in homes, schools and municipal buildings. The community that reduces energy consumption the most over a two-year period has a chance to win up to $5 million to fund local energy and sustainability programs.
TIPL is a Knoxville Scores partner. Reducing the energy consumption in Knoxville will reduce its carbon emissions and protect the climate.
For more information about the contest and Knoxville Scores, visit the Knoxville Scores website.
TIPL submits EPA comments on smog reduction.
As representatives of faith communities across the state we believe it is imperative to protect the health of the most vulnerable among us – particularly children and the elderly. We clearly have the means to maintain clean air – it is a moral imperative that we do so. Read more.
Eleven Energy Audits Completed
Through the partnership of TIPL and Southern Alliance for Clean Energy, 11 faith groups have completed a TVA energy audit of their buildings obtained through their local power companies. Much appreciation for the hard work of Taylor Allred, a TIPL member and SACE staff, for making this great success possible. If your faith group wants a similar energy audit, contact email@example.com..
Greater Knoxville Climate Prayer Vigil
On a Sunday afternoon in the low 20’s, twenty-two people of faith gathered to offer their aspirations, prayers, and song as a spiritual response to climate change. We gathered at Danny Mayfield Park. Our invited clergy and lay leaders led us in prayer: Kally Elliott, Presbyterian Campus Minister, Salah Abdul-Razacq of the Knoxville Muslim Community, and Rev. John Butler of the Clinton Chapel AME Zion Church. Taylor Allred of Westminster Presbyterian led us in song, including one of his own. We came together to give highest worship of the mystery. We went our own ways to continue our practice of honoring the Earth.
The picture was taken at the February 15, 2015 climate prayer vigil by our photographer Toby Rogers of the Crossville Friends Meeting.
Comments Presented at the TVA Board Meeting: February 12, 2015 in Chattanooga by Louise Gorenflo
Tennessee Interfaith Power & Light thanks the TVA board for this opportunity to address it. We offer a spiritual response to the challenges of climate change through upholding the sacredness of all life, protecting vulnerable communities, and caring for the Earth. We call upon TVA to make energy efficiency not only its first energy resource but a resource that equitably benefits all.
As we move deeper into the extreme temperatures of climate change, energy efficiency serves as the most effective protection we have against ever higher power bills. However, the structure of TVA’s residential energy efficiency programs severely limits their access by lower income customers. Read more.
Sign the Paris Pledge
Please sign the Paris Pledge today to show the world that America’s faith community is leading by example. Read more.
2014 Annual Report