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.
Here are a few pictures taken of the February 15, 2015 climate prayer vigil by our photographer Toby Rogers of the Crossville Friends Meeting.
TIPL Urges TVA Board to Offer Lower Income Energy Efficiency Programs
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
Thank you to all for the many who have helped TIPL offer a spiritual response to climate change. Highlights of Tennessee Interfaith Power and Light’s 2014 accomplishments include:
- Urged TVA to close down its oldest and dirtiest coal plants. TVA last year added the Allen Plant to the list of coal plants it has closed over the past three years.
- Supported the EPA Clean Power Plan. TIPL presented during EPA’s public hearing in Atlanta in July and submitted written comments in November. Both are available on the TIPL website.
- Partnered with Climate Knoxville in its support for the Clean Power Plan and the City of Knoxville’s inner city weatherization initiative.
- Advocated climate justice. TN Department of Environment and Conservation will write the state plan for complying with the EPA Clean Power Plan. TIPL was invited by the state to submit our written comments on our climate justice concerns and was invited to a stakeholder meeting to express the urgency of protecting vulnerable communities.
- Held seven regional events in East Tennessee, Greater Knoxville, and Greater Nashville, creating opportunities for people of faith to witness their call for climate protection.
- Offered quarterly tele-seminars on a range of topics for members and faith group partners as opportunities to help understand the way forward.
- Engaged with the National IPL by sending representatives to its annual meeting and promoting its programs: Preach-in and Cool Congregation.
- Communicated with our members and partners through our website, a monthly e-newsletter update, and a welcome packet to new partner faith groups.
- Held our second Annual Meeting in the fall, at which our 2015 goals were developed
- Further developed TIPL. The TIPL Steering Committee conferred regularly to conduct TIPL business. TIPL now has a set of policies to help guide it as an organization.
TIPL Thank You to KUB
The Knoxville Utilities Board recently announced that it will start a program called Round It Up, while will round up customer bills to the nearest dollar and give the proceeds to a community action agency to weatherize lower income homes.
In response, TIPL thanked KUB in the following letter to the editor which appeared in the December 10, 2014 issue of the Knoxville News Sentinel:
Last month’s cold snap gave each of us a wake-up call to do what we can to button-up our homes for the winter. Now would be a good time to call KUB for a home energy audit to learn what you can do to weatherize your home and about the financial incentives to do so.
However, not everyone has the resources to take advantage of KUB’s energy efficiency programs. Many lower income households lack the money to pay for weatherization measures or cannot finance them through TVA’s on-bill financing programs as their credit score is lower than 620.
Many in Knoxville cannot afford to stay warm during cold weather, endangering their health. Some will pay over half their monthly income to pay for the heating bill after a cold snap, pushed higher from living in a drafty, unweatherized home.
Tennessee Interfaith Power and Light congratulates KUB on its recently announced Round It Up program that will help lower income households to weatherize their homes. This program allows us to care for our neighbors in ways that will benefit all.
Thank you, KUB, for this opportunity to help reduce the suffering of our neighbors.
FREE CHURCH ENERGY AUDITS!!!
If you are interested in getting a free TVA church energy audit, be in touch. TIPL is partnering with Southern Alliance for Clean Energy to encourage local power companies to offer free church energy audits. email@example.com
TIPL Submits Comments on EPA’s Clean Power Plan
You can read the comments TIPL submitted at this link.
TIPL 2015 Policy Work Announced
- TIPL will meet with Senators Alexander and Corker to encourage their support of climate protection.
- TIPL will continue to support EPA’s Clean Power Plan and work with the State of Tennessee on developing the state’s compliance plan.
- TIPL will meet with TVA board members to urge them to instruct TVA staff to provide energy efficiency programs for lower income customers.
- TIPL will support Earth Hour on March 28th.
- TIPL will provide our faith group partners a carbon fast calendar for Lent.
- TIPL will develop a recognition program for businesses, which publicly acknowledge climate change and are responding to it in meaningful ways.
Join the National IPL Cool Harvest!
Did you know that almost one-fifth of climate change pollution comes from the food industry and our own food choices? Find out how you can help! Download your instant, free Cool Harvest kit at this link. Cool Harvest is a food, faith, and climate program for congregations brought to you by Interfaith Power & Light. The “Enjoy a Cool Harvest” guide will help you plan and host a potluck gathering. As you will learn, the foods that are healthier for the planet are also healthier for our bodies. You will also be able to download the spring “Sow a Cool Harvest” guide for planning and creating sustainable vegetable gardens.
Walking the Talk
At the September 27 TIPL Annual Meeting, our spiritual response to climate change session was opened with a discussion on what sets apart TIPL from other kinds of climate organizations. Because TIPL is a faith-based organization, we are encouraged to look inward to examine our self, renouncing our own faults and aligning ourselves with the good. This we must do before looking out into the world to change others.
Through TIPL we can practice beneficial ways of living within our own lives; in our interactions with other TIPL members and partners; and in how TIPL interacts with the world.
To that end, we identified the following guiding values that support and inform TIPL’s words and deeds.
- We speak truth to power.
- We believe in the power of one acting together.
- We help ourselves and others learn about what is true.
- We walk the talk.
- We have a deep and abiding gratitude.
- We support those who are making a difference.
- We know when enough is enough.
- We conserve resources.
- We minimize travel.
- We limit our carbon footprint and recompense those we have harmed through carbon offsets.
- We align ourselves with the good, which provides us with a moral compass and sense of direction.
- We determine together the best way to express our understanding of the good.
- We are inclusive of all people of faith.
- We act upon our compassion for the vulnerable and powerless.
- We know we are powerful through the spirit.
- We create opportunities for ourselves and others to do good.
TIPL’s Comments on Clean Power Plan Plan Presented at EPA Hearing 7-29-14
Tennessee Interfaith Power and Light upholds the vision of our generation accepting the moral responsibilities of our actions and determining to do the right thing, something that we already know in our hearts to be true. Read more.