Knoxville John XXIII 1Newest TIPL Partner:  John XXIII University Parish Catholic Center

TIPL welcomes John XXIII University Parish Catholic Center.  Located on the University of Tennessee campus in Knoxville Tennessee.


Nashville Interfaith Climate Vigil

32-prayer2-450Thursday, December 3, 7:00 p.m.

Belmont United Methodist Church Sanctuary (2007 Acklen Avenue, Nashville  – At the corner of 21st Avenue South & Acklen Avenue in Hillsboro Village

INTERFAITH LITURGY and witness to the urgent need to reduce climate change globally. Leaders from several faith traditions will offer prayers and readings from sacred texts calling for responsible stewardship of the earth.

AFTER THE VIGIL: there will be a silent candlelight witness on the sidewalk outside the church

PRIOR TO THE VIGIL: The vigil is one of many actions across the U.S. It coordinates with the December United Nations Climate Change Conference in Paris.  At 6:00 p.m., prior to the vigil on Dec. 3, there will be a computer live connection from Paris for face-to-face dialog with Nashvillians who are there to observe the talks. It will be in Parker Hall, downstairs in the main church building; enter from Acklen Avenue side. 

PARKING: For parking suggestions, go to , then select “Click here to see a diagram of other available parking….”

 SPONSOR: Tennessee Interfaith Power and Light

COSPONSORS: The Creation Care Ministry of the Nashville District of the United Methodist Church; The Lay Franciscan Prayer Group of Nashville; Outreach Committee of Belmont United Methodist Church; The Sierra Club’s “Beyond Coal Campaign”

For more information, contact: Dan Joranko, (615)


ccEnter to Win $1000 in the IPL Cool Congregations Challenge. 

Your congregation is eligible to enter if it has finished an energy efficiency, renewable energy, or grounds and water conservation project this year, or if it has engaged your community in response to global warming. There is also a planning category for those who have recently finished their energy audit and developed plans for improvements.

Deadline to apply is December 15

Click here to enter IPL’s Challenge or to download the entry guide today, for a chance to win $1,000 in each of the five entry categories.  

logodemocolorEast TN On the Move

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.

MercuryKnoxville Mercury Does Major Article on Climate Change and TIPL

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 

FullSizeRender22 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.


DSCN0102Oak Ridge Climate Prayer Vigil

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.


100px-Seal_of_the_Episcopal_Diocese_of_East_TennesseeTIPL Welcomes Partnership of East TN Episcopal Diocese

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

TIPL CLERICAL DISCUSSION 2015 005The 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

Vistors+Oak-Ridge-Melton-Lake3pm Sunday October 11

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.

Facebook link.


weatherizationlogoKnoxville TIPL’s Weatherization Day October 31

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


12, 2015

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.

TIPL guest column in Knoxville News Sentinel, June 27, 2015

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…

Cookeville Friends MeetingQ  New Faith Group Partner

TIPL welcomes the Cookeville Friends Meeting, our first faith group in Cookeville, Tennessee!


ORUUC becomes TIPL Faith Group Partner

ChurchWelcome 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

TVA logoTIPL 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.


Battle of the Buildings es-battle-of-the-buildings-logo-2014

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

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 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. knx_score_color4Through 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 faithInside-sanctuary-for-Power-Wise-audit 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

Greater Knoxville Climate Prayer Vigil

DSC09201On 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.

TVA logoTIPL 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.

Read more

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.

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

danTennessee 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.