TIPL’s Interfaith Energy Justice Letter Delivered to TVA

interfaith143 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.

Read TIPL’s letter signed by 143 faith leaders and see the list of faith leaders who signed TIPL’s letter to TVA.

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 lgorenflo@gmail.com.


 

TIPL 4th Annual Meeting

AnnualMeeting1Saturday, September 17
9am – 3pm

Church of the Good Shepherd

Knoxville TN

Save the Date


imagesNashville TIPL on the Move – Best Practices and October 1 Conference

The Nashville TIPL’s Best Practices Working Group has met twice and moves forward with putting together best earth care practices/resources for congregations.  Their findings will be put on the TIPL website. If you want to get involved with that group, be in touch with TIPL Steering Committee member Dan Joranko.  

TIPL conference set for Saturday, October 1:  Nashville TIPL is pulling together a conference in partnership with the Cumberland-Harpeth Audubon Society at the First United Methodist Church in Franklin.  Matthew Anderson, a National Audubon Society staff members and board member of the national IPL, will be the keynote speaker.  Workshops, children activities, and music are being planned.  Exciting things are happening for the good of the earth in Nashville!   If you want to help plan, contact TIPL Steering Committee member Rev. Paul Slentz.   


indexEast TN Green Interfaith Network Audits Museum 

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.

e11959d0a21cd0c70e7834eb01cee6b4TIPL Volunteer Todd Waterman

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.”


TIPL Comments on Federal Leasing of Coal on Public LandsPowder_River_Basin_distribution_legend-2

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.


PicTIPL Welcomes Partnership of St. Luke Missionary Baptist Church

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.


imagesTIPL Regional Updates

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:  pslentz53@gmail.com

Greater Memphis has just formed!  See below. 


indexSandra Upchurch Joins TIPL Steering Committee

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.


profile_1109_Gene_003.jpgGene Burr – TIPL Volunteer of the Month

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.

IMG_5440TIPL at the National IPL Annual Meeting
Washington DC     May 1-4, 2016

 

offering-plate-300x201TIPL Spring Fund Drive

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!

StMaryJCInterfaith 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

b497d137aaaae424d4315103f3244122TIPL welcomes as a faith group partner the Knoxville District AME Zion Church.


 

TIPL Thanks Messiah Lutheran of Knoxville
edit_DSC9919_sizedMuch 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

1eb8ed8Carol 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 regionBack 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

51recv3EUVL._SX319_BO1,204,203,200_7pm every Thursday

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

indexSix Faiths, Six Voices, One Earth

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

Letterhead.jpg6:00-7:30 pm Wednesday, April 20

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

interfaith_symbolsApril 24, 3-6 p.m.

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

danDan 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

clintonTIPL welcomes Clinton Chapel African Methodist Episcopal  Zion Church, located in the Mechanicsville neighborhood of Knoxville, TN.  Its minister is Rev. John Butler.

 

 


Pastor Paul Slentz Joins TIPL Steering Committee

65665969F063.JPGRev. 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

index  Six Faiths, Six Voices, One Earth

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.


Share Your Climate Wisdom!

TIPL wants your words of wisdom to share with others. Please send to tennesseeipl@gmail.com  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

LogoFoHomepage_webTIPL 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 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 tennipl@gmail.com..


Green Halo Award 9x12, Elizabeth Eason, Fleetwood 5+S b©TIPL Green Halo Award

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. 

 

Eason Green Halo Award 2015 Presentation final

 

 


indexTIPL 2015 Annual Report

TIPL had a great year in 2015 offering spiritual responses to climate change.  People of faith moving together can change the world.

You can read our 2015 Annual Report by following this link.


2015-62016 TIPL Strategic Plan

Policy Work

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.

National IPL

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.

Fund Development

TIPL will develop funds to meet its 2016 budget of $6,600.

Administration

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.

transparent_regen_logo-1 TIPL Matches Challenge Grant

TIPL has matched national IPL’s 2015 Challenge grant.

Many thanks to all who helped make that happen.


indexThe Paris Climate Change Talks:
What Did the President Promise and
When Did He Promise It? 

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.


253Nashville TIPL Climate Vigil

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.


 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.


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.


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

I4ufFspzF7rUw3sjB56FAtneQHewjXZDLNH2y9odtAB4IYlmZsmwFDploNuL3nYGgPVYUqcHA70hYNTwZslF7xvE5HThmzgKj4kKdja_g3xK5cywRHUrgKJkQlrSiEYIflOcBNR-0cG3FGiKiwLGQQjL9w=s0-d-e1-ft

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 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 lgorenflo@gmail.com 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 tennipl@gmail.com..

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.

 

CoolHarvest

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.