Interfaith Power & Light Spreads the Word

We said "Hallelujah!" when we heard in February that a group of 85 evangelical Christian leaders had signed on to the Evangelical Climate Change Initiative. While this news grabbed press attention around the world, another lesser-known organization, the Regeneration Project, has been spreading the word on the religious obligation to care for creation since 1998. Catholic News Service took note of its "Interfaith Power and Light" project yesterday, which encourages congregations to take action against global warming:

Interfaith Power & Light, active in 21 states and the District of Columbia, works at educating churches and their members about how to make a dent in global warming. It's part of the organization's way of caring for God's creation, and the work is done on many fronts.

"The focus is mitigating climate change but through congregations ... making congregations the model of behavior for individuals through conservation, new technologies, making congregations more energy-efficient, and then having it filter down to the individuals to make changes in their lifestyles and make their lives more energy-efficient," said Tim Kautza, science and environmental education specialist for the National Catholic Rural Life Conference, a member of Iowa Interfaith Power & Light.

Though started in the US Episcopal church, IP&L; is decidedly ecumenical in its membership now, counting Christian, Jewish and Muslim congregations among its members. Various state organizations have created unique tools to raise awareness of global warming in faith communities: the Michigan chapter has started a website where "customers can order compact fluorescent lights and power-saving appliances at a discount."; Georgia's IP&L; has created a Hanukkah Guide "which outlines reasons for switching to energy efficient light bulbs, the environmental impacts of electricity generation, and the Jewish community's responsibility to care for Creation."; Connecticut's group has organized green building and conservation upgrade consulting for 22 congregations. The national organization has also created a video, "Lighten Up!: A Religious Response to Global Warming," and also participates in the Clinton Global Initiative. We don't think it's too strong to say that all of the activities are, well, praiseworthy. ::The Regeneration Project via Catholic Online