If future generations are to remember us more with gratitude than sorrow, we must achieve more than just the miracles of technology. We must also leave them a glimpse of the world as it was created, not just as it looked when we got through with it.
--Lyndon B. Johnson

ShopIPL Challenge 2007: Beat Illinois!

It turns out energy efficiency IS a competitive sport!

We told you about ShopIPL.org, our new online energy store that makes EnergyStar products available to your congregation and its members at a discount. Now we want to tell you about a little competition between TXIPL and our good friends at Illinois Interfaith Power & Light.

The winner of this competition is the state that generates the most ShopIPL sales (and thus the most energy efficiency) between now and the end of the year. TXIPL will donate 500 compact fluorescent lightbulbs to the food pantry of choice for whichever congregation racks up the most sales (measured in dollars) from ShopIPL.org.

Tired of hawking breakfast tacos to raise money for mission trips? Sell energy and water conservation products instead through ShopIPL’s congregational fundraiser program. Contact brooke@texasimpact.org to find out how.

New on ShopIPL for the holidays: LED holiday light strings! LED lights are safer and significantly more energy efficient than incandescent light strings.

FAQ about the Challenge

Does the congregation have to make the purchase, or can I do it on my own?
You can make the purchase as an individual—just make sure you identify your congregation when prompted in the check-out process.

How can I make sure my congregation gets proper credit?
When you make a purchase, be sure to choose your congregation’s name from the drop-down list. Don’t see your congregation on the list? Let us know and we’ll add it right away!

Who’s winning so far?
We are, but don’t get cocky.

Breath of Fresh Air: North Texas Annual Conference Chooses Green Power

The North Texas Annual Conference of the United Methodist Church helped make environmental stewardship a reality for its member congregations through a new electric aggregation contract with Hudson Energy Systems.

Under the contract, which takes effect January 1, 2008, all participating congregations will be receiving 10 percent of their electricity from Texas renewable energy generators. The contract allows individual churches to request an even higher percentage of green power from Hudson Energy at a small additional cost.

Deadline Extended! Texas Environmental Excellence Awards Applications Due October 26

TEEA SealDoes your faith community do something special to conserve, protect, or preserve the Texas environment? If so, it’s time for your group to apply for the Texas Environmental Excellence Awards (TEEAs).

The TEEAs celebrate the bold efforts of citizens, communities, businesses, and community and faith organizations to preserve and protect the Texas environment. By honoring these winners, the TCEQ hopes to encourage other citizens to initiate like-minded projects and reinforce a spirit of environmental stewardship.

Recommended by a blue ribbon committee, the awards recognize outstanding, innovative environmental efforts in various categories. The TEEAs have told TXIPL that in most cases, faith groups should apply under the Civic/Non-profit category. Not sure you qualify? Check out the recommended criteria for the awards here.

The online application is easy to fill out at www.teea.org, but act now because the deadline for the 2008 awards is this Friday, October 26. Individuals and groups may also nominate others for this prestigious recognition.

Winners receive public recognition at a May 2007 banquet hosted by the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality. Winners also receive a feature video about their projects and a certificate by an acclaimed artist.

If you’ve gone green, go for it!

Environmental Action and the Culture of Despair

Submitted by Bee on Fri, 2007-10-05 11:28

What social workers--and we must count environmentalists among such--find difficult to understand is that the trashing of the land is always preceded by a trashing of the soul. Pollution and despoilation are always political, ethical, before they ever become environmental. No one trashes, willfully wastes, or purposively neglects to clean up the immediate world of house and yard and field--no one accepts with dread fatality the present disorder--unless there has already been a prior disordering of the spirit.

Cool Cities Training in College Station October 13

Submitted by Bee on Fri, 2007-10-05 07:20

Local environmental organization Brazos Environmental Action Network (BEAN) will be launching the Sierra Club Cool Cities campaign in College Station in October to urge the City of College Station to cut local greenhouse gas emissions. A Cool Cities ( http://coolcities.us) informational workshop, open to all concerned residents of the Brazos Valley, will be held on the following date/time:

Sierra Club "Cool Cities" Workshop

With Ann Drumm, Dallas Cool Cities Campaign Coordinator

Saturday, October 13th, 2007

9am to 12pm

J. Ringer Library

Baptist General Convention Environmental Coverage in Wall Street Journal

Submitted by Bee on Wed, 2007-10-03 16:59

We are all so excited about the great article in last week's Wall Street Journal on evangelicals and the environment that focused attention on the Christian Life Commission and CLC Policy Director Suzii Paynter.

At Texas Impact, we've had several calls and emails from folks commenting especially on the article's thoughtful treatment of the issue of the sovereignty of God.  

Split Over Global Warming Widens Among Evangelicals

Texas Christians Cite Conflicting Scripture; Staying ‘On Mission’


Global Warming and Democracy

Submitted by Bee on Thu, 2007-09-27 10:26

I posted this same article on the Texas Impact website but wanted to make sure eveyone sees it so I'm posting it here, too.

Our friend the Reverend Steve Brown of Virginia Interfaith Power & Light forwarded me an op-ed by Pulitzer Prize winning journalist Ross Gelbspan, who is the retired editor of the Boston Globe and an international expert and voice for change on global warming and energy. Ross is a great friend to Texas and Texas Impact who has travelled down here several times to speak to religious and secular audiences on global warming challenges and solutions. His website is http://www.heatisonline.org/

Ross's op-ed is absolutely required reading for faith communities for a number of reasons, the most important of which is the context for hope Ross continues to operate in. As language about global warming from the scientific community gets scarier, we will need different ways of thinking about the future to keep us from shutting down and giving up. Ross Gelbspan's perspective is one that helps me stay grounded in hope for the long term as opposed to grasping for optimism in the short term.

Climate change may destabilize democracies

By Ross Gelbspan

This op-ed first appeared in the Lowell, Massachusett, Sun.

While senators and representatives diddle over the beginnings of authentic climate change legislation, it is depressingly clear that even our best-intentioned leaders don’t really get it.

Prestonwood Baptist Church Wins EPA Energy Star Award for Energy Savings

Small Businesses and Congregations Honored by EPA for Energy Savings

News for Release: Wednesday, Sept. 12, 2007

U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)

Contact: Enesta Jones, (202) 564-4355 / jones.enesta@epa.gov

(Washington, D.C. - Sept. 12, 2007) Today EPA announced the winners of the 2007 Energy Star Award for Small Businesses and Congregations. Together, the winners saved more than $1.2 million in annual energy costs and reduced greenhouse gas emissions equivalent to those from 1,600 vehicles annually. This year's diverse group of eight small businesses and three congregations includes an auto dealership, a winery and a mega-church.

"Whether they are running a place of business or a place of worship, more and more Americans are realizing that getting the most out of their energy dollars just makes sense," said U.S. EPA Administrator Stephen L. Johnson. "Through Energy Star, President Bush and EPA are brightening our nation's future, and I applaud these award winners for demonstrating the environmental and financial rewards of going green."

Small businesses and congregations that strategically manage the energy performance of their facilities can cut utility costs by 25 percent or more by making efficiency improvements and, at the same time, make significant contributions to a healthier environment. The energy saving efforts of the winners included upgrading existing facilities as well as the construction of new energy efficient facilities. Efficiency improvements include lighting upgrades, improved insulation, installation of door and window seals, purchase of Energy Star qualified appliances and equipment and the use of energy management systems.

In addition to the winners of the 2007 Energy Star Award for Small Businesses and Congregations, EPA also announced three special awards for notable achievements in energy efficiency.

The 2007 Energy Star Small Business winners are:

Central PA Settlement LLC of Bedford, Pa.
Duncaster Inc. of Bloomfield, Conn.
G&S Produce Distributing of Sacramento, Calif.
Ocean Breeze Awnings and More of Surfside Beach, S.C.
Pat Lobb Toyota of McKinney, Texas
Planet Subaru of Hanover, Mass.
Sendell Motors Inc. of Greensburg, Pa.
Sonoma Wine Company of Graton, Calif.

The 2007 Energy Star Congregation winners are:

Jonesville United Methodist Church of Clifton Park, N.Y.
Prestonwood Baptist Church of Plano, Texas
Sisters, Servants of the Immaculate Heart of Mary of Monroe, Mich.

The recipients of the three special awards are:

Pennsylvania Small Business Development Center (SBDC)
National Automobile Dealers Association (NADA)
Western Appliance

Launched in 1992, Energy Star is a government program that helps businesses and consumers protect the environment through superior energy efficiency. In 2006, Americans with the help of Energy Star saved $14 billion on their energy bills and reduced greenhouse gas emissions equal to those of 25 million vehicles annually.

More information about the 2007 Small Business Award Winners


Energy Star is a joint program of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the U.S. Department of Energy designed to save money and protect the environment through energy efficient products and practices.

Energy Star: http://energystar.gov

U.S. Environmental Protection Agency: http://www.epa.gov

U.S. Department of Energy: http://www.energy.gov