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

TXIPL Conference Call Archives

In our monthly environmental calls, we seek to connect faith leaders around the state who are engaged in the work of caring for Creation; provide updates about environmental legislation and advocacy opportunities; keep you current on new programs and initiatives; and create a space for sharing hopes and frustrations, plans and ideas, stories and prayers.

If you missed a call, have no fear! We keep recordings of our monthly calls here.

Our next call is scheduled for Wednesday, October 24th from noon-1:00 p.m. Please join us!

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November 2012 - "Sharing Our Light & Hope," a conversation about sources of hope in sustaining our work for creation care. Listen to this call.

September 2012 - "An Update on 'Fracking' in Texas," with guest presenter Virginia Palacios with the Environmental Defense Fund. Listen to this call.

August 2012 - "Managing Energy Use: ENERGY STAR and Portfolio Manager for Congregations" with guest presenters from the EPA. Download the slide presentation.

June 2012 - "The EPA, Global Warming, and You," with guest presenter Tyler Edgar, the Assistant Director of the Climate and Energy Campaign from the National Council of Churches’ Eco Justice Program. Listen to this call.

May 2012 - "Changes to the Open Beaches Act," with Dr. Richard McLaughlin, Endowed Chair for Marine Policy and Law of the Harte Research Institute, Gulf of Mexico Studies at Texas A&M University, Corpus Christi. Listen to this call.

April 2012 - "Working for a Just Farm Bill," with representatives of the Jewish Farm Bill Working Group. Listen to this call.

March 2012 - "Water," with Andrew Sansom, Director of the River Systems Institute. Listen to this call.

January 2012 - "How to Create a Green Team in Your Congregation," with Robin Nelson, Environmental Stewardship Manager of the Unitarian Universalist Association. Listen to this call.

March Interfaith Environmental Conference Call: Water

Listen to the archived recording of this call.

For our March interfaith environmental conference call, we are excited to welcome Andrew Sansom, Executive Director of the River Systems Institute at Texas State University, as our guest presenter. Andrew will talk with us about the state of water in Texas, and we'll explore ways that Texans of faith can engage on this issue.

Andrew Sansom is one of Texas’ leading conservationists. He is a former executive director of the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department, executive director of the Texas Nature Conservancy, and founder of The Parks and Wildlife Foundation of Texas. We look forward to learning from him.

As always, we will have some time for callers to ask questions, share ideas and connect!

March Interfaith Environmental Conference Call

     Wednesday, March 21, 2012, 12:00-1:00 p.m.

     Dial-in number: (712) 432-3066 

     Conference Code: 424548

To RSVP for the call or request notes from the call, please e-mail Amanda. Feel free to invite others to participate!

In our monthly environmental calls, we seek to connect faith leaders around the state who are engaged in the work of caring for Creation; provide updates about environmental legislation and advocacy opportunities; keep you current on new programs and initiatives; and create a space for sharing hopes and frustrations, plans and ideas, stories and prayers.

February Interfaith Environmental Conference Call: GMOs and Building Local Networks

Our February interfaith environmental conference call will be Wednesday, February 22nd at 12:00 p.m. For this call, we are excited to welcome Judith McGeary, Executive Director of the Farm and Ranch Freedom Alliance, as our guest presenter. Judith will give us some information about Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs) - including what they are, some potential risks to the environment and human health, and ways Texans of faith can engage on this issue.

We will also talk about how starting a local, interfaith, environmental network in your area can build community, effectiveness, and hope. Sarah Macias will join us for this part of the call; she serves on the Steering Committee of the Interfaith Environmental Network, the Austin chapter of TXIPL. As always, we will have some time for callers to ask questions, share ideas and connect!

February Interfaith Environmental Conference Call

     Wednesday, February 22, 2012, 12:00-1:00 p.m.

     Dial-in number: (712) 432-3066 

     Conference Code: 424548

To RSVP for the call, receive a copy of the call's agenda or request notes from the call, please e-mail Amanda. Feel free to invite others to participate!

In our monthly environmental calls, we seek to connect faith leaders around the state who are engaged in the work of caring for Creation; provide updates about environmental legislation and advocacy opportunities; keep you current on new programs and initiatives; and create a space for sharing hopes and frustrations, plans and ideas, stories and prayers.

TXIPL in Dallas - March 6, 2012

Amanda Robinson, Coordinator of Texas Interfaith Power & Light (TXIPL), will offer a presentation in Dallas on Tuesday, March 6th about creating a local, interfaith environmental network in Dallas. Come be part of the conversation! Details are below.

Tuesday, March 6, 2012, 7:00 p.m.
University Park United Methodist Church
4024 Caruth Blvd. at Preston Road
Dallas, TX 75225
We will meet in the Caldwell Room (A120)

To RSVP or ask questions, e-mail Amanda.

Join the facebook event, and invite your friends!

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Want to invite friends and colleagues? Great! Here's some language you can use for an e-mail:

Dear friend,

I am writing to invite you to participate in a conversation about how the faith community can work together to create a local, interfaith environmental network in Dallas. Amanda Robinson, Coordinator of Texas Interfaith Power & Light (TXIPL), will offer a presentation on Tuesday, March 6th, about local networks and facilitate a discussion about how Dallas can faithfully organize around the environmental challenges we face.

Please join us, and invite others from your religious community!

            Tuesday, March 6, 2012, 7:00 p.m.
University Park United Methodist Church
4024 Caruth Blvd. at Preston Road
Dallas, TX 75225
We will meet in the Caldwell Room (A120)

For more information, visit the TXIPL story about this opportunity: http://txipl.org/content/coming-soon-presentations-fort-worth-dallas-creating-local-interfaith-eco-networks

The Dallas information page can be found here: http://txipl.org/content/txipl-dallas-march-6-2012

The Dallas facebook event page can be found here: https://www.facebook.com/events/357674894243196/

If you have questions, would like more information, or if you’re ready to RSVP, please e-mail Amanda: amanda@texasimpact.org.

I hope to see you there!
Thank you,
Your name here

TXIPL in Fort Worth - March 5, 2012

Amanda Robinson, Coordinator of Texas Interfaith Power & Light (TXIPL), will offer a presentation in Fort Worth on Monday, March 5th about creating a local, interfaith environmental network in Fort Worth. Come be part of the conversation! Details are below.

Monday, March 5, 2012, 7:00 p.m.
First Congregational Church
4201 Trail Lake Dr
Fort Worth TX 76109

To RSVP or ask questions, e-mail Amanda.

Join the facebook event, and invite your friends!

_____________________

Want to invite friends and colleagues? Great! Here's some language you can use for an e-mail:

Dear friend,

I am writing to invite you to participate in a conversation about how the faith community can work together to create a local, interfaith environmental network in Fort Worth. Amanda Robinson, Coordinator of Texas Interfaith Power & Light (TXIPL), will offer a presentation on Tuesday, March 6th, about local networks and facilitate a discussion about how Fort Worth can faithfully organize around the environmental challenges we face.

Please join us, and invite others from your religious community!

Monday, March 5, 2012, 7:00 p.m.
First Congregational Church
4201 Trail Lake Dr
Fort Worth TX 76109
 

The Fort Worth information page can be found here: http://txipl.org/content/txipl-fort-worth-march-5-2012

The Fort Worth facebook event page can be found here: https://www.facebook.com/events/360699343957738/

If you have questions, would like more information, or if you’re ready to RSVP, please e-mail Amanda: amanda@texasimpact.org.

I hope to see you there!
Thank you,
Your name here

 

Coming Soon: Presentations in Fort Worth and Dallas on Creating Local, Interfaith Eco-Networks

Texas is a big state! In order to provide an effective religious response to our environmental challenges, we need local teams on the ground in cities and regions across the state. Texas Interfaith Power & Light (TXIPL) supports the development of local, interfaith environmental networks—and is coming to Fort Worth on March 5th and Dallas on March 6th to begin conversations there.

Over the last 18 months, Interfaith Environmental Network (IEN) – the Austin Chapter of TXIPL – has really taken off, creating a workable model that we believe can be replicated in other areas of the state. When we come to Fort Worth, Dallas, and possibly other cities soon, we will share IEN’s story—and then focus on the needs and interests of your community and explore how we can work together to create an effective local network.

Please be part of the conversation! Come to the meeting in Fort Worth on March 5th, or Dallas on March 6th. Invite others from your religious community to attend with you. RSVP for either meeting by e-mailing Amanda.

If you live in another city or region and would like to schedule a visit, please send us an e-mail or call us at 512-472-3903.

To learn more about why we think these local networks are so important, read this.

For detailed information about the upcoming presentations in Fort Worth and Dallas--including language you can use in newsletters, bulletins, and e-mail messages--visit the event pages on our site:

Fort Worth Information Page                   Dallas Information Page

You can also view the facebook event pages, and be sure to invite your friends:

Fort Worth facebook event                      Dallas facebook event

 

How to Start a Green Team in Your Congregation: Notes from TXIPL's January 2012 Conference Call

January's interfaith environmental conference call featured a presentation by Robin Nelson, Environmental Stewardship Manager of the Unitarian Universalist Association, on the topic of "How to Start a Green Team in Your Congregation." The conversation this topic generated on our call was fantastic! In case you missed it, here are some ways to learn more:

  • You can download the mp3 recording of the call here.
  • Resources mentioned on the call by Kerry Stevens, including a PowerPoint presentation and a collection of Biblical scriptures about caring for Creation, can be found here.
  • Notes from Robin Nelson about her presentation are below. Thank you, Robin!

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Texas Interfaith Power and Light

“How to Start a Green Team in your Congregation” – presentation
Robin Nelson, Environmental Stewardship Manager, Unitarian Universalist Association (UUA)

The Unitarian Universalist Association (UUA) has a specific program that provides the framework for congregations to begin specific projects and activities that lead to recognition as a Green Sanctuary through candidacy and then accreditation.

The Green Sanctuary program invites congregations to:

• Build awareness of the significance and complexity of environmental issues.
• Encourage personal lifestyle changes.
• Engage in community action on environmental issues.
• Strengthen the connection between spiritual practice and Earth consciousness.
• Work to heal environmental injustices.
 
“The formation of a Green Committee was the spark that set into motion a wide range of
progressive environmental movements within the church.” – Unitarian Church of Charleston, South Carolina

Steps to starting a Green Team in your house of worship:

1.     Develop interest
2.     Invite team members to join
3.     Form a charter/purpose/mission
4.     Involve the faith community

1. Develop interest:

·      What spiritual guidance does your denomination give around the environment?  Feel free to quote scripture. Explain how being good environmental stewards helps you live out your beliefs.

·      Potential money saving with energy improvements.

·      Strengthen your community: you will take actions that are designed to bring your congregation together. Worshiping together, learning together, solving problems, and creating something new as a community; discussing, debating, even arguing (respectfully, of course) to arrive at collective decisions; putting your time, energy, and skills to work for a better world--these practices reinforce the bonds that hold your congregation together and strengthen your capacity to change.

·      Collaboration: Networks, coalitions, alliances, and myriad other groups are forming and evolving all over the world to address the environmental crisis. The experience of the effectiveness of collaborative relationships and the hope that emerges when you know you’re not alone. The work gives us satisfaction, but the relationships bring us joy.

2. Invite Members to join the team:

·      Formally invite folks who are current or past members of relevant committees, such as religious education, worship, communications, building and grounds, finance, hospitality, or social justice.

·      Make sure you invite people with great networking skills or a special knack for synthesizing different viewpoints and seeing the “big picture.”

·      Members need to have enough diversity of experience in congregational life to connect with the entire congregation.

3. Form a charter/purpose/mission for the team:

·      A well-written charter or purpose statement clarifies that the role of this team is to organize and facilitate the work.

·      The entire community, not the team alone, is responsible for being engaged in environmental work.

·      The team leads the effort by conducting the assessment, planning projects, providing resources and logistical support, and communicating with other leaders and staff.

·      A key role of the team is to encourage participation in the program. In a sense, they are the congregation’s environmental cheerleaders.

4. Involve the faith community:

·      Hold information sessions to talk with the community about what the Green Team is doing and how others can be involved.

·      Invite feedback and suggestions for projects from the community.

·      Work collaboratively with other committees and staff.

Resources:

UU Ministry for Earth http://www.uuministryforearth.org/

Contact Information:

Robin Nelson, rnelson@uua.org
Environmental Stewardship Manager, Unitarian Universalist Association
25 Beacon Street
Boston, MA  02108

(Photo "Earth Hour 2010" by User Cornelia Kopp used under a Creative Commons-Attribution License.)

Faith Stands Behind President on Keystone XL Decision

SAN FRANCISCO, Calif., January 18, 2012 — President Obama has just announced his decision against the issuance of a special permit for the Keystone XL tar sands pipeline. What follows is a reaction by Interfaith Power & Light’s President, The Rev. Canon Sally G. Bingham:

“Interfaith Power & Light applauds President Obama for demonstrating leadership in deciding against the Keystone XL tar sands pipeline. His actions today will help to ensure a clean, healthy and safe world for our children. Transporting dirty tar sands oil through the heartland of America will unnecessarily risk catastrophic damage to ecosystems and aquifers that millions of people depend upon for their livelihood. People of faith are called to be good stewards of God’s Creation, and to love our neighbors and take care of the vulnerable among us.

“For months, faith leaders have been speaking out against the Keystone XL pipeline at State Department hearings and in letters to the Administration and Congress. It is of great concern that Keystone 1 has had many more leaks than expected, and the 1 million gallon tar sands oil spill into Michigan's Kalamazoo River in 2010 was a national tragedy. An EPA spokesperson said he has never seen anything like it – a heavy crude mixed with chemicals that sinks instead of floats, greatly hampering the multi-year clean-up effort.

“Our nation is on the cusp of a clean energy revolution. According to a Brookings[1] report released in 2011, more than 2.7 million people are working in the U.S. clean energy economy right now. Bloomberg New Energy Finance reports that in 2011, America surged ahead of China[2] on clean energy investments. The new proposed fuel efficiency standards for cars and trucks will save 2.2 million barrels of oil a day by 2025 – about double the amount the proposed Keystone XL pipeline would have delivered, and without the risk. 

“People of faith strongly believe that we need an urgent response to the climate crisis through continued implementation of better clean air safeguards, construction of a renewable energy grid, and more robust energy efficiency and renewable energy standards. The Keystone XL would only slow the pace of this clean energy transition, continue with business worse than usual, and hasten global warming. We can and must model a way forward for the world, create jobs, and care for God's Creation. Thank you Mr. President for making the right and moral choice to set us in that direction.”


[1] Brookings, Sizing the Clean Economy: A National and Regional Green Jobs Assessment, http://www.brookings.edu/reports/2011/0713_clean_economy.aspx (July 2011)

[2] Bloomberg New Energy Finance Statement, http://bloom.bg/yK10VN

Interfaith Community is United in Support of EPA Mercury and Air Toxics Safeguards

Statement by Interfaith Power & Light President, The Rev. Canon Sally G. Bingham

SAN FRANCISCO, Calif., December 21, 2011 — The EPA has just announced that the Mercury and Air Toxics Standards have been finalized. What follows is the reaction of Interfaith Power & Light's President, The Rev. Canon Sally G. Bingham:

“This is good news for the religious community across America. The finalization of the Mercury and Air Toxics Standards shows us that the 40-year old Clean Air Act is still an invaluable tool to carry out our call to be stewards of God’s Creation and to serve the least among us.

“Clean air is something people of faith have a responsibility to maintain. Thousands of clergy and communities of faith representing Interfaith Power & Light’s network of 14,000 congregations turned out at public hearings or wrote postcards to the EPA urging them to adopt these safeguards. We are delighted that our voices have been heard. The Mercury and Air Toxics Standards are long overdue, and we commend this Administration for making clean air a priority. These safeguards are an important and critical step in reducing harmful pollution and protecting human health. Not only will they keep us healthier, but additionally they will help to stabilize the climate that we most certainly need to protect.

“Addressing emissions of mercury and other toxics will help prevent as many as 17,000 premature deaths, 11,000 heart attacks and 120,000 asthma events every year. These safeguards will mean significantly less human exposure to toxic mercury, whichposes particular risks to children. Each year, more than 300,000 children born in the U.S. have levels of mercury in their blood high enough to impair performance on brain development tests and permanently affect intelligence. The finalization of the Mercury and Air Toxics Standards is welcome news and upholds the commandment to love God and love our neighbor. Loving our neighbor means extending care and concern for our children and future generations who have, as yet, no voice of their own. We applaud you, Administrator Jackson and President Obama, for doing the right and moral thing.”

For more information about the EPA's new Mercury and Air Toxics Standards, click here.


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