Wednesday, September 7, 2011

PA Interfaith Power and Light Conference, Sept. 18, 2011: Creation Corner Column for Sept. 2011

The Pennsylvania Interfaith Power and Light (PA-IPL) will hold its second annual conference Sept. 18 in State College, PA. "The Human Face of Climate Change: Food, Faith and other necessities of life" is the theme. See for details. It is free and open to the public, and includes lectures, workshops and a Green Fair.

PA-IPL is the Pennsylvania affiliate of the national , which is 10,000 congregations strong. It is a national movement of communities of faith responding to climate change as a moral issue, through advocacy, energy conservation, energy efficiency, and the use of clean, renewable energy.

Resources are available to help congregations and individual homes become more energy efficient. Energy assessments are available to member congregations at a reduced cost.

An education clearinghouse lists films, books, speakers, monthly newsletter, blog, Facebook page and archival newsletters.

Advocacy for local, state and national legislation levels by PA-IPL focuses on energy efficiency (and preserving EPA funding) so as to reduce our contribution to climate change.

Conference speakers include Prof. Bill Easterling, Dean of Penn State University's College of Earth and Mineral Sciences as well as Rev. Jim Deming, Minister for Environmental Justice for the United Church of Christ and author of "From Southern Fried Guilt to Spiritual Responsibility in IPL founder Rev. Sally Bingham's book Love God Heal Earth.

Reminder: The Constitution of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, Article 1, section 27 reads as follows: "The people have a right to clean air, pure water, and to the preservation of the natural, scenic, historic and esthetic values of the environment. Pennsylvania's public natural resources are the common property of all the people, including generations to come. As trustee of these resources, the Commonwealth shall conserve and maintain them for the benefit of all the people."

Michael Ochs chaired the Lutheran environmental task force for the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA) Upper Susquehanna Synod's Committee for Church in Society for much of its existence from the late 1980s to 2007, and during that time Lutheran churches in the synod were encouraged to do energy audits and to re-lamp with energy efficient lighting (compact fluorescent lamps, or "cfl's") with a revolving no-interest loan fund made possible from the national ELCA and its then director of environmental stewardship, Dr. Job Ebenezer.