Seventh Day: Conserving Energy in Our Houses of Worship & Homes

Contact for More Information:

Rabbi Brian Besser,Congregation Beth Shalom, Bloomington

(812)334-2440,

Pastor Mike Bowling, Englewood Christian Church (Evangelical), Indianapolis

mjbowling@indy.rr.com,

Sajid Chaudhry, Islamic Society of Michiana, South Bend

Sajid@ighospitality.com,

Pastor Brian Flory, Beacon Heights Church of the Brethren, Fort Wayne

(260)482-8595

Pastor Chris Randolph, Shaffer Chapel African Methodist Episcopal Church, Muncie

(317)833-2069

Rev. Larry Kleiman,Hoosier Interfaith Power & Light

(317)840-6243

Fr. Dave Ruppert, St. Anthony de Padua Catholic Church, South Bend

(574)282-2308,

Rev. Trisha Tull, First Presbyterian Church and Hoosier Interfaith Power & Light, Jeffersonville

(502)608-8816

Pastor Curtis Whittaker, Progressive Community Church, Gary

(219) 880-0850 or (773) 851-4505 

 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Indiana Raises the National Bar:

From Gary to Jeffersonville, 26 Congregations from 18 Faith Traditions Install Solar Panels and Commit to Cut Energy Use by 25 Percent in Their Houses of Worship and 14 Percent in Many of Their Homes – Commitments That Many of Them Have Now Met

 

Indianapolis – April 14, 2016 — From the Pope to the Southern Baptist Convention, faith leaders have issued urgent calls to care for God’s creation, our global neighbors and future generations by reducing the use of fossil fuels. Hoosier congregations are answering these calls. From Gary to Jeffersonville, 26 congregations across Indiana have installed solar panels – or will within the next few weeks. They also have committed to reducing energy use in their houses of worship by 25 to 40 percent or more and also to engaging at least a third of their members to reduce by a seventh at home.

The number of diverse congregations and the depth and breadth of their energy conservation is unprecedented in the U.S. Not including the impact of their solar panels, the first thirteen have reduced their electricity use by an average of 34%, and 38% of their households have acted to deeply reduce energy use at home.

The congregations come from eighteen different faith traditions – Anabaptist, Catholic, evangelical and mainline Protestant, Jewish, Muslim and Unitarian Universalist - that rarely act in concert.

Rev. Larry Kleiman, H-IPL’s executive director, noted, “There are fundamentals on which all our faith traditions agree. The leaders of each have issued urgent calls to act on behalf of God’s creation, the poor, and future generations. Conserving energy has tremendous potential to help avert a climate catastrophe. When congregations from so many different faith traditions all deeply reduce their energy use, they convey that this is important – and possible. We can do this together—now.”

According to Rev. David Sutter of South Bend’s Kern Road Mennonite Church, “Being good stewards of all God’s creation is a part of our faith commitment and our priorities as a church.  Learning about and trying to reduce the use of the earth’s resources in our homes and meeting spaces seems to be a natural and tangible way to live these out. Hopefully, in the process, we pass on to our children and grandchildren what it means to live our faith in practical ways and also a healthier world as God dreamed it.”  

The congregations are part of the Seventh Day Initiative – recently renamed Using Energy Prudently - of the statewide creation care organization Hoosier Interfaith Power & Light (H-IPL).Building on the congregations’ achievements, H-IPL will convene state clergy leaders from each faith tradition to consider supporting their denomination’s congregations in Indiana to follow suit. In addition, H-IPL and its partners have offered dozens of energy conservation workshops in all corners of Indiana and has committed to offering dozens more. One goal of these workshops is to help leaders of hundreds of congregations with tens of thousands of members greatly reduce their energy use and help their congregants do the same.

Some of the solar grants were partially funded by grants from the Indiana Office of Energy Development. Others were partially funded by grants made possible by a legal settlement among Indiana Michigan Power and several parties, including the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, eight states, and 13 citizen groups.

H-IPL welcomes individuals and congregations of all faiths to join it in these efforts to conserve, thereby saving funds that can be redirected towards mission. To learn more, go to www.hoosieripl.org/uep_congs.