Categories
Uncategorized

Sustainable Travel to Worship

Travel lightly on God’s good Earth.

Sustainable travel can be an act of reverence for creation. If you already always travel sustainably, keep doing so! If not, take a first step by participating in the Sustainable Travel to Worship program.

By participating, you’ll—
• Show your respect for God’s creation,
• Improve your health, and even
• Benefit financially.

On the date your faith community selects, travel to worship by—
• Walking,
• Biking,
• Riding the bus,
• Ride-sharing, or
• Using a hybrid or electric vehicle.

Whichever method you choose, you’ll –
• Reduce pollution and
• Save money.

By walking or biking, you’ll also reduce your risk of heart disease, stroke, and diabetes. By ride-sharing or taking the bus, you’ll build community with your fellow riders.

Join your faith community in this friendly interfaith competition with other Wisconsin faith communities. You’ll reduce air pollution while establishing or reinforcing habits that—
Respect Earth and
Acknowledge our proper role in creation.

In all that you do, consider your impact on God’s good Earth.

Sponsored by
Wisconsin Interfaith Power & Light and
the Interfaith Community for the Earth

For more information or to participate, email info@wisconsinipl.org. Participation requires providing the name of your congregation, a contact person, and an email address. Have fun!
Resources: Drive$mart
Categories
Uncategorized

WIP&L Volunteer Opportunities

WIP&L Volunteer Opportunities

Listed below are some of the ways you can get involved with WIP&L. Let us know how you’d like to help by filling out this google form!

Bring it Home – DIY

Bring WIP&L into your congregation

  • Become a WIP&L Covenant Congregation – Talk to your clergy-person or congregational leadership about addressing climate change and ways to make your congregation’s building and practices more climate-friendly and invite individuals to sign individual covenants! http://staging.wisconsinipl.org/2020/09/02/current-friends-of-wipl/
  • Connect Your Worship to Creation – Offer a sermon or prayer during worship, organize a climate justice worship, or host an interfaith service. Share photos, worship outside when possible, and recognize place. 
  • Organize an Educational Event – For example: an online video watch party or study group using WIP&L resources; Share WIP&L action alerts, newsletter items or Facebook posts in your congregation’s bulletin, newsletter, or social media
  • Get Active – Lead your congregation in a climate justice activity such as the Faith Climate Justice Voter Campaign, Faith Climate Action Week, Sustainable Travel to Worship, Cool Congregations, Drive$mart

Take an active role in WIP&L’s organizational activities

  • Outreach – There are a range of outreach activities from simple to complex that you can take part in! Share your stories, photos, ideas and resources for our newsletter and website; share our posts and newsletters with your friends and congregations, and invite them to join WIP&L; Staff our display at a congregation or event
  • Program – Lead or co-lead a presentation, or help organize a webinar, workshop, or event!
  • Advocacy – write a letter to the editor on behalf of WIP&L or represent WIP&L at an advocacy event or coalition meeting.
  • Operations – Assist with database maintenance, filing, or grant prospecting and fundraising.
Categories
Uncategorized

Faith Climate Justice Vote

Faith Climate Vote

WIP&L Launches Faith Climate Voter Campaign

Voting matters.  No matter the outcome, our participation shows  that we care about our neighbors and our planet, that we believe our voices matter.  When we vote, we show that we are paying attention, and that whoever wins will need to pay attention to us. That is why Wisconsin Interfaith Power & Light, along with several other state IPL affiliates, is launching a Faith Climate Voter campaign leading up to the November election.

The aim of the strictly nonpartisan campaign is to make sure that climate justice is an unavoidable theme this election season — that it is top of mind for voters, candidates and the media. We want to make sure that the importance of voting, and doing so with climate change in mind, is a message shared by the leaders and members of faith communities, the subject of Op-Eds and letters to the editor, social media posts, everyday conversations and at candidate forums and town halls. By doing so, we will prepare the ground for bold, effective climate action in the new year, whoever our elected leaders may be.

What can you do?  We will be rolling out additional ideas, resources and opportunities for you — even while you’re staying “Safer at Home” in the coming months. Watch for them!  But first:

  1. Sign the Faith Climate Voter Pledge 
  2. Send an email, post on Facebook or Twitter with the hashtag #FaithClimateVoter and cut and paste the link https://www.interfaithpowerandlight.org/voter-pledge-form/ and add a personal message.
  3. Ask your faith community to include the pledge on your website, facebook page, e-newsletter, or other communication with a message like: “Join people of faith in your community and pledge to vote for the climate this November.  Our elected leaders have the responsibility to protect the most vulnerable people in our community, our children and grandchildren, and the rest of creation from the impacts of climate change.  Become a faith climate voter and pledge to vote with climate and Creation in mind. Go to https://www.interfaithpowerandlight.org/voter-pledge-form/ to sign the pledge. Share this with others by email or social media, using the hashtag #FaithClimateVoter.”

Pledge to Vote With the Climate and Creation in Mind

Take the Faith Climate Voter pledge and collect pledges during Faith Climate Action Week from members of your congregation. 

Faith Climate Action Week
April 17-26, 2020

Dear Friends of Earth and WI Interfaith Power & Light,

Greetings to all of us who care for Earth!  Even as we must deal with the current coronavirus pandemic, we know that finding ways to save and heal our planet is as important as ever. I hope you are finding ways to celebrate and take action this week in recognition of the 50th anniversary of the first Earth Day.

“Praised be You, my Lord”. In the words of this beautiful canticle, St. Francis of Assisi reminds us that our common home is like a sister with whom we share our life and a beautiful mother who opens her arms to embrace us.  — Pope Francis, Laudato Si

I am writing to you on behalf of Interfaith Power & Light, which is both a national and state movement of individuals and organizations of faith who are working for the healing our planet. 

I belong to a Catholic order, the Sisters of St. Francis of the Holy Cross located in Green Bay, Wisconsin.  As you know, St. Francis had a great love for all of creation as is evidenced by his “Canticle of Creatures.” As a Sister of St. Francis, I, too, have a great love for all of creation.  I am very concerned about the future of our Mother Earth.   

Our religious order is dedicated to saving energy, using renewable energy and living sustainably.  Six years ago, we installed solar panels at our Motherhouse and last year we expanded our solar array so that solar can cover an average of 50% of the electricity needs at our Motherhouse.  We regularly spread the word about solar, renewable energy and sustainability by giving presentations and making our solar site a type of classroom.  In addition, our site is engulfed in wildflowers and prairie and is a place with walking paths and benches that provide space for meditation.  We continue to try to find new ways to follow St. Francis and Pope Francis.

In our world today, we regularly receive dire news about our planet and the lack of action on the part of our administration in Washington D.C. But I am convinced we need to focus on the good news.  More and more individuals and companies are adding solar and wind as renewable forms of energy.  More and more individuals and organizations are finding ways to reduce energy usage.  We each need to take action to add to the good news.

Because you are receiving this newsletter, I presume you are also concerned about our earth and make a difference.  As a Board member of Wisconsin Interfaith Power & Light, I invite you to join us in implementing the goal of WIP&L to inform, train, and activate people of all faith and faith communities to take concrete steps in response to climate change through wise energy stewardship and other actions to reduce the emissions that cause global warming.

This year, we are excited to launch our Faith Climate Voter campaign to encourage voting with creation and the climate in mind!  We are hopeful that, when the November elections are over, we’ll be in a much stronger position to press for effective climate action at all levels of government.  Watch for more information on our Facebook page and in our e-newsletters.

The work of Interfaith Power and Light is only accomplished through the support of individuals and faith groups. We know that your financial situation may be stressed and precarious in these uncertain days, but if you are able, please support our work. You can also support us as a volunteer! If you would like to help with outreach to congregations, programs, social media, advocacy, database management, or in another way please email us at info@wisconsinipl.org.

Sister Rose Jochmann
Board Member
Wisconsin Interfaith Power & Light

Check back here for updates on the 2021 Faith Climate Action Week!

Categories
Uncategorized

Current Friends of WIP&L

Friends of WIP&L

Become a Friend of WIP&L

Friends have submitted their CongregationPartner, or Individual Covenants. To become a friend/supporter of WIPL fill out one of our covenants below. To see current friends of WIP&L continue scrolling on this page!

Congregations:

  • St. Stephen’s Lutheran Church (Monona)
  • Racine Dominicans (Racine)
  • St. Andrew’s Episcopal Church (Monroe)
  • Yahara Monthly Meeting – Religious Society of Friends (Madison)
  • St. Gabriel Parish (Neenah)
    River of Life United
  • Methodist Church (Beloit)
    Bayfield Presbyterian Church (Bayfield)
  • Peace United Church of Christ (Stevens Point)
  • St. John’s United Church of Christ (Random Lake)
  • Frame Memorial Presbyterian Church (Stevens Point)
  • Environmental Committee,
    First Unitarian Society of Milwaukee (Milwaukee)
  • McFarland Lutheran Church (McFarland)
  • Peace Presbyterian Church (Mauston)
  • Emmanuel Community United Methodist Church-Green Team (Menomonee Falls)
  • Islamic Society of Milwaukee (Milwaukee)
  • Islamic Da’wa Center (Milwaukee)
  • St. Paul’s Episcopal Church (Milwaukee)
  • Lake Country Unitarian Universalist Church (Hartland)
  • Holy Wisdom Monastery (Middleton)
  • First United Methodist Church, (Madison)
  • All Peoples Gathering Lutheran Church (Milwaukee)

Partner Organizations:

Individuals:

  • Sr. Sharon Simon
  • Sr. Mary Ann Weyker
  • Barb Holzhauer
  • Wayne Stroessner
  • Sr. Janet Weyker
  • Jeanne Mantsch
  • Rev. Nick Utphall
  • Peggy Creer
  • Ron Chapman
  • Nevin Grossnickle
  • Sr. Paula Marie Jaroz, O.P.
  • Sr. Mary Ellen Paulson, O.P.
  • Huda Alkaff
  • Rev. Adam Arn
  • Peter Bakken
  • Dr. Dan Weber
  • Rev. Dr. John Helt
  • C. R. Boardman
  • Lorrie and John Hylkema
Categories
Uncategorized

Anti-Racism Statement

Wisconsin Interfaith Power and Light Statement on Racism and Climate Justice

The WIP&L mission statement declares that we seek “just, sufficient and sustainable energy for all.”  All means all. But this moment, in the wake of the murders of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Rayshard Brooks and so many others, forcibly reminds us that if we are to hope to begin to live up to our aspirations, we need to be more specific.

In our nation, it is people of African descent who have consistently suffered the most from inequities in energy production and use, exposure to the impacts of climate change, and environmental injustices of all kinds, including air pollution, lead-contaminated drinking water, and living near toxic waste sites.

Behind these specific connections between the struggle against racial inequities and the struggle for a stable climate, there are common root causes.  The mentality that sees “dominating nature” as the path to prosperity (for some) is the same mentality that sees “dominating the battle space” as the means to peace and security (for some).  The political, economic, and social structures that degrade the environment and those that violate Black bodies and humiliate Black persons are deeply intertwined, if not one and the same.

But most fundamentally, Black lives must matter for those of us in the interfaith climate movement because justice for those who have been oppressed by the dominant white majority in this country for 400 years is a moral imperative, period.  We cannot be satisfied with sustaining a planet where systemic injustice and white supremacy remain intact.

Too many of us in the environmental movement have not adequately recognized our privilege, which has allowed us to ignore or marginalize issues of systemic racism.  Too often we have failed to be truly inclusive and bypassed the concerns of communities of color. That has begun to change, as attention to equity and inclusion in the climate movement has grown, but there is much more to be done.

As the current Board and Staff of Wisconsin Interfaith Power & Light, we are all white persons.  We confess that we have not done enough to be equitable and inclusive in this regard, and we will strive to do better.

Following the lead of our sibling IPL affiliate, Nebraska Interfaith Power and Light, we commit ourselves to “Listen, Learn, and Love” and invite others to undertake this journey as well:

  • “LISTEN: The first thing that people in positions of privilege can do is listen. Listen to the voices of people of color as they share their stories and experiences; of anger, of fear, of despair, of love, of joy, of hope, of their undeniable humanity which has been too often denied. …
  • “LEARN: …. People of privilege need to examine ourselves, our thoughts, our attitudes. After marinating in systemic racism for our entire lives, it is disingenuous to be blind to the racism all around us or to claim that we have no racism in or among us…
  • “LOVE: …. Love is an action word, not just a feeling. We need to reach out to people who look different from us and speak different languages from us and make sure they have a place at the table, that they are included in the room where decisions are made. … We need to stand up against injustice wherever it occurs, against inhumane laws and racist criminal justice policies, against social and economic systems which are rigged to benefit the wealthy and make the poor poorer. … We need to build communities based on love, on caring and sharing so we can all thrive. …“ (Read the full message from Nebraska IPL)

Signed,

WIP&L Board Members:
The Rev. John Helt
Sister Rose Jochmann
The Rev. Nick Utphall
The Rev. Jeff Wild
Dr. Jerry Zabronsky
The Rev. Dr. Susan Zencka,

WIP&L Staff:
Dr. Peter Bakken, Coordinator
Daniel Phillips Garlock, Intern

Categories
Uncategorized

History

History

In 1999, with financial support from the National Council of Churches and under the auspices of Wisconsin Interfaith IMPACT, our founder, Dave Steffenson, who formed the new Wisconsin Interfaith Climate Change Campaign (WICCC).

In 2004, with a major grant from the Bradshaw-Knight Foundation of Madison, the Wisconsin Interfaith Climate and Energy Campaign (WICEC) re-organized as an independent entity. It became a nonprofit Wisconsin corporation and gained IRS 501(c)(3) tax exempt status in the spring of 2005 as a public charity, enabling the group to receive grants and gifts from donors, expressly to use for climate change action.

The late Rev. Dave Steffenson served many years as Executive Director, followed by Chris (Elisha) Herb and Sara Streed.

On March 11, 2010, WICEC became an affiliate of  Interfaith Power & Light (IPL) and changed its name to Wisconsin Interfaith Power and Light (WIP&L), with Dr. Peter Bakken as Statewide Coordinator.  IPL’s mission is to inspire and mobilize people of faith and conscience to take bold and just action on climate change.  Wisconsin was the 31st state to join the campaign, and there are now 38 states taking part. 

In recent years, we have:

  • Offered Cool Congregations workshops, teleprayers and teleseminars;
  • Held and cosponsored statewide and regional conferences;
  • Promoted Sustainable Travel to Worship, Climate Change Preach-ins, and Faith Climate Action Week; and
  • Advocated for climate and clean energy policies at the state and federal level 

We welcome you to use the information on this website and subscribe to our email newsletter as resources for your own or your congregation’s climate justice work.  However, we invite you to show your support by becoming a Friend of WIP&L and signing an individual, congregational, or partner organization covenant.

 

 

Categories
Uncategorized

Board and Staff

Board and Staff

Rev. Jeff Wild – President

Jeff is a retired Lutheran (ELCA) pastor. During his tenure as pastor of Advent Lutheran Church in Madison, WI, he led numerous initiatives related to environmental sustainability. It has been a priority of his to undergird every initiative with solid theology. He co-authored Church on Earth: Grounding Your Ministry in a Sense of Place with Peter Bakken and has published articles in The Lutheran and Word and World. Advent’s advancements in environmental sustainability–including rooftop solar panels, energy efficiency measures, prairie restoration, and community gardens–have been recognized locally and nationally by EPA’s Energy Star Program, the National Council of Churches, and more. Jeff graduated from Luther College in Decorah, IA, and Luther Seminary in St. Paul.

Jerry Zabronsky, Ph.D.  – Vice President

Jerry is President and Ritual Director of Moses Montefiore Congregation in Appleton, WI, the Conservative Jewish Synagogue serving the Appleton/Fox Cities area.  Jerry recently retired from a 35-year career in Corporate R&D and management, the last few years serving as Procurement Sustainability Leader for Kimberly-Clark Corporation in Neenah, WI.  Jerry also serves on the Board of the Fox Cities Symphony Orchestra.  Jerry has a longstanding interest in climate science, going back to graduate school in the 1980’s. He holds a B.S. in Biochemistry from the University of Maryland and a Ph.D. in Analytical Chemistry from Syracuse University.

Nick Utphall – WIP&L Treasurer, Pastor at Advent Lutheran Church/Madison Christian Community, Madison, WI.

I am a pastor for a great ecumenical congregation strongly invested in creation care with solar panels, pantry gardens, prairie restorations, occasional honeybee residents, and more. I am a bike commuter, regular tent-er on minor adventures, a mediocre birder, and inattentive gardener. I keep track of some of my words at https://utphall.wordpress.com/  nick@theMCC.net

Rev. Dr. Susan Gilbert Zencka

Susan GIlbert Zencka is the pastor of Frame Memorial Presbyterian Church.  She was the founder of the Interfaith Community for the Earth–an interfaith response to global warming in Portage County.  In her pastoral ministry, she aims to incorporate earth care and creation-orientation in her preaching as well as her living.  She was on the board of the Wisconsin Interfaith Climate and Energy Campaign prior to joining the board of WIP&L.  Her doctoral work in preaching focused on wellness, deep prayer, and rest as foundational to preaching, and she is reminded always that these practices are consistent with earth care as well as self-care.  She and her husband , Carl, have three adult sons, and have just begun the adventure of grandparenthood which only binds them more closely to hope for the earth and all its creatures.

Sr. Rose Jochmann – Secretary

Sister Rose is a member of the Sisters of St. Francis of the Holy Cross, Nicolet Drive, Green Bay. She has served on the Leadership Team and as treasurer of the Catholic religious order. She has also been an elementary school teacher and principal. She has a BS from St. Norbert College in De Pere, WI, and a Master of Science in Administration for non-profit organizations from the University of Notre Dame, Indiana. She has strong knowledge and interest in renewable energy and sustainability issues and she chairs the order’s Sustainability Committee. Sister Rose was instrumental in the installation of solar panels at the Convent of the Sisters of St. Francis in 2014 and expanded in 2019. These solar panels are producing an average of 50% of the Convent’s electricity. The solar site is open to the public. It features a walking path with signs that explain solar energy and why the Sisters installed solar.

Peter Bakken Ph.D. – Statewide Coordinator

Dr. Bakken is the Justice and Witness Coordinator at the Wisconsin Council of Churches and Statewide Coordinator of Wisconsin Interfaith Power and Light. He received his Ph.D. in Theology from the University of Chicago Divinity School. He is the author of the WCC publications, Hunger at Our Doorstep: A Study-Action Guide for Wisconsin Congregations (2006; 2014) and Becoming Welcoming Communities: Immigration in Light of Biblical Faith (2011). Other publications include: Church on Earth: Grounding Your Ministry in a Sense of Place (with Jeff Wild; Augsburg Fortress 2009); Ecology, Justice and Christian Faith: A Guide to the Literature (co-compiled with J. Ronald Engel and Joan Gibb Engel; Greenwood Press, 1995) and Evocations of Grace: Writings on Ecology, Theology and Ethics by Joseph Sittler (co-edited with Steven Bouma-Prediger, Eerdmans, 2000). He was a member of the task force that produced the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America social statement, “Caring for Creation: Vision, Hope and Justice.” He lives in Madison, Wisconsin, with his wife and daughter, where they are members of Advent Lutheran Church (Evangelical Lutheran Church in America).

Daniel Garlock – Intern

Daniel grew up in North Carolina at a quaker school and then went to Madison Edgewood High School where he first started taking religious studies courses. There he gained a passion for learning about others’ worldview and the ways people communicate especially with modern technology. Outside of academics, he is a member of the UW-Madison Ultimate Frisbee team and enjoys volunteering as a middle school ultimate frisbee coach when possible.”