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Responding faithfully to the ongoing climate emergency means making connections between the multiple challenges we face – in health, the economy, racial justice, water and air pollution – and how we feed and power ourselves and how we treat the ground we walk on and the land where we build our houses of worship. 

We invite you to explore a few of these connections as we observe Earth Month and Faith Climate Action Week. Please join us for a series of three free webinars in April around the intersecting themes of climate, land, agriculture, health, public policy, and faith. 

  • April 6: Congregations, Land and Climate
    • An Introduction to Faith Climate Action Week
    • A Guide to Communal Gardens for Congregations
    • Sustainability and Your Congregation’s Sacred Places
  • April 13: Energy, Climate and Policy
    • Coronavirus is the Quiz, Climate Change is the Final Exam
    • The Governor’s Task Force on Climate Change: What’s Next?
    • The Clean Power Coalition in Southeastern Wisconsin
  • April 20: Agriculture, Climate, and Justice
    • Confronting our Converging Challenges: Food, Water, and Climate
    • Wisconsin Faith-Based Organizations Address Farming and Environmental Issues
    • Energy and Agriculture: Dairyland Power Cooperative

(Scroll down for complete session descriptions)

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There is no cost for these webinars, but if you value events like this, we welcome your financial contributions to WIP&L so that we can continue to offer them. If you wish to donate, please mail a check to: Wisconsin Interfaith Power & Light, 30 West Mifflin St., Suite 602, Madison WI 53603, or visit our website to donate via Paypal.

About the Workshop Topics and Speakers

April 6: Congregations, Land and Climate

April 6: Congregations, Land and Climate

  1. An Introduction to Faith Climate Action Week

Faith Climate Action Week (FCAW), a program of Interfaith Power and Light, is ten days in April during Earth Month when congregations across the U.S. focus on how we can all take action to protect our climate. The theme of this year’s Faith Climate Action Week (April 16-25, 2021) is “Sacred Ground: Cultivating Connections Between our Faith, our Food, and the Climate.”  Faith leaders can give sermons or talks on the theme of food, faith and climate.  You can organize a screening of the featured film, Kiss the Ground, and use questions from the screening kit to hold a congregational discussion around regenerative agriculture’s potential to supply food while stabilizing climate and restoring ecosystems, and join the national IPL webinar on the film.  Congregants can take part in the IPL National Earth Day Climate Prayer. These activities and more are in the FCAW kit which you can download to plan action with your congregation.

Presenter: Sarah Paulos is the Community Engagement and Programs Manager for Interfaith Power & Light. Prior to IPL Sarah served for twelve years as the Program and Outreach Coordinator for Iowa IPL training green teams in Iowa and sixteen other states to conduct the Cool Congregations program, which she created for her home congregation. She has developed additional educational programs including Food, Faith, Climate: Connecting the Dots, The Good Life Redefined addressing how our “stuff” contributes to climate change, Faith for Energy Equity on environmental justice, and Common Good, on advocacy. 

  1. Guide to Communal Gardens for Congregations

Terra Theim will present her guide for communal gardens – group gardening with a purpose.  Leaning on her years helping launch and run the food pantry garden at Madison Christian Community, Terra will provide necessary steps and tips that any group can use to get a communal garden up and running.  While every group and garden site is unique, some elements of a communal garden are universal and Terra will give insights on what your team needs to build a successful communal garden.

Presenter: Terra Theim, PhD, has been gardening for as long as she can remember.  Terra was so interested in plants, she pursued her doctorate in botany, focusing on evolutionary ecology in tropical forests.  Back home in Wisconsin, Terra spent over a decade teaching plant and environmental science at Edgewood College and now works at the University of Wisconsin-Madison as a graduate program coordinator.  She has been fortunate enough to help the Madison Christian Community Garden grow and develop into a beautiful and productive communal garden serving food pantries in the Madison area.

  1. Sustainability and Your Congregation’s Sacred Spaces

Learn how the Sisters of St. Francis of the Holy Cross (Green Bay Franciscans) are committed to living sustainably.  That includes incorporating sustainable features in their grounds and building as well as adding a solar photovoltaic system on their property. Learn how you may be able to incorporate more sustainable features, including solar, in your congregational Sacred Space.

Presenter: Sister Rose Jochman is a member of the Sisters of St. Francis of the Holy Cross, Green Bay, Wisconsin.  She is currently Chairperson of her order’s Sustainability Committee.  She was formerly a grade schoolteacher for 18 years, primarily teaching math and science.  She has served on their Leadership Team and on the Building Committee for a new  Motherhouse.

April 13: Energy, Climate and Policy

  1. Coronavirus Is the Quiz; Climate Change Is the Final Exam

Public health physicians say that climate change is the greatest public health threat of this century. Unless emissions of greenhouse gas pollutants are drastically decreased, there will be reduced agricultural and seafood harvests, problems obtaining fresh water, heat waves causing hyperthermia and kidney disease, greater range of some infectious diseases, and more droughts and floods. Using renewable energy to replace fossil fuels helps everyone alive now and protects future generations. 

Presenter: Bruce Krawisz, M.D., is Emeritus Researcher, Marshfield Clinic Research Institute.  He is a graduate of Mayo Medical School (Rochester, MN) and has done postgraduate work at Mayo Graduate School of Medicine and Washington University (St. Louis).  He is Board Certified in Anatomic Pathology and Molecular Genetic Pathology, and has served as pathologist and Clinical Laboratory Director for the Marshfield Health System.  He is the author of “The Climate Crisis Is a Public Health Crisis” in Sojourners Magazine, August 12, 2019. and has an online video on climate change and health

  1. The Governor’s Task Force on Climate Change: What’s Next?

How can we make Wisconsin’s communities more resilient and help ecosystems thrive on a changing planet? The recommendations of the Governor’s Task Force on Climate Change views the challenges of climate disruption with an intersectional and environmental justice lens. The Task Force’s proposals prioritize impacted communities and look to communities of color and indigenous communities for leadership and solutions.  This is sacred work for both people and the planet that requires us to make connections between our land, our water, our food, our recreation, and our communities. Governor Evers has incorporated many of the Task Force recommendations into his proposed budget.  How can we carry this movement forward?

Presenter: Kirsten Shead was appointed to the Governor’s Task Force on Climate Change in 2019. She is the Co-Executive Director of Milwaukee Water Commons, a cross-city network that fosters connection, collaboration and broad community leadership on behalf of our common waters. She has an unwavering commitment to social justice, environmental stewardship and the Milwaukee community at large.

  1. The Clean Power Coalition in Southeast Wisconsin

How we choose to generate electricity has consequences that reach far beyond the return on shareholder investment, affecting everything from public health to a stable climate. When air, water, and soil are polluted, health and life are put at risk. The Clean Power Coalition (CPC) is calling for We Energies to phase out its use of coal, specifically at the Oak Creek power plant, in favor of clean energy. This workshop will describe actions taken by the CPC over the past three years in an effort to get the plant shut down and offer suggestions on what people might do to help with those efforts. 

Presenters: Janet Weyker is a Racine Dominican Sister. She grew up on a farm in southeast Wisconsin and through the years has been a teacher, school administrator, campus minister, pastoral associate, and was the founding director of the Eco-Justice Center. She served on the Board of WIPL and currently is involved with environmental justice issues through Greening Greater Racine, Clean Power Coalition of Southeast Wisconsin, Sierra Club, and the Racine Dominican Focus on Earth Committee.  John Helt is a retired United Church of Christ pastor who lives in Milwaukee. He is past president of the WIPL board and now serves as co-chair of the Creation Care Team for the Wisconsin Conference of the United Church of Christ. He has represented WIPL on the Clean Power Coalition.

April 20: Agriculture, Climate and Justice

  1. Confronting our Converging Challenges: Food, Water, and Climate

With each passing day, our climate challenge becomes more obvious and our window to act smaller, as the imperative to do so only grows.  A big component of confronting climate change resides in our food system, which also faces the acute challenge of adapting to the climate impacts we are already experiencing.  If we are serious about addressing climate change and realistic about what needs to be done, we have to transform our food system in the years ahead, and consumers and farmers alike have an important part to play in this process.

Scott Laeser is the Water Program Director for Clean Wisconsin, an environmental non profit focused on protecting Wisconsin’s water, air, and natural resources.  At Clean Wisconsin, he works with state and local officials, agricultural groups, and other environmental organizations to advance policies to improve water quality in the state’s rivers, lakes, and streams, and improve access to and prevent pollution of Wisconsin’s drinking water. He also runs an organic produce farm in Southwest Wisconsin with his wife Chelsea, where they focus on growing healthy food and managing their farm to protect Wisconsin’s water resources and climate. Laeser has worked on water, agricultural, and climate policy issues for over ten years in both Wisconsin and Washington, DC. He grew up in Wisconsin one block from Lake Michigan and spent countless hours fishing, hunting, and exploring the forests, streams, and lakes that make Wisconsin special.

  1. Wisconsin Faith-Based Organizations Address Farming and Environmental Issues

Two Wisconsin-based faith organizations care deeply about the future of family farming, the link between land and people, fostering sustainable farming methods, bringing food production closer to the people consuming it and finding ways to combat climate change.  This workshop will focus on the past and future directions of the Harvest of Hope Fund and the Food, Faith and Farming Network, two organizations with unique, yet compatible missions related to agriculture.

Presenters: Nick Utphall is Pastor of Advent Lutheran Church (part of the ecumenical Madison Christian Community) and serves on the Board of the Food, Faith and Farming Network.  Roger Williams is Founder and Chair of the Harvest of Hope Fund and serves as Treasurer and Board member of the Food, Faith and Farming Network (UW-Madison Emeritus Professor).

  1. Energy and Agriculture: Dairyland Power Cooperative

Dairyland Power Cooperative provides the wholesale power requirements for 24 distribution electric cooperatives.  These cooperatives, in turn, supply the energy needs of over 600,000 people in western Wisconsin, southeast Minnesota, northeast Iowa and northwest Illinois.  Solar energy is a key element of Dairyland Power’s transition to a lower carbon future.  Dairyland Power is a solar leader in the upper Midwest with 20 solar projects operating around its service area.  Many of Dairyland Power’s member cooperatives have piggybacked on to Dairyland Power’s projects with community solar gardens.  In addition, there are over 2,700 consumer-owned distributed generation installations in the Dairyland Power service area.  Learn how these projects are of value to farmers and rural communities, and for Wisconsin as a whole.

Presenter: Craig Harmes is Manager of Business Development for Dairyland Power Cooperative, a generation and transmission utility.  Craig has over 33 years of experience working for electric cooperatives.  He directs Dairyland Power’s distributed generation and business development efforts and assists Dairyland Power’s 24 member cooperatives with their renewable energy and economic development programs and activities.

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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
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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.
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Faith Climate Justice Voter

Faith Climate Justice Voter

WIP&L Launches Faith Climate Justice Voter Campaign

Why pledge to be a Faith Climate Justice Voter?

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 and other state IPL affiliates are leading the Faith Climate Voter campaign.

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 our message is shared by the leaders and members of faith communities, the subject of Op-Eds and letters to the editor, social media posts, and everyday conversations. 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?

1. Sign the Faith Climate Justice Voter Pledge and pledge to vote with the climate and Creation in mind. We are aiming to collect 4000 pledges from Wisconsin voters to demonstrate to candidates and the media that people of faith think about climate justice when casting their vote, and that they will hold our elected officials accountable after the election.

2. Share the pledge with friends and family on social media with the hashtags #FaithClimateJusticeVoter, #VoteYourValues, #Vote2020, and use this kit to engage others in your congregation.

3. Reflect on the issues at stake in this election, including climate change, by downloading, reading, and discussing Democracy, Values and the 2020 Election: A Reflection Guide for Faith Communities — produced by Interfaith Power and Light and Faith in Public Life, and endorsed by WIP&L.

4. Write a letter to the editor using these talking points from the Faith Climate Justice Voter Campaign (you can also use them for social media posts, sermons, etc.)

5. Sign up to give a sermon or talk for your congregation on the importance of voting, and download helpful resources.

6. Register to vote or check your registration, learn about mail-in and absentee voting, polling sites, what’s on the ballot, and everything else you need to know to make your plan for voting at My Vote Wisconsin (for our friends in other states, you can find voting information here).

7. Assist and encourage friends, family, neighbors and others to vote. Sign up for the Empower app to receive periodic talking points and updates and easily share them with your contacts. You can watch a training video on relational organizing and how the app works.

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!

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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
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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

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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.

 

 

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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.”