Our Board members aid in our mission by providing strategic guidance, ensuring proper governance, helping with outreach, and participating in and contributing to our fundraising efforts. If you or someone you know may be interested in participating on the Michigan IPL board, please contact us.
Rev. John Schleicher
Retired ELCA Bishop
Edgewood United Church
Rabbi Moshe Givental
Sonya Pouncy, CEM, CMVP, LEED-AP
Islamic Organization of N. America
Dave Arnosti, PhD
Haslett Community Church
Michigan State University
Rev. Deb Hansen
Sr. Kathy Nolan, OP
Adrian Dominican Sisters
Suresh Rama, PhD
HCD Group and Valiant-TMS
The Rt. Rev. Rayford Ray
Episcopal Diocese of Northern MI
Spend less on energy, more on mission.
Since 2015, over 800 congregations have participated in Light the Way. On average, each house of worship received $1,300 in free energy upgrades and expects to save $650 on annual energy expenses.
That's $1,300 these congregations didn't have to spend on building maintenance, and $650 more each year that can go into programming for kids, supporting food pantries, and other vital ministries.
To protect the health and safety of their customers and staff in the field, Consumers Energy has put the following measures into place:
- Daily temperature checks and health monitoring for all staff. Those with symptoms are not allowed to report to work.
- Energy Advisors will wear masks. They will wear hand and foot coverings at customers' request.
- PPE is available for customers at their request.
- Staff will maintain physical distancing.
- Vehicles have portable hand washing stations.
Eligible congregations and religious schools:
- Have Consumers Energy electric or gas service
- Own their facility
Electric upgrades may include:
Gas upgrades may include:
- T-LEDs (replaces linear fluorescent tube lighting)
- 11W Flood LEDs (replaces 65W incandescent floodlights)
- 9W LEDs (replaces 60W incandescents)
- 4-6W LEDs (replaces 25W-40W incandescent candelabras)
- LED bulbs for Exit Signs
- Vending Machine Misers (for compatible cold beverage machines)
- Smart, programmable thermostats
- Smart, programmable thermostats
- Pre-Rinse Spray Valves
- Bathroom Faucet Aerators
- Kitchen Faucet Aerators
- Hot Water Pipe Wrap
Why is Consumers Energy giving away free stuff? Why would they want to sell us less energy?
Since the enactment of the Clean, Renewable, and Efficient Energy Act of 2008, and the extension of the Energy Efficiency Standard in 2016, Michigan utilities are required to spend a percentage of their profits on energy efficiency products and services for their customers. Programs like this help utilities fulfill this obligation and move Michigan toward a cleaner, more efficient energy future.
Why is Michigan IPL working with a utility?
Michigan IPL has worked with Consumers to develop this program because it helps us to fulfill our mission to inspire and equip faith communities to be better stewards of God’s creation-- and we know it helps congregations spend less on bills and more on the things that matter.
I still have questions! Who can I talk to?
Please contact our Project Manager, Jennifer Young. She can be reached via email or at 248-463-8811.
The Carbon Fund was created-- thanks to a generous gift from the Ann Arbor Friends Meeting-- to provide mini-grants of $2,000 - $5,000 to congregations with financial need to reduce their carbon footprints.
By enabling emissions-reducing projects in economically disadvantaged communities, the Carbon Fund addresses inequity as well as climate change.
- Own the building or site in which the project is being proposed
- Are in financial need
How to apply
1. In about 1 page, describe the following:
- Your organization and its mission
- Your financial need
- Your project, its goals, and how it will reduce CO2 emissions
- Estimated project cost and amount requested
- How this project is a part of your larger vision of sustainability (how your commitment to sustainability extends beyond this project)
2. Include your name and contact information as well as the congregation's name and address.
3. Email your application to Leah Wiste at firstname.lastname@example.org .
Previous Carbon Fund projects have funded the installation of solar powered exterior lights at St. Peter's Episcopal Church and Pilgrim Baptist Church (pictured), both in Detroit.
Projects that are high-visibility or that are integrated into programming or communications—in other words, projects that also inspire and grow awareness beyond your congregation—are especially encouraged.
How to contribute to the Carbon Fund
You can make a gift to the Carbon Fund online OR just write "Carbon Fund" in the memo line on your check and mail it to us at: 1950 Trumbull St, Detroit MI 48216. Thank you!
Joan Hawxhurst - Coordinator, Hope for Creation: the Southwest MI Chapter of Michigan IPL
Joan is thrilled to serve as the part-time Coordinator of Hope for Creation, a grassroots inter-religious group which supports faith-based action on climate justice in Kalamazoo and southwest Michigan. Over the years, Joan has founded a national organization for interfaith families, led the development of Kalamazoo's community reading program, and reinvigorated Kalamazoo College's career center. She is also a facilitator-in-preparation through the Center for Courage and Renewal, a certified administrator of the Intercultural Development Inventory, and a facilitator of Racial Healing Circles. She fell in love with the beauty and power of the Great Lakes when she came to Michigan in 1994 with her partner, a professor at the Institute of the Environment and Sustainability at Western Michigan University. They are active members of Temple B’nai Israel in Kalamazoo.
Cathy Marshall - Bookkeeper
Cathy has worked with non-profit organizations for over 30 years, first as an organizational manager and most recently as a bookkeeper. Long-term stints have included 4 years as the Executive Director of the WARM Training Center (now EcoWorks) and almost 20 years as the Deputy Director of the Grandmont Rosedale Development Corporation. Cathy's passion for protecting the environment and all of its amazing beauty is what draws her to Michigan IPL. Cathy is a member of Temple Beth Emeth in Ann Arbor, where she is part of the Social Justice committee. Her husband Jack is a founding member of the group that led the effort to install solar panels on the Temple.
Emily Novick - Energy Efficiency Outreach Specialist
Emily is excited to join the Michigan IPL Team as an Outreach Specialist because of her passion for environmental protection and people-led solutions. She graduated from the University of Iowa in 2017 with an English degree and in 2019 she hiked the 2,192-mile Appalachian Trail from Georgia to Maine. During that 7-month hike, Emily walked through record heat waves, old mining areas with tainted water, and a rapidly changing landscape due to poor environmental regulations. Now she wants to do everything she can to protect our planet and raise awareness for climate change.
Lisia Williams - Energy Efficiency Outreach Specialist
Lisia is a woman of faith. She believes God created us to serve each other and to take care of all his creation, land, air, water and animals. She has been organizing since 2004, advocating for social justice reform and creating a safe and clean environment that children can enjoy. She has worked collaboratively with local organizations participating in adopt a park programs, neighborhood clean ups, and creating community gardens. As a licensed evangelist, her ministry work goes hand and hand with reaching out to the community to help serve populations in need. When Lisia finds spare time, being instrumental in raising her 17 grandchildren is one of her biggest joys.
Sally Wagoner - Energy Efficiency Outreach Specialist
Sally is a semi-retired nurse who has been involved with environmental issues and activism since 1970. She is currently a Board Member for Newaygo County Environmental Coalition (NCEC, formerly 3R Environmental Education). NCEC's mission is "to promote the environmental health and sustainability of Newaygo County through information, education and advocacy." To that end, Sally is eager to pursue this mission as a Michigan IPL Outreach Specialist for the Light the Way program. Through connecting with Newaygo County's nearly 80 faith-based organizations and churches, NCEC intends to create an environmental sustainability consciousness movement among its faith based citizens.
Leah Wiste - Executive Director
Leah has been on staff at Michigan IPL since 2013 and has been the Executive Director since December 2018. She is deeply invested in advocating on behalf of our sacred, living Earth and all of its creatures, especially animals. She believes that the climate crisis is at its root a moral and a spiritual one, and that people of faith and conscience have a critical role to play in bringing us into right relation with the Earth and with each other. Leah has degrees in Women’s Studies and Cultural Anthropology. When she’s not fighting climate change, she’s weeding the garden, buying more books than she will ever read, and trying not to get electrocuted while renovating her house in Northwest Detroit.
Jennifer Young - Project Manager
Jennifer holds an MS in Resource Policy & Behavior from the School of Natural Resources & Environment at the University of Michigan and a BS in Biology from Eastern Michigan University. Prior to working with Michigan IPL, Jennifer worked as a Program Manager for the Southeast Michigan Regional Energy Office where she convened government leaders in southeast Michigan communities in collaborative renewable energy and energy efficiency initiatives. Jennifer is actively involved in the Interfaith Leadership Council of Metropolitan Detroit and the Detroit Interfaith Outreach Network, the Ferndale Environmental Sustainability Commission, and the U.S. Green Building Council's Detroit Chapter. Jennifer’s love of, and reverence for, nature stems from camping trips in the Great Smoky Mountains of Tennessee, where her Dad took her and her sister during many beloved summers in her childhood.