Celebrate with us! Recently our congregation took part in a free energy program through an organization called Michigan Interfaith Power & Light. As a result of this program, we are taking charge of our energy usage: lowering our energy bill and freeing up more of our budget for mission and ministry! It is a great responsibility to run our facility in a way that respects the needs of our climate and God’s Creation, and we are glad to let you know that through energy efficiency, we are making sure that our congregation is using resources as wisely as possible. We have great peace in knowing that we are doing our part to create a healthier, cleaner, and greener planet.
To learn more about faithful Earth stewardship and how you can help create a cleaner, healthier communities now and for future generations, sign up for Michigan Interfaith Power & Light’s monthly newsletter at www.miipl.org .
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.
The Rt. Rev. Rayford Ray
Episcopal Diocese of Northern MI
Sonya Pouncy, CEM, CMVP, LEED-AP
Plymouth United Church of Christ
Greater Detroit Area
Islamic Organization of N. America
David Arnosti, PhD
Haslett Community Church
Michigan State University
Dr. Calvin Glass
Lord of Lords Missionary Baptist Church
Sr. Kathy Nolan, OP
Adrian Dominican Sisters
Bonnie Nussbaum, PhD
Empowerment Coaching, LLC
Miskopwaaganikwe Leora L. Tadgerson
Episcopal Diocese of Northern MI
Gnoozhikaaning Bay Mills Tribe
Wiikwemkong First Nations, Ontario CA
Spend less on energy, more on mission.
Since 2015, over 1,200 congregations have participated in Light the Way. On average, each house of worship received $1,300 in free energy upgrades and expect to save $650 on annual energy expenses. (Why is it free?)
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.
Hear what one Light the Way participating congregation, First Congregational Church, UCC (Jackson, MI), had to say:
To minimize the risk of spreading COVID, Consumers Energy has put the following safety measures in 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 faith-based organizations:
- 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)
- Hot Water Pipe Wrap
- Pre-Rinse Spray Valves
- Bathroom Faucet Aerators
- Kitchen Faucet Aerators
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 organizations with financial need to reduce their climate pollution.
By enabling emissions-reducing projects in economically disadvantaged communities, the Carbon Fund seeks to advance climate solutions by centering equity.
- 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 [email protected] .
Our Carbon Fund has supported the installation of solar powered exterior lights at St. Peter's Episcopal Church, Pilgrim Baptist Church (pictured), and Lord of Lords Christian Ministries in Detroit. The Carbon Fund has also supported a solar streetlight and public high speed wifi project at Avalon Village in Highland Park.
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!
KaTania "Kat" Brown - Operations and Communications Manager
Kat is a freelance virtual assistant and owner of Virtually Possible 365. She left the corporate environment in 2019 to launch her own business venture, which would allow her to use the skills and talents she has acquired over the past 28 years to help other women in business. She believes the best thing about launching her business is the freedom to pick and choose her clients, which is why she was eager to join the team.
Deirdre Morrison - Partnerships and Development Coordinator
Deirdre joined Michigan IPL’s Light the Way outreach team in 2021, and now assists the organization to engage collaborators and funding partners to help grow our impacts across Michigan communities. She studied ecology and sustainable agriculture at the Evergreen State College in WA, completed two terms of volunteer service with AmeriCorps, and has worn many hats in her years working with non-profits. Deirdre loves being resourceful, finding useful ways to reclaim, repair, and repurpose– from freshwater and soils to building materials, and is especially interested in cross-cultural learning in this regard. She divides her time between greenthumbing, building projects, research, and writing. When she’s not dreaming of hot springs and trail-life, she’s often making art or volunteering with projects that address homelessness and conservation.
Kate Poirier - Energy Efficiency Outreach Specialist
Kate is very happy to be sharing the importance of energy efficiency and creation care with congregations throughout the state of MI. With a background in grassroots sustainable agriculture and organic family farming, and strong ties to churches and ministries in the state, working in the capacity of outreach is a wonderful blend of interests and passion for both the churches who desire to share God's love, and the earth that helps make church ministries possible. Kate currently works out of Arenac County where she is able to participate in food pantries, ministerial support projects and enjoys time spent with family, in particular her husband, Russ.
Maria Thomas - Faith + Climate Justice Voter Campaign Organizer
“As I look back over my life and I think things over, I can truly say that I've been Blessed. I’ve got a testimony.” These gospel song lyrics relate to the results of grace and mercy that lasts forever and how Maria has benefited from the love of GOD for her family, friends, neighbors and herself throughout decades of life. This has not come without struggle! The struggle of surviving through systemic racial and environmental injustice. Injustice that manifests daily in many ways, but the environmental issues of polluted air, water and land contributing to health concerns such as asthma, cancer, lead poisoning, etc., are the very reasons why Maria has joined the small but mighty MIIPL team. Maria is a survivor, but she wants her children, their children, and the generations who follow to thrive and prosper. Being identified as one looking through rose-colored glasses, Maria wants the same for everyone and believes that the collective “we” can begin creating a better tomorrow today by voting for those who vote in our best interests when representing us. Maria’s mission is to encourage each and every one to vote for our future, for our children, for their children and with the environment-- created by GOD to be our one and only home-- in mind. Grace, Peace, Blessings and Love.
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 Detroit's North End.
Jennifer Young - Energy Programs 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.