Admin Email published Energy Stewardship: Embracing the Sacredness of Creation in Events 2022-05-06 12:48:44 -0400
Energy stewardship is one way faith communities can put faith into action support the interconnected web of life and free up funds for their vital ministries.
The ELCA Social Statement "Caring for Creation: Vision, Hope, and Justice," adopted nearly 30 years ago, offers a vision of God’s intention for creation and for humanity as creation’s caregivers. Current and future generations all deserve clean air, clean water, healthy communities, and a stable climate.
Our Lord has written the promise of the resurrection not in books alone but in every leaf in springtime.
Please join the North/West Lower Michigan Synod ELCA and Michigan Interfaith Power & Light to learn about ways your faith community can save energy, save money, and most importantly, take further inspired steps to foster healing for our beleaguered, beloved common home. All are welcome.WHENJune 21, 2022 at 8:00pmWHEREZoom
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
Sr. Kathy Nolan, OP
Adrian Dominican Sisters
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!
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.
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.
Steve Mulder - Energy Efficiency Outreach Specialist
Steve Mulder grew up in the Christian Reformed Church and is a retired insurance executive. Building on a lifelong passion for Creation, he also serves as the Michigan Regional Organizer for the Climate Witness Project. In this role, he helps congregations connect and engage in Creation Care in 4 areas: Energy Stewardship, Education, Worship, and Advocacy. His love of creation comes from a lifetime of outdoor activity (camping, biking, kayaking, hiking, restoration, etc.). His love for his seven grandchildren and concern for all of the children of the world drive his determination to work toward Climate Crisis mitigation and Creation Care in whatever ways he can.
Emily Novick - Storyteller and Communications Coordinator
Emily is excited to be part of the Michigan IPL team 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. You can read Emily's stories on our Blog.
Kate Poirier - Energy Efficiency Outreach Specialist
Kate is very happy to be sharing the importance of energy efficiency and creation care with churches 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.
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.