Advent Calendar Day 17: California Interfaith Power and Light

California Interfaith Power & Light (CIPL)

Though many are of the opinion that global warming or climate change is a myth, men and women of faith, including our own bishops, believe we have a been called by God to care for creation. We have a responsibility to God, to each other, and to all of creation to be good stewards of God’s gifts in creation.

California Interfaith Power and Light is one way that men and women of faith have banded together to answer God’s call to care for all of creation.

Mission Statement

The mission of California Interfaith Power and Light (CIPL) is to be faithful stewards of Creation by responding to global warming through the promotion of energy conservation, energy efficiency and renewable energy. This ministry intends to protect the earth’s ecosystems, safeguard public health, and ensure sufficient, sustainable energy for all.

About this ministry: California Interfaith Power and Light 

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For further reflection

Can Faith Slow Climate Change?

Give us all a reverence for the Earth as your own creation, that we may use its resources rightly in the service of others and to your honor and glory.

The prayer was recited regularly by a young Sally Bingham growing up in San Francisco.

Only years later, as an ordained Episcopal Church priest, did Bingham realize something was amiss with the childhood supplication.

“There was this terrible hypocrisy,” she said. “This disconnect between what we said we believed in and how we behaved.”

This bothered her for years until 1998 when, in her 50s, she finally took action.

Bingham founded what today is Interfaith Power and Light, a national campaign promoting “a religious response to global warming” that works with 10,000 congregations in 38 states.

“Climate change is one of the most challenging moral issues of our time,” she said in an Earth Day sermon at San Francisco’s Grace Cathedral where she is now Reverend Canon for the Environment.

Faith communities around the world are taking action – both personal and political – as the moral implications of climate change become more apparent.

While politics is split on climate change and governments worldwide have failed to pass meaningful climate legislation, faith communities are becoming a powerful force in the transition to green energy. By focusing on values rather than politics, they are transcending partisan pigeonholes and taking care of what they see as God’s creation, and the people – particularly the poor – who depend on it.

“If you are called to love your neighbor, you don’t pollute your neighbor’s air,” Bingham said.

More than 300 evangelical leaders have signed the Evangelical Environmental Network’s climate call to action, including mega-church leaders like Rick Warren and Bill Hybels. A 2007 poll commissioned by the group found that 84 percent of evangelicals support legislation to reduce carbon emissions.

Read the entire article in the Scientific American November 30, 2010: Can Faith Slow Climate Change?

Image: CIPL logo from their website

Author: Daniel Rondeau

I am a husband and father and an Episcopal Priest (now retired) in the Episcopal Diocese of San Diego.

One thought on “Advent Calendar Day 17: California Interfaith Power and Light”

  1. In September our bishops wrote: “The mounting urgency of our environmental crisis challenges us at this time to confess ‘our self-indulgent appetites and ways,’ ‘our waste and pollution of God’s creation,’ and ‘our lack of concern for those who come after us’ (Ash Wednesday Liturgy, Book of Common Prayer, p. 268). It also challenges us to amend our lives and to work for environmental justice and for more environmentally sustainable practices.” Let the work of CIPL be one way you choose “to amend [your life] and work for environmental justice … and more environmentally sustainable practices.”

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