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Lunch with the League presents: Hoosier Interfaith Power & Light

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Dori Chandler, interim director of the Hoosier Interfaith Power and Light non-profit organization, and HIPL intern Sophie Hall will join the League of Women Voters of Montgomery County for Lunch with the League at noon July 29. This program will be virtual (See how to connect at the end of the column). All members of the community are invited to attend. Those in faith communities, especially those in leadership positions, will find this of particular interest.

The mission of the HIPL comes from a simple and direct universal belief shared by religious traditions around the world: human beings are to act as stewards of creation. HIPL formed here in Indiana to help support and give action to such creation care. Our Indiana organization is part of the nationwide IPL network.

Interfaith Power and Light was founded in 1998 when a consortium of churches aggregated to purchase renewable energy. In the nearly 30 years since, Interfaith Power and Light affiliates have formed in 40 states. Supporters of the alliance come from all 50 states. This national network represents 20,000 congregations and over 6.5 million people of faith. During the last two decades, Creation Care has become a priority issue for many, many congregations ranging from Universalist Unitarians to Baptists to Roman Catholics to Methodists to Evangelicals and many other Christian denominations in between. Creation Care is also, of course, a central tenet of Judaism and central to Muslims, Hindus, Buddhists, and many other belief systems.

Hoosier Interfaith Power and Light represents all Hoosiers of faith who seek to live in harmony with God’s creation through utilizing clean energy, practicing creation care, and advocating for better public policies. In less than 20 years of existence, HIPL’s flagship program has helped over 50 churches, especially in central Indiana, solarize. Currently HIPL has 54-plus solar congregations across the state. You can find a map of solarized churches on the Hoosier Interfaith Power and Light website. Several other HIPL programs help bring Hoosiers of faith together as stewards of creation by promoting renewable energy, energy conservation, and environmental justice as a faith response to our changing climate.

To join together raises a stronger voice to advocate for clean air, water, and energy policies. HIPL runs workshops to start up Green Teams that can, for instance, knowledgeably apply many resources and bring information to help steward church resources by measuring and managing energy usage within buildings and on church campuses. Most of Indiana’s 46 active Green Teams have been able to save their congregations money over the short- and/or long-term. Green Team training also helps faith leaders speak confidently and knowledgeably about ways to steward creation in the 21st century. Here in 2021, HIPL has five affiliate groups made up of many congregations in different cities, more than 10 Thriving Faith Communities, and 8,000 Hoosiers from various other congregations on their listserv.

Please join us to hear more about this work, including special emphasis on HIPL’s new “Thriving Faith Communities Program.” We encourage you to come as an individual or to gather a group of parishioners together to watch at noon on July 29. Type: tinyurl.com/LWVMC-HIPL into your web browser’s address bar and you will reach the Zoom broadcast site. Feel free to email League of Women Voters of Montgomery County (lwvmontco@gmail.com) with any questions.

The League of Women Voters, a non-partisan, multi-issue organization encourages informed and active participation in government, works to increase public understanding of major policy issues and influences public policy through education and advocacy. All men and women are invited to join the LWV where hands-on work to safeguard democracy leads to civic improvement. For information, visit the website www.lwvmontcoin.org or the League of Women Voters of Montgomery County, IN Facebook page.

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