Dear Friends of NCIPL,
As I gaze out of my study window at the bright spring birds and budding trees, I am at peace with and excited about the changes unfolding at NCIPL. As some of you already know, after 2 years as paid staff, I made the transition to volunteer status on January 1, 2013. For the first quarter of this year, I retained the title of Co-Director with my inspirational and able partner, Susannah Tuttle, whom I supported and witnessed as she enthusiastically and creatively assumed primary leadership of our organization and mission. It is now time to make the next transition by announcing that I am stepping away from the Co-Director role into a new advisory role as Susannah becomes the sole Director of North Carolina Interfaith Power & Light.
My time as part-time director and then as co-director of NCIPL has been rich with learning, inspiration, challenge and mostly the joy of new relationships. I have been privileged to learn from people of many different denominations and faiths exactly what it means to love God and God’s creation through selfless service and passionate devotion. It has been an amazing time, but now it is time for me to return to my roots in clinical medicine and environmental public health. As NCIPL has grown and changed, it has become very clear that it will flourish best with a leader who can devote all her energies, without competition or distraction, to the mission of the organization. Susannah is that person, and NCIPL is very lucky to have her. I will continue to support the work and mission of NCIPL and the community of faithful creation care champions through my time, talent and treasures as volunteer Senior Advisor, and specifically will always be available to the Director 24/6 (remembering the Sabbath) if she has a need.
I want to take this opportunity to thank the many people, too many to name, who have made the past 2 years such a spiritually vibrant and personally rich time for me. The staff, steering committee and volunteers of NCIPL and the staff of the NC Council of Churches top the list, but there are scores of amazing volunteers in congregations and environmental organizations across the state who have touched my life and my spirit, stimulated deepening personal growth, and shepherded me along my own faith journey. I thank you all deeply for the generosity of your welcome and the passion of your work. It has been an honor to serve for a while in a leadership capacity, and now I joyfully re-engage as a worker bee as we all continue to strive for a just, sustainable and spiritually rich world.
Please join me in congratulating and thanking Susannah for assuming leadership of this unique organization, the only statewide organization that works directly with faith communities on positive, hope-filled responses to climate change. We all can do our part to co-create a better future, a blessed community, and Susannah will help us coordinate our efforts with joy and faith.
Peace on Eaarth
Senior Advisor for NCIPL
Speaking out, Part 7
As we Presbyterians sometimes do, I’ll start with a confession. I don’t know all of the intricacies of Progress’s business plan or their rationale for these proposed rate hikes. What I do know is that at our church, the calls and other requests we get for assistance with groceries, transportation and, yes, with utilities, have increased every month of every year since 2008.
[…] I believe that for a profitable company like Progress to propose such steep rate hikes at a time like this, when so many of its customers are struggling economically, is morally indefensible. Progress is also asking us to fund investments in dirty, 20th century technology. Going back to Hurricane Katrina, and most recently with Hurricane Sandy, we’ve all seen with our own eyes that something is drastically wrong with the earth’s climate […] As stewards of the earth, we simply must do better.
-Rev. Steve Runholt, Pastor of Warren Wilson Presbyterian Church, Swannanoa (testifying at Rate Hike Hearing)
Speaking Out, Part 6
[Ed] Hays [author of devotional book, “A Lenten Hobo Honeymoon”] asks, “How does your soul garden grow?” In the garden of your souls, are the trees rich with fruit or are they barren?”
[…] It’s simply boggles my mind as I watch folks sit back, see what is happening and still want to extend our use of coal and gas in North Carolina. I hope you will have the courage to stand up to Progress Energy. Don’t let them increase the use of the same old dirty energy. We have got to do something quickly for we are destroying our world! To borrow Hays words, “How does your soul garden grow?”
-Rev. Tamara Puffer, Member of Grace Covenant Presbyterian Church (testifying at Rate Hike Hearing)
Speaking Out, Part 5
I have a responsibility for studying, teaching and communicating about the responsibility Christians have for being good stewards of the world in which God has placed us, a world God expects us to tend as good gardeners. I therefore rise as a person of faith to speak against the rate hikes proposed by Progress Energy. It is not that I do not believe that we all will have to pay more for our energy needs in the future. It is rather that the plan on which Progress Energy’s rate hike request appears to be based does too little to carry us all toward an energy future that does less harm to the garden of the earth.
-Rev. Cam Murchinson, Earth Stewardship Theologian for the Montreat Presbyterian Church
(testifying at Rate Hike Hearing)
Speaking Out, Part 4
In the community and in my congregation, I see the people this will hurt […] Instead of Duke using the poor, elderly, unemployed and underemployed to increase their profits, I would challenge the executives to think it’s a good idea to raise rates in this environment to cut their salaries and their bonuses and fund their own projects.
-Rev. James Lee, Pastor of St. Paul’s Baptist Church, Asheville (testifying at Rate Hike Hearing)
Read a reflection from an NCIPL Energy Savings Analysis (“Energy Audit”) participant to hear what the audit inspired them to do and learn how you can obtain an energy audit for your congregation at no charge.
Speaking Out, Part 3:
We are deeply concerned that Duke’s proposed NC rate hikes and the direction of their energy policy has invested too little in cleaner, safer, healthier, and renewable-sustainable sources of energy, like solar, wind, geo-thermal and hydro-electric technologies […] The Biblical Prophets roundly condemn any society in which a few wallow in luxury while many others are ruined by poverty. (Amos 6: 4-8).
-Rev. Steve Halsted, Pastor of Community UCC, Raleigh, NCIPL Steering Committee Member (while leading Consumers Against Rate Hikes press conference)
Speaking out, part 2:
You, the Commissioners who represent us, have the unique opportunity to act with a moral courage that we will all find satisfactory. Say NO to this Integrated Resource Plan. You have nothing to lose but your personal integrity. Senate Bill Ten is on its way to ending your service. Go out in glory refusing to approve that which does not satisfy our earth, our business, our brothers and sisters!
-Rev. Nancy Ellis Allison, Pastor of Holy Covenant UCC, Charlotte (regarding Duke/Progress’s Integrated Resource Plan)
Faith Leader Speaking Out, part 1:
“Slow down and look around. The business as usual plan is destroying the earth. All of us will suffer.
Enough. There is a better way for all of us. “
-Jean Larson’s testimony at Duke Energy Rate Hike Hearing. Jean is the
Convener of NCIPL Asheville Earth Sabbath Celebrations.
Read about Jean’s full testimony and others as they spoke out concerning North Carolina’s Energy Future!
It is imperative that we, as people of faith, voice our opposition to the Keystone XL. Comment period ends 4/22/13 (which coincidentally is Earth Day)