Tuesday, July 10, 2012

2012 Restoring Creation Award Nominee: AK Interfaith Power and Light

 Each year, Presbyterians for Earth Care receives nominations for two awards: The William Gibson Lifetime Achievement Award for individuals and the Restoring Creation Award for congregations, governing bodies, ecumenical agencies, or Presbyterian-related entities. In 2012, we received so many excellent nominations and could only choose two awardees. All the nominations bore such good news about what God's people are doing to care for God's Creation, we'd like to share them all with you.

Nominee: Alaska Interfaith Power and Light
For: Restoring Creation Award
Nominated by: - Curtis Karns of the Presbytery of Yukon

Interfaith Power & Light (IPL) is a national affiliate of The Regeneration Project, a non-profit organization working to deepen the connection between ecology and faith. To date, TRP's national IPL network comprises 31 state affiliates, transcending socio-economics, cultures and denominations. As an increasing number of scientists, indigenous peoples and other leaders declared Alaska as ground zero for climate change, it became clear an IPL affiliate must be established in the Great Land. In 2006, Alaska Interfaith Power & Light became the 20th IPL state affiliate. Currently, out of the 250 conservation non-governmental organizations in the state, Alaska IPL is the only organization calling attention to our moral obligation to serve as stewards of creation and subsequent symptoms of the human family not living-up to this responsibility to the best of our ability, including human-induced climate change.

Although AKIPL has worked to engage faith communities in common sense practices like energy audits for buildings and changing light bulbs, Mary Walker's vision led to one particular project that needs to be especially recognized. Since May 2011, AKIPL has been holding a series of interdisciplinary public forums aimed both at raising public awareness regarding the moral imperative for dealing with human-caused climate change, and lobbying for governmental and and personal responses. These public forums are held under the title of One People, One Earth (http://onepeopleoneearth.org/), Participants include scientists (an ecologist, a biologist, a physicist and an oceanographer) from the University of Alaska, Alaska Native Elders from three Native American peoples (Tlingit, Aleut and Yupik), and four Alaskan faith leaders from Roman Catholic, Protestant [PCUSA], Islamic and Jewish). Though these participants embody important differences, they also speak passionately about the importance of this issue and their absolute unity in dealing with this as a world people. One interesting outworking of this has been a particular interest in the comments from the faith leaders. Their latest pubic forum was held in Juneau, where a separate public meeting was held just to spend more time talking with the faith leaders. It is hoped this public, interdisciplinary approach will continue to build momentum and add to the public will for the change necessary to mitigate the damage caused by a carbon fueled industrial age.

One People, One Earth continues to gain recognition. In the past two weeks, there has been conversation abut bringing this interdisciplinary panel to events outside of Alaska. it would be helpful for PEC to recognize this effort.

No comments:

Post a Comment