Please join us as South Carolina Interfaith Power and Light (SCIPL) hosts “Faith, Science and Climate Solutions” a community conversation on Monday, June 10, from 7:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m., in the Fellowship Hall of First Baptist Greenville, 847 Cleveland Street. The event is open to the public and refreshments will be provided.
Special guests Rev. Susan Hendershot, national president of Interfaith Power & Light, and Ken Kimmell, national president of the Union of Concerned Scientists, will lead the conversation as part of their a joint speaking tour on the intersection of faith, science, and climate solutions. The tour is also visiting NC, Georgia, Tennessee and Alabama.
Religion and science are not in opposition on the issue of climate change. Science has a great deal to teach us about both the urgency to act and the solutions that are at hand. Our faith informs the actions that we take to care for Earth and all of its inhabitants. So how do people of faith and conscience seize the moral opportunity to lead on the most important issue of our time?
The evening will be moderated by Michael Brown, Vice-Chair for Sustaining Way, President of Spartanburg NAACP and Spartanburg County Council Representative, and SCIPL Program Coordinator Dean Adams will provide local context and opportunities for action. The evening is supported by Interfaith Power & Light, Union of Concerned Scientists, Sustaining Way, Annie’s House, SAVER Committee & First Baptist Greenville, and the Southeast Faith Leaders Network. The event is free and open to the public, includes food and drink, and accepts optional tax deductible donations for supporting SCIPL’s mission.
SCIPL addresses climate change by engaging people of faith to work together for a just and sustainable future. SCIPL offers programs and resources for advocacy, action, energy conservation, education, networking and worship. SCIPL operates as a program of Sustaining Way, an interfaith nonprofit that uses education, collaboration, and workforce development to empower communities to cultivate a sustainable and equitable future.
Rev. Susan Hendershot, President of Interfaith Power & Light
Susan Hendershot is president of Interfaith Power & Light, a national nonprofit organization with a mission to inspire and mobilize people of faith and conscience to take bold and just action on climate change. Through their national network of 40 state affiliates, IPL is leading the faith climate action movement at the local, state, and national levels through a combination of personal action and policy advocacy to advance climate solutions.
Prior to becoming President of The Regeneration Project and Interfaith Power & Light, Rev. Hendershot served as the Executive Director at Iowa Interfaith Power & Light for seven years. She is ordained in the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) with an M. Div. from Emory University in Atlanta, Georgia, a B.A. from Bethany College in Bethany, West Virginia, and a certificate in Spiritual Direction. Prior to Iowa IPL, Rev. Hendershot served as a pastor in both Disciples of Christ and United Methodist congregations, focusing on social justice ministries. She also served as the first Heartland Field Organizer for the ONE Campaign on global poverty. Currently Rev. Hendershot serves as co-chair of the Executive Committee for the RE-AMP Steering Committee, a network of over 170 climate, energy, and environmental organizations throughout the Midwest. Rev. Hendershot believes that climate change is a moral issue, disproportionately impacting those who are most vulnerable in our world. She gets her motivation and inspiration from her two sons.
Kenneth Kimmell, President of the Union of Concerned Scientists
Ken Kimmell is president of the Union of Concerned Scientists, a leading science-based nonprofit that combines the knowledge and influence of the scientific community with the passion of concerned citizens to build a healthy planet and a safer world.
Mr. Kimmell has more than 30 years of experience in government, environmental policy, and advocacy. He is a national advocate for clean energy and transportation policies and a driving force behind UCS’s “Power Ahead” campaign to build a large and diverse group of clean energy leadership states. Prior to joining UCS in May 2014, Mr. Kimmell was the Commissioner of the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection (MassDEP). As commissioner, he also served as chairman of the board of the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative, helping to prod the nine member states to reduce power plant carbon emissions by almost 50 percent through 2020, reducing emissions in the region by some 90 million tons. Mr. Kimmell has also served as general counsel at the Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs in Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick’s administration, and spent 17 years as the director and senior attorney at a Boston-based law firm specializing in environmental, energy, and land-use issues.
SCIPL’s mission is inspired by diverse faith perspectives to care for the Earth and all its inhabitants. SCIPL addresses climate change by engaging people of faith to work together for a just and sustainable future. SCIPL offers programs and resources for advocacy, action, energy conservation, education, networking and worship. SCIPL operates as a program of Sustaining Way, an interfaith nonprofit that uses education, collaboration, and workforce development to empower communities to cultivate a sustainable and equitable future.
SCIPL’s recent advocacy work includes partnering with Southern Alliance for Clean Energy, Consumer Reports, AARP, and Sustaining Way on the successful campaign against large energy fee hikes from Duke Energy and Duke Progress. Adams recently visited DC and met with staff of US Senators Graham and Scott’s offices regarding current legislation such as the Driving America Forward Act and The Reclaim Act.
Last year’s winning congregations of SCIPL’s 2018/19 Congregational Energy Efficiency Challenge Program successfully made facility upgrades with estimated savings of $33,000 over ten years on their energy bills. Congregations awarded for 2019 are St. Thaddeus Episcopal (Aiken), Forest Lake Presbyterian (Columbia), and Trinity Worldwide Missions (Charleston). SCIPL is working to raise funding for another challenge in late 2019.
Founded in 2011 by Dr. Ron Robinson, Perkins-Prothro Chaplain and Professor of Religion at Wofford College, SCIPL became a program of Sustaining Way in 2017. The now national Interfaith Power & Light effort began in 1998 as a unique coalition of churches aggregated to purchase renewable energy on the west coast. In 2000, this effort broadened its focus, brought in other faith partners, and currently there are 40 state IPL affiliates, representing over 20,000 congregations.
Sustaining Way was founded in 2012. In partnership with over 35 local organizations, ranging from universities to churches to nonprofits to businesses to government agencies, Sustaining Way’s unique community-based approach to sustainability includes a demonstration site strategically located in an underserved community and on-site community coordinators. Sustaining Way’s flagship project, Annie’s House, implements Sustaining Way’s model in the historic Nicholtown community of Greenville, South Carolina.