Arizona Interfaith Power and Light – a serenade for Love #3

A note from Steve Davis, Board of Directors
Arizona Interfaith Power and Light

As published in the Southwest Conference United Church of Christ “In the Loop”

Three Great Loves: Children, Neighbor, Creation. It’s been my experience that one love at a time can sometimes be more than enough. Given the dismantling of environmental priorities and our nation’s administration exempting the U.S. from the international Paris Climate Accord, I offer my serenade for Love # 3: Love of Creation.

One of the ways I love Creation is through Arizona Interfaith Power and Light, whose mission statement reads: Arizona Interfaith Power & Light mobilizes people of faith in Arizona to reduce the causes of global climate change through spiritual reflection, education, advocacy and action.

Back in the 1990’s, Shepherd of  the Hills UCC in Phoenix joined this national organization. Shepherd formed the Good Earth Group, a homegrown “green team” to heighten congregational awareness of environmental challenges to our faith’s commitment to the stewardship of Creation. Later, when the Arizona chapter of Interfaith Power and Light was formed, Shepherd benefited from AZIPL’S guidance and encouragement. Its Good Earth Group has continued in its mission ever since through AZIPL, which  has helped to educate, advocate, and connect members of the congregation to other environmentally-concerned and activist faith communities (Christian, Jewish, Muslim, Buddhist) throughout Arizona.

Speaking of “homegrown”, the Good Earth’s community organic garden harvests wheelbarrows-full  of vegetables for both members and Interfaith Cooperative Ministries and nearby households, thereby helping to address Love of Neighbor as well.  And, as for Love of Children, what greater love to give to future generations than a cleaner, greener, and more sustainable planet?

Joining Arizona Interfaith Power and Light as a member congregation especially, and/or as an individual, has promoted practical ways of Loving Creation, Neighbor, and Children: energy audits, low-carbon practices, fair-trade / shade-grown coffee outlets, use of sustainable building materials for remodeling, replacement of heating and cooling systems and energy-efficient kitchen appliances, conversion to solar panels, and advocating for clean energy legislation at the Capitol. In the long run,  these actions are easy on budgets and easy on the earth.

The challenge of how to manifest the Three Great Loves for our denomination and churches in the Southwest Conference is also “triune.”  Synod exhorts congregations to 1) Give, 2) Act, and 3) Connect. All three of these are fulfillable through joining Arizona Interfaith Power and Light. Imagine that! Three in One. It has a familiar ring to it.

I encourage membership In AZIPL as a readily available resource for one’s congregation or individual joining alongside some 40 other congregations and UCC members in Arizona.