Monthly Archives: April 2016

Healing Earth: An Interfaith Climate Action Fundraiser

WHAT: A fundraising event for Arizona Interfaith Power and Light
WHEN: March 8, 2016,   6:30-8:30 p.m.
WHERE: Temple Emanuel, 5801 S. Rural Road, Tempe AZ (map)
COST: $50 per person


We encourage you to gather with us to support the mission of AZIPL: to mobilize people of faith in Arizona to reduce the causes of climate change. The President and Founder of IPL, the Reverend Canon Sally Bingham, will be our keynote speaker. The program will also include an update on AZIPL plans for 2016, the SAGE award to green congregations, song, and interfaith prayers for the Earth.It promises to be a wonderful evening of good conversation, music, wine and hors d’oeuvres.


Register by March 4

Dinner Tickets
Attendee(s) Name(s)
Attendee(s) Name(s)

“Holy Ground” at Oak Flat Campground

San Carlos Apache Tribe.  For nearly two decades the San Carlos Apaches have been fighting to protect lands they consider sacred.

Oak Flat, just 70 miles east of Phoenix, a few miles beyond Superior on Highway 60, is a place of great natural beauty that is popular among rock climbers and campers.  The San Carlos Apaches consider Oak Flat to be sacred, ancestral land, the site of traditional Apache ceremonies.  But Oak Flat also sits on top of one of the world’s largest deposits of copper ore. Resolution Copper Mining, a subsidiary of British-Australian mining conglomerate Rio Tinto, has sought ownership of the land for a decade, lobbying Congress to enact special legislation on its behalf. In December, the legislation was quietly passed into law as part of the 2015 National Defense Authorization Act.


Holy Ground / Forest Church

SandalsWhen people from a variety of faith traditions are asked, “When and where do you feel closest to the Holy?” few say, “Sitting inside a building listening to sermons, reciting scripture and praying.”  From African Traditional to Zoroastrian, a majority affirm that the most powerful and memorable encounters with Mystery happen outside, sitting by the ocean or a stream, on top of a mountain, walking through the desert, hiking in the woods, gazing at the stars at night, feeling the warmth of the sun or enjoying a cool breeze by day.  In fact, most of our sacred scriptures can be seen as secondary source material that recounts the primary experience of encountering the presence of God in nature outside the four walls of our worship spaces.

Holy Ground/Forest Church provides participants with activities, simple songs and chants, interfaith rituals, and first-hand experiences that have been tested outdoors in the mountains of northern Arizona (“Forest Church”) and in the deserts of Central Arizona (“Holy Ground”).

Great Climate March

On April 6 and 7, The Great March for Climate Action will be passing through Phoenix. 1000 marchers started in LA on March 1 and plan to walk nearly 3,000 miles across America to Washington, D.C. to change the heart and mind of
American and its elected leaders to act NOW to address the climate crisis.

Plans are being made to celebrate their arrival in Phoenix with a Marcher Appreciation Night on April 6 and a Rally on April 7 at Margaret T. Hanker Park.

If you want to support the Great March for Climate Action:

Annual Ecumenical Lenten Carbon Fast

Over the past few years, thousands of people the world over have welcomed a day-by-day opportunity to fast from carbon as their Lenten discipline.

Initiated by the UCC and endorsed by Episcopalians, people of every Christian perspective – and people who are not Christians – have benefited from this opportunity to become more conscious and conscientious in their daily lives.

If you’re a pastor – SIGN UP… and:

  • Email an invitation to the people in your parish, tell them you’ll be participating,
  • Convene a weekly Lenten discussion focusing on the Carbon Fast.


Click this link to sign up to fast from carbon during Lent

Here’s how it works:
Beginning Ash Wednesday and throughout Lent, participants will receive a daily email with the day’s suggested carbon-reducing activity.

Make this your congregation’s Lenten activity:
Organize an opportunity within your congregation for members to meet each week during Lent to discuss their own experience with this fast, AND specifically to discuss the weekly themes which focus on how the church can engage this issue.

Let’s make protecting God’s creation by reducing our carbon footprint as
fundamental a spiritual discipline as prayer!

Limit Carbon Emissions

The Environmental Protection Agency pushed back their public comment deadline on the proposal to limit carbon emissions at new power plants. We now have until May 9 to make sure they hear us – and we need your help.

Right now, there are absolutely no limits on the amount of carbon pollution power plants can spew into our air. That’s why these groundbreaking standards are so crucial.

These proposed safeguards would mean new plants can emit no more than 60 percent of today’s average coal plant.

But to make it happen, we urgently need your help to protect Creation for future generations.

Click here to stand with IPL today and add your voice in enthusiastic support of these vital EPA proposals to fight carbon pollution from new power plants.

The average power plant built today will be in use for decades to come. We need new plants to be built with the best possible technology to minimize pollution. This is an essential step in protecting our children from catastrophic climate change.

The EPA will only accept public comments on these proposed standards until May 9. It’s up to people like you and me, members of the faith community, to speak out on this incredibly important moral issue.

Opponents like Big Coal will keep trying to weaken or block the EPA’s action in Congress, but a strong showing of support from all of us will help protect it. Please join me in telling the EPA to push ahead with the proposed safeguards for new power plants. 

Can I count on you to take action right now?

Click here to join IPL to urge the EPA to move forward with new power plant safeguards before the comment period closes and we’ll deliver your letter to the EPA.

Thank you!
 Susan Stephenson

Executive Director, IPL

Prayer Vigil at Legislature

On February 18, AZIPL sponsored a Prayer Vigil  as part of Environmental Day at the Arizona Legislature.

Christian, Jewish, Muslim, Native American and Unitarian Universalists gave thanks for the Earth which sustains us day by day and called on our political leaders to protect our children’s future by forging responsible, Earth-friendly legislation that protects Arizona land, water, air and endangered species.

St. Phillips Saves with Solar

Tucson, AZ — St. Philip’s in the Hills Episcopal Church is celebrating the completion of their solar power system. Installed on three covered parking structures, this project was made possible by a generous gift from dedicated parishioner Dr. Donna Cosulich. St. Philip’s dedication to solar power and the environment is not a new commitment. The St. Philip’s Green Team has been investigating and enacting ways for the church to ‘green’ their image since 2005. The Green Team was founded by Dr. Cosulich who passed away this January after seeing solar become a reality for St. Philip’s. The Green Team’s goal is to “explore the wonder of our world, addressing our roles as citizens and people of faith as we wrestle with potential global climate change.” In addition to supporting the new solar system, the Green Team sponsors educational forums on environmental topics, publishes a “green tips” brochure and has many other programs designed to bring attention to ways parishioners can make small changes to ‘green’ their lives.

The financial savings will be immediate for St. Philip’s. The church acquired the project through a lease, leaving them to collect the savings each month. Over the course of 20 years, the church will see over $500,000 in cumulative utility savings. Designed and installed by Technicians for Sustainability, St. Philip’s 160 kW solar electric (photovoltaic) system is estimated to generate 24,000 kWh per month. The system consists of 522 SunPower modules and will provide over 90% of the entire facility’s electricity needs, encouraging the church to take further energy saving measures. The system has the added benefit of offering shaded parking to visitors, improving the quality of the St. Philip’s experience.

St. Philip’s new solar structures will save 24-100 lbs of coal and 12,050 gallons of water from being used to generate electricity each month. Their new source of electricity also prevents 53,670 lbs of carbon dioxide from being emitted into the atmosphere each month.

Saint Francis in the Foothills Powered by the Sun

Saint Francis in the Foothills celebrated spring with the installation of solar panels.  192 of the 252 photovoltaic panelsare now installed on the roofs of the International School for Peace. The remaining 60 create a solar canopy for the entrance of the Center. These latter panels are unique. They are called bifacial, which means that they not only collect energy from above like all other PV panels, they also collect power from the reflected light below, maximizing the energy produced per square foot. They also show how beautiful solar panels can be. They are nice to look at from below and create a comfortable space to escape the heat and glare of the direct sun.

The system is financed by a third party which means that the church had to put zero money down. This third party leases the system to the church for 13 years after which they become the owners. Because the Arizona Corporation Commission currently requires that utility companies subsidize alternative energy, Tucson Electric Power   will pay for half of the cost of the system over a 15 year period. When the lease payment and the TEP’s rebate are put together, the church will save over $200 for electricity on a monthly basis. Environmentally the savings are much greater than $200.

Burning coal for energy uses huge amounts water and emits dangerous pollutants into the atmosphere. Every month that Saint Francis gets its energy from the sun we save 4,605 gallons of water, keep 9,205 pounds of coal from being burned, and don’t emit 20,508 pounds of carbon dioxide, 35 pounds of nitrogen oxide and 58 pounds of sulfur dioxide into the atmosphere.

Flagstaff Federated Solar Story

Going solar was the brainchild of Rachel Davis and Mick Henry, members of the church. They spent over 500 hours over a year and a half getting bids, testing out the idea, crunching numbers and pitching the proposal to the church.

The 132 solar panels were installed in November of 2011, with the money coming from the 250 active members of the church, a $120,000 dollar loan from the Presbyterian Church and a $20,000 rebate from Arizona Public Service.

Within 5 years, 100% of the power the church needs will be generated by the sun. The solar panels will be paid off in 15 years and the church estimates it will save $350,000 over the 40-year lifetime of the panels.

The panels are tied to a tracking system, where the installer will monitor them for defects and track energy generation in real time.

In addition to the solar installation, the church is also changing lighting and adding insulation to increase energy efficiency.

Community Christian’s Solar Story

Community Christian Church, Tempe, has installed 39.4 KW of pv panels, which will provide 85% of their energy needs-leaving room for further energy efficiency efforts.

Two parking structures were erected in the back parking lot to accommodate the solar panels.

Installation of the panels is made possible through a power purchase agreement (PPA). An investor puts up the money to build the parking structures and solar array and receives the tax incentives and the APS utility rebates.

The church enjoys the benefits of 25% lower energy rates and the knowledge that they are supporting renewable energy and drastically reducing their dependence on dirty coal energy. After five years the church has the option of purchasing the panels from the investor.