About Nebraska Interfaith Power and Light
Our mission is to facilitate the faith community’s response to our changing climate through community programs, education, and advocacy.
Nebraska Interfaith Power & Light is one of 40 state affiliates of the national Interfaith Power & Light coalition. The first state organization was formed in 2000 by Rev. Sally Bingham, an Episcopal priest. Nebraska IPL was formed in 2009 by an interfaith group of leaders. We are a non-partisan and non-sectarian organization. We are not funded by any one religious organization, but do our own grass-roots fundraising. Our goal is to encourage dialogue across the usual political and religious divides, so that we can make real progress in addressing climate change for the people of Nebraska.
The faith communities represented by Nebraska IPL include Lutherans, Presbyterians, Episcopalians, United Methodists, Roman Catholics, United Church of Christ, Buddhists, Seventh-Day-Adventists, Disciples of Christ, Reformed Jews, Quakers, Unitarians, Evangelicals, members of independent churches and the spiritual-but-not-religious. We are currently seeking to build relationships with the Muslim and Hindu communities.
- Hosted our second annual conference, “God, Creation & Climate Change,” March 21, 2015 at Mammel Hall in Omaha. We welcomed 96 attendees to hear keynote speaker Dr. Richard Miller speak about “Waking the Sleeping Giant: the Role of Faith Communities in the Race to Preserve a Habitable Planet.” Seven break-out sessions covered topics from the recent University of Nebraska climate impact report to divestment to renewable energy initiatives.
- Lobbied. Met with four out of our five Congressional offices on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C. on May 6, 2015 to ask for their moral leadership on climate change.
- Published an op-ed in the Lincoln Journal-Star, “Climate Change has Arrived in Nebraska,” which was widely shared.
- Visits to Congregations. We visit congregations regularly to preach, lecture and present on the connection between faith and climate change.
- TED Talk. NeIPL Director Kim Morrow gave a TED talk at the TEDx Lincoln Women event, entitled “Searching for Hope in the Climate Crisis,” on May 28th at the University of Nebraska.
- Visits to Congregations. We preached, presented, led discussions and worked on green building in about a dozen churches. We met with faith leaders, introduced them to our work, and grew our outreach.
- First Annual Conference. Our first annual conference, “Creation Care for Congregations,” was held April 26th, 2014 at Nebraska Wesleyan University and co-hosted with the Nebraska Energy Office. It featured nationally known eco-theologian Rabbi Lawrence Troster and brought 60 people together for conversation on faith and climate.
- Lobbied Elected Representatives. Traveled to Washington, D.C. and lobbied our Congressional delegation on Capitol Hill. Met with Rep. Jeff Fortenberry in his Lincoln office as well to discuss his plans for addressing climate change.
OPPD Clean Energy Plan. We brought faith voices to the monthly board meetings of the Omaha Public Power District and helped to influence their decision to adopt a new long-range plan that closes one of the dirtiest coal plants in the country and cut C02 emissions by 49%.
- LES Renewable Energy Achievement. Our work influenced board members and staff in adopting one of the nation’s most progressive renewable energy portfolios: 48% renewable energy by 2016.
- Climate Ride Across Nebraska. We hosted a celebratory ride and presentation for Lauren Van Ham, who rode her bike solo across the state to raise awareness about climate change.
- Great March for Climate Rally. Kim spoke at this rally for 150 people at the Capitol for a group marching coast-to-coast to raise awareness about climate change.
- Interview on KZUM. Kim was interviewed on KZUM radio about climate ministry and the work of NeIPL.
- House Parties. Our board members hosted four house parties in their homes to invite donations to NeIPL, raising close to $4,000.
- Madison’s Internship. Madison Hergenrader, a senior Environmental Studies major at UNL, began a year-long paid internship with us in August.
- People’s Climate March. We traveled via the People’s Climate Train to the largest climate march in history in New York City, joining other IPL chapters from around the country to demonstrate for climate action.
- Little Apple March for the Climate. We organized a concurrent march in Lincoln with our partner environmental organizations which featured local leaders in our community and a turnout of over 100 people.
- Electricity, Environmental Stewardship & You. Board member Dr. Jerry Varner, Associate Professor of Electrical Enginnering at UNL, spearheaded this 4-part series of workshops that explored electricity, solar electricity, energy efficiency for homes, and electric vehicles. It was attended by about 60 people and was very highly received.
- Tour of Doniphan Station. On October 17th we took a group of 7 individuals to Doniphan, NE for a tour of the Nebraska Public Power District Electricity Management Station. It was an education in electricity generation and transmission for our members, enabling them to be better advocates for renewable energy.
- The Green Boat Discussion Guide. Board member Gaye Mason developed a congregational study guide based on Nebra ska bestselling author Mary Pipher’s latest book, which charts a course from despair to hope in dealing with climate change. This is ready to be sold to congregations as a packaged, 4-week program.
- Articles & essays. Kim published an op-ed and letter to the editor in the Lincoln Journal Star, and an essay in Prairie Fire.
- Organizational Capacity. Developed a mailing list of 500 individuals; raised funds; increased the board to 12 members and advisory board members to 6.
- Lincoln and Omaha Earth Days. NeIPL hosted a table at both the Lincoln and Omaha Earth Days.