A Time to Build Up: 

the campaign to triple the capacity of PA IPL

“To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven: A time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to pluck up that which is planted;

 A time to kill, and a time to heal; a time to break down, and a time to build up.”
Ecclesiastes 3:1-3

Since 2010, we have coordinated local and state-wide activities with more than 100 congregations and religious leaders all over Pennsylvania.  But our commitments exceed the capacity of our single, part-time staff person.  It is “a time to build up.”  This 18-month campaign will triple our staff and expand our reach, establishing a foundation for PA IPL to become a truly state-wide organization.  

Keep reading, or jump to:

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Together we can build up.

There are many ways to help us grow into what we’re already doing, and expand our capacity beyond that to meet the need for this network of hope and action.

Help build a predictable, stable financial base (that will also help us attract more funding) Our short-term goal is to raise at least $11,000 above our current budget by May 1, 2015. This amount will allow us to hire a new Executive Director and open a second office in either Philadelphia or Harrisburg. Our 18-month goal is to increase our annual budget to $96,700. By basing this increase on three-year commitments, we create a stable financial base for future growth.

We want you to know that our Board has pledged 100% participation, and members are in the process of making their own 3-year pledges now.  You can:

  • Be one of the founding members in our Sustainers Circle, newly created by five members who have each pledged to give $1,000 annually for the next three years.
  • Make a 3-year pledge (email or call us) or a recurring donation via credit card (monthly, quarterly, or annually) of the amount that is right for you.   Predictable donations allow us to plan (and this year a matching grant applies to new and increased automatic recurring donations).
  • 557820_10151473148675105_632205357_nHold a fundraiser or “friend raiser” to introduce PA IPL to allies and friends, and grow our network.  This year a matching grant applies to all house party donations!
  • Invite your congregation to join PA IPL financially.  All financial contributions are important, but congregations that have the capacity should know that new or increased institutional contributions of $250 or more are matched this year!  3-year pledges qualify for our Sustainers Circle, above.
  • Volunteer for an outreach team that will help us reach both financial and engagement goals.  We’ll train you, and pair you up so that you always have a partner for visits.  Teams need record keepers and people to both follow up and inspire, too — there are many ways to help.

Help grow our capacity, and inspire more action.

    • Share news of the work you, your congregation, and your community are already doing with us, and in your local newspaper, and in faith publications.
    • Invite your congregation to join us in action.  Reach out for help brainstorming and planning!
    • Invite neighboring congregations in your community or your denomination to join you for an event.
    • Register and attend our 2016 Annual Conference with a team from your congregation or community.  Save Sunday afternoon, October 25, and plan to join us at the Lutheran Theological Seminary at Philadelphia this year.
    • Join one of the expansion programs below.

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Our campaign has three program goals:

19615_10152613472040105_927689635_nExpand successful community programs and replicate them across the state:

  • Implementing Weatherization First in multiple cities across the state, reaching 100 households/year by 2016
  • Expanding Bright Idea, a program that donates CFL/LED bulbs to low income families, to an additional 10 congregations/year, and create a statewide “Light In The Darkness” program during the autumn time change by 2017 to enable congregations across the state to coordinate their collections
  • Signing up at least 100 congregations and 1000 individuals to Groundswell by 2018, so they will receive 100% of their electricity from clean, renewable sources.

Improve our outreach to congregations and individuals, including:

  • photo credit: Rev. Jesse Brown ImagesByJesseBrown

    photo credit: Rev. Jesse Brown ImagesByJesseBrown

    Supporting the growing presence of PA IPL in Philadelphia, linking their work with urban congregations and energy hub concerns with other places in the state

  • Increasing our outreach efforts to regional denominational and interfaith structures and organizations, reaching at least 12 denominational conferences or interfaith groups with programs and establishing ongoing liaisons with key judicatory bodies across the state by the end of 2016
  • Expanding our direct outreach to congregations, including those not affiliated with any regional or denominational structure, reaching an additional 60 congregations each year
  • preachinbreakfast.philly.2015.2Connecting congregations, clergy, and lay leaders with resources that result in a deeper faith connection to creation care, including liturgical and educational programs that emphasize the social justice aspects of climate change

Increase the visibility and impact of our policy work:

  • Establishing a devoted professional presence in Harrisburg, enabling closer work both with policy offices of faith groups and with the state policy makers
  • Expanding the bike ride to include multiple streams and at least three linked local rides in different parts of the state
  • Loretta and LoraxResponding quickly, efficiently and effectively to opportunities that present themselves, such as rallies in Harrisburg, national marches, EPA hearings, news events such as oil train derailments etc. that fit within our mission and strategic framework.

Taken together, these actions can significantly shift the response to climate change in Pennsylvania and beyond.

We believe the time is ripe for such an expanded agenda. The People’s Climate March excited and motivated tens of thousands of people all across the country.

Our faith-rooted message that climate change is a moral issue is heard at international, national, and state levels, alongside the voices of respected scientists, political leaders, and well-known figures of religious authority, such as Pope Francis. Far more people, from many different faiths and walks of life, now understand that climate change has a moral dimension, but more is need to help translate the good words into sufficient action.

People are ready to turn their understanding of climate change as a moral challenge into action in their homes, their congregations and communities, and their prayer lives. PA IPL is the Pennsylvania network that can catalyze that sprouting concern into action. To make the needed difference, PA IPL needs to establish a presence throughout the state, with involvement from hundreds of congregations and deep, passionate commitments from regional and statewide faith bodies (such as synods, dioceses and other judicatory structures).

Climate change is one of the largest, most difficult challenges ever faced by humanity. The worst scenarios of climate disruption – widespread famines, floods, droughts and fires, destructive storms and mass extinctions – will affect everyone, but will disproportionately impact the poorest and most vulnerable. To have any hope of avoiding the worst, we must all work together to rapidly move away from fossil fuels and toward a just and sustainable future based on clean energy sources.

Together, we can help shape a brighter, more sustainable and just future for Pennsylvania.

The details
Our books are open; if you’d like to learn more before you donate,  just ask for the projected expenses of our current and anticipated operation.

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PA IPL and our accomplishments to date:

PA IPL is the Pennsylvania affiliate of Interfaith Power & Light, a national interfaith movement that now has 40 state and regional chapters.  Together, we implement coordinated national campaigns, such as the Preach-in on Climate Change and the Cool Harvest programs.  We also advocate for ethical policies on a local, state, and national level.

But PA IPL has also developed unique programs for our Commonwealth:

Our monthly newsletter reaches an audience of nearly 1,800 individuals and institutions (recent editions), and we are proud of what we’ve accomplished to date. (PA IPL annualreport2014)  But with your help we can be doing much, much more.

We believe the time is ripe for such an expanded agenda. The People’s Climate March has excited and motivated hundreds of thousands of people all across the country. Our faith-rooted message that climate change is a moral issue is heard repeatedly, amplifying the similar messages from scientists, political leaders, and well-known figures of religious authority, such as Pope Francis.

10675648_10154966831100105_4273146596003231218_nAll of these good words, however, have not yet translated into sufficient action. It would be too easy to stall here instead of building on the existing momentum. To make the needed difference, PA IPL needs to establish a presence throughout the state, with involvement from hundreds of congregations and deep, passionate commitments from regional and statewide faith bodies.

With your help, we can help shape a brighter, more sustainable and just future for Pennsylvania.

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