Students studying outside the library

S.C. faith groups form energy conservation coalition

Interfaith Power & Light chapter launches Monday

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SPARTANBURG, S.C. – Faith groups around the state concerned with energy conservation and education have formed the South Carolina Interfaith Power & Light chapter, which will launch officially on Monday, Jan. 23, as part of a public seminar to be held in Columbia, S.C.

The Interfaith Power & Light effort began in 1998 as a unique coalition of churches aggregated to purchase renewable energy. In 2000, this effort broadened its focus, brought in other faith partners, and currently there are 38 state IPL affiliates, representing more than 10,000 congregations. 

“Virtually every faith group has deeply held views about the importance of caring for creation,” says Dr. Ron Robinson, Perkins-Prothro Chaplain and professor of religion at Wofford, who founded the S.C. chapter and leads a steering committee of representatives of more than 10 faith groups throughout the state. The group is made up of clergy, scientists and lay people. 

“South Carolinians want a sustainable energy future, and faith communities are important places to promote energy conservation and education,” Robinson says. “Working together, we can make a positive impact on the future of our state and the planet.” 

SCIPL will launch Monday with a public seminar and discussion from 6 to 7:30 p.m. at 701 Whaley St. in Columbia. The program, “Awakening to Eco-Spirituality,” will feature Sister Paula Gonzalez, Ph.D., the well-known biologist and remarkable “Solar Nun” of the Sisters of Charity Cincinnati, Ohio. Sister Paula has lead more than 1,800 workshops or retreats on various aspects of the global future and is the recipient of multiple Creation Care awards. She is the founder of the Ohio chapter of Interfaith Power & Light.

Sister Paula also will lead a workshop titled “How to Energize for Eco-Spirituality” at Shandon United Methodist Church, 3407 Devine St. in Columbia on Tuesday, Jan. 24, from 8:30 a.m. until 2:30 p.m. Registration is required for the workshop.

South Carolina Interfaith Power & Light offers programs and resources for action, advocacy, energy conservation, education, networking and worship. SCIPL is housed in the Center for Global and Community Engagement of Wofford College, a United Methodist affiliated institution.