IEN Gears Up!

Monday, August 19, 2013

Hello Everyone -- and happy end of Summer! 

Just wanted to officially announce our Fall 2013 - Spring 2014 plans. Since forming in 2008, the Interfaith Environmental Network of Austin (IEN) has seen some meaningful changes take place here in Austin. For example, in 2012:  

    Changing Climate Change. The partnership between our Energy Action Team and ClimateBuddies.org led to the authoring of a 50+ page climate action manual for Central Texas houses of worship and the reduction of over 1,000,000 lbs of CO2!

    Providing Educational Forums. Our monthly symposia helped: bring Austin Energy into better relationship with the values of its religious customers, raise awareness on organic gardening, explore the works of outstanding theologians such as Thomas Berry, teach energy efficiency skills and concepts, explore Zen, Islamic, Protestant, Catholic, and Jewish perspectives on creation care, and much much more. 

In 2013 we are already: 

  • Recognizing Religious Green Teams. This winter we started a "Congregational Green Teams" list, quickly adding 15 area congregations representing: Baptist, Episcopal, Jewish, Lutheran, Methodist, Presbyterian, Unitarian, United Church of Christ, and Zen faiths / practices... The list is growing! See the list here.   
  • Creating New Programs. Our trail-blazing Energy Action Team (EAT) is getting its "Green Shepherd" program going. This program endeavors to help congregants eliminate CO2 pollution, quickly. Contact <ien.energyteam "at" gmail> for more about our Green Shepherds program.  
  • Promoting Diverse Partnerships. When it comes to "going green," we endeavor to help houses of worship make positive changes in the areas that serve their congregation best. For climate concerned congregations we recommend our "Green Shepherds" program (as mentioned above). For those focused on general green improvements, we promote participating in the City's "Austin Green Business Leaders" program. In both cases, we'll connect you to the City of Austin's myriad water, electricity, waste, landscaping, and etc. rebates so you can take advantage cost effectiveness! 

This year we're looking forward to our series of symposia, which launches in September. These "all are welcome" educational forums take place on the first Tuesday of every month, excepting December, July and August. Here is the overview for our 2013-2014 series: 

Prof. Laurence Meissner

  • Tues., Sep 3 - Reading God's Book of Nature -- (in 2 weeks!)
 with Professor Laurence Meissner, Ph.D.  
  • Tues., Oct 1 - Leading a Congregational Greening Effort
  • Tues., Nov 5 - Energy, pt 1. Conservation & Production: Buildings & Grounds
  • Tues., Jan 7 - Green Shepherds Program Launch/Celebration
  • Tues., Feb 4 - Energy, pt. 2 Conservation & Production: Home & Work
  • Tues., Mar 4 - Transportation: Greenest Products & Practices
  • Tues., Apr 1 - Water Conservation & Collection
  • Tues., May 6 - Food & Other: Selection, Purchasing, Use & Reuse
  • Tues., Jun 3 - Connecting to the Cosmos

To sign up for our events announcements e-list, send a note to: <ien.outreach "at" gmail>. To follow the latest news in religious environmentalism, both locally and abroad -- visit our Facebook, LinkedIn, or Twitter accounts. 

Please check out our website, InterfaithEnvironment.org for even more -- we hope to see you soon!

- Chris Searles

Outreach Coordinator

Interfaith Environmental Network of Austin

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