Faith leaders who support such programs are calling on lawmakers to do more but they’re not waiting. With money from settlements paid by Indiana utilities to the EPA, Hoosier Interfaith Power and Light has taught congregations to conserve energy and given grants to install solar panels on churches.
McKee’s church in Bloomington, for example, dropped its monthly utility bill by about $4,000.
Patricia Tull, who’s retired from teaching the Old Testament at Louisville Presbyterian Seminary, lives in Jeffersonville and is working with her congregation to reduce their dependence on the coal-fired power plants along the Ohio River. “This problem is big enough that there’s room for everybody to play a role,” said Tull, who’s written a Bible study on climate change called “Inhabiting Eden.” “All of our skills are needed to tackle this issue.”In February, Tull helped lead a “preach-in” on climate change that took place in scores of Indiana churches.“Faith leaders are among the very few people who can get on a soapbox and talk to different people from different backgrounds and work to bring them to a collective point of view,” she said. “That what’s they’re called to do.”