With a theme of “Responding, in Faith, to Energy Issues and the Peril to the Planet,” Catholic Charities of Tompkins/Tioga held its seventh annual breakfast meeting for area religious leaders May 3. A total of 25 lay leaders and clergy from 14 Catholic, Protestant and Jewish faith communities took part in the gathering at Ithaca’s St. Catherine of Siena Church.
Guest speakers were the Rev. William E. Gibson, director emeritus of the Eco-Justice Project and editor of the recently published book, Eco-Justice — The Unfinished Journey; Janet Allen, president of New York Interfaith Power & Light; and Christian Nielsen-Palacios, an architect with Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design. The event also included a video presentation by the Rev. Sally Bingham, an Episcopalian priest from San Francisco who is founder of the Interfaith Power & Light movement.
Edie Reagan, justice-and-peace coordinator for Catholic Charities of Tompkins/Tioga, said the meeting focused on how faith communities can develop practical ways to preserve natural resources and save money in the process.
“For most faith communities, the cost of paying for heat and electricity is a major portion of their budget. Cutting energy costs frees up more money to be used for the church’s real mission,” Reagan explained. “In addition, using less energy helps to combat global warming and the potentially catastrophic impact of global climate change.” She added that parish leaders can explore these possibilities by visiting New York Interfaith Power & Light at www.nyipl.org.