Faith communities have a pivotal role to play in bringing about the cultural and political transformation that we need to address climate change. How can we build engagement so that we have a powerful interfaith climate justice movement capable of bringing about rapid social transformation through advocating for climate, racial and economic justice?
The purpose of Be the Spark training is to offer a leadership model that can be implemented by Ohio IPL as an organization and can be a key service to members who are seeking to activate their own faith communities.
What is Be the Spark?
Be the Spark is a leadership development workshop curriculum that aims to increase engagement and involvement of people of faith and faith communities around the issue of climate change. Be the Spark was originally conceptualized and implemented in 2013 by Julia Nerbonne and Erin Pratt of the organization Minnesota Interfaith Power & Light (MNIPL). Over the following 5 years, later iterations of Be the Spark have been implemented successfully with over 300 participants, resulting in around 200 people taking on leadership positions related to taking action on climate change within either their own faith community or MNIPL itself.
Change happens through organizing. Simply developing solutions (Energy Efficiency, Carbon Reduction Policies, Solar Energy) does not mean they will be widely adopted. Organizing builds a container of community identity, motivation, relationship and accountability that can lead to the sustained implementation of solutions in widening circles of faith communities.Be the Spark was conceptualized as a means for providing the leadership development training and deeper organizational and relational involvement that organizing requires.
In 2018, Ohio IPL will be implementing workshops and opportunities to be involved in Be the Spark. Our first workshop was held in December, 2017. A March, 2018 workshop is planned and after that Be the Spark will expand throughout Ohio. Watch for details!