Photo by Julien Riedel on Unsplash.

The mission of Iowa Interfaith Power & Light (Iowa IPL) is to empower people of faith and conscience to take bold and just action on climate change. As an environmental justice organization, we know that we are all interconnected and that our actions make an impact on others and our environment. Our goal is to be interconnected with a healthy, thriving, natural world.

Last week the World Health Organization declared COVID-19 a global pandemic. On Sunday, March 15th Governor Kim Reynolds recommended that all Iowa schools be closed for the next four weeks. The CDC has recommended that for the next eight weeks that there be no gatherings of 50 or more people and we have just recently heard the guidelines may shift to no more than 10 for the next 15 days. As people of faith, many of our communities may have cancelled our weekly gatherings or requested people who are elderly or immuno-compromised to stay home. Some communities went virtual and did services/meetings on Facebook or YouTube.

Social distancing has become a part of our vernacular and an important reality of our lives. As people of faith who value community and interconnectedness, we now need to find a way to bridge the distance with those around us. Check-in virtually with your neighbors, schedule video calls with your friends and family, take a walk outside, share if you have an abundance of something with a neighbor who may not be able to afford stocking up on goods, support small businesses by buying gift cards. During this time, everyone is impacted.

This is also a time to celebrate our public servants. In a democracy, government is one of the most powerful tools to solve challenging, complex problems. We must empower each other with our words and actions to implement the public policies necessary to minimize the impact of the pandemic and to accelerate the eventual recovery from this public health, economic, and social crisis.

For the foreseeable future, our office will be working remotely as we practice social distancing. We know that we are very fortunate to have the technology and resources to work from home that not every has. We will be available by phone, email, and can even schedule face-to-face meetings via Zoom.

Together we can take bold and just action as we work together to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

Matt Russell, Executive Director

Irene DeMaris, Organizer