GREENFAITH  REPORT 2015

Interfaith Partners in Action for the Earth

MISSION STATEMENT

The Episcopal Church of St. Andrew and Holy Communion’s GreenFaith Committee dedicates itself to being stewards of the Earth.  This shall encompass our spirit, body, home, practices and community service.  We pledge to continue to learn how to lead a responsible and sustainable lifestyle to protect and honor our God’s creations.

FOUNDED ON SHARED BELIEFS

GreenFaith is a leading national coalition for the environment.  Founded in 1992, GreenFaith seeks to inspire, educate and mobilize people of diverse spiritual backgrounds to become environmental leaders. 

GreenFaith’s work arises from beliefs shared by the world’s great religions:

(a)   Caring for the earth is a religious value and environmental stewardship is a moral responsibility;

(b)  We grow spiritually through our relationship with the earth;

(c)   Everyone has the right to live in a clean, safe environment; and

(d)  People of faith have a vital role to play in restoring healthy ecosystems around the world.

WHAT IS THE CERTIFICATION PROGRAM?

Designed to help houses of worship from diverse traditions become religious environmental leaders, the GreenFaith Certification Program is the world’s first, comprehensive, interfaith, environmental certification program.  Participating institutions carry out a range of initiatives to integrate environmental themes into their worship, religious education, facility maintenance and social outreach.  We have almost completed the requirements for certification.

ACCOMPLISHMENTS IN 2014

In 2014, our church accomplished:

(a)   Planted a butterfly garden on church property;

(b)  Held a Water Weekend Celebration to encourage the conservation of water on October 19 during which parishioners were encouraged to sign a household water pledge;

(c)   Publicized local Farmer’s Markets and local stores that sell local and organic food and opportunities for  recycling of electronics, ink cartridges and used clothing;

(d)  Advocated for environmental justice by attending the People’s Climate March on September 28; 

(e)   Showed the movie Flow on May 7 and November 2 encouraging conservation of water and urging that all people have access to free clean water whatever their economic circumstances ;

(f)   Encouraged parishioners to write to their Congressional leaders urging them to support Water for the World legislation which was signed into law on December 19;

(g)   Hosted tag sale to provide an opportunity for parishioners and others to purchase used clothing and household items and recycle their own items (unsold clothes were further recycled through the Senior Citizens Group in East Orange and some unsold furniture was recycled through Furniture Assist);

(h)  Recycled Easter flower donations into the church gardens;

(i)    Included environmental themes in worship, music and children’s programs including special celebrations for Earth Day and St. Francis Day (blessing of the animals);

(j)    Converted to green cleaning products that are safe for the environment and less toxic to users;

(k)  Encouraged water conservation by posting signs and encouraging use of the dishwasher; and

(l)     Replaced paper cups with ceramic SAHC mugs!!

FUTURE GOALS

Our future goals are:

(a)   Host a bicycle safety workshop for youth to encourage the safe use of bicycles;

(b)  Host a presentation on environmental issues facing Ethiopia;

(c)   Host a workshop on natural lawn care and the elimination of pesticides;

(d)  Conduct a toxin-free campaign by providing parishioners with an audit  to determine what toxins are in their home;

(e)   Publicize our efforts through local media; and

(f)   Continue to promote healthy eating and recipes and provide eco-tips.

We have created a Green Team with people of our congregation of diverse backgrounds who are dedicated to fulfilling our mission.  We have individuals with religious, scientific, educational, technological, environmental and legal backgrounds as well as representatives from the worship, education and property committees.  Our Green Team includes Judith Edwards, Faith Brown, Patrice Henderson, Kathy Yamaoka, Robert Kresofsky, Neil Williams, Grey Ellis, Richard Charles, Rod Coles, Cathy Mitchell, Aline Beckham, Gerry Campbell, Erik Trojian and Darcy Tierney.  If you would like to participate or have a project for us to undertake, please contact Eva (Earasmussen@cbdm.com) or Joanne (Jadouds@aol.com).

Respectfully submitted,

Eva Kresofsky and Joanne Douds                                                                                

We value and embrace differences; affirm, inspire and nurture faith in God