Beyond the Steeple: New Life in Texas is a video on New Life Lutheran Church in Dripping Springs, Texas. Every Sunday, rain or shine, they hold their worship outdoors under the live oaks on their property. The short video shows an average Sunday at the church and also talks to members about their experience attending a church with no building. Pastor Kara Stewart stated, “I love that in order to come to worship I need to know what’s going on in the world, like the actual creation world not just world events; that we pay attention to what the land will be experiencing when we’re here.” To watch the video on New Life Lutheran Church, click here.
The GreenSpot School designation indicates that a school has taken initiatives to educate their students and staff about sustainability, water issues, conserving energy, reducing waste, and green transportation. St. Mary School Catholic school has become the first in Columbus to earn this designation. They have implemented a recycling program, local garden, and composting, which qualified them to become a GreenSpot School. They have created a short video of students discussing their engagement and staff discussing the impact of becoming a GreenSpot School. To watch the video, click here.
How Bad is Air Conditioning is an article from Evangelical Environmental Network MOMS about the harmful impacts of air conditioning and a Christian’s responsibilities to the earth. Air conditioning accounts for 6% of America’s residential energy usage and releases about 100 million tons of carbon dioxide each year. The article offers some simple and some challenging ways to reduce the temperature without using air conditioning. To read more, click here.
GreenFaith has created a list of known religious efforts to divest from fossil fuels. The list includes religious groups that have: divested their own funds, committed to never investing in fossil fuels, passed or considered national or local resolutions, focused on reinvestment, or taken divestment or reinvestment on pension funds. There is a key that provides further detail on the action of each religious group. To read more, click here.
The Church of England will divest its $16 billion fund from companies that are not aligning themselves with the goals of the Paris Agreement. The decision, which passed by a majority of 347 to 4 votes, states that the church will sell stakes in companies not taking steps towards climate goals by 2023. On its website, the Church of England said, “We believe that responding to climate change is an essential part of our responsibility to safeguard God’s creation. Our environmental campaign exists to enable the whole church to address—in faith, practice and mission—the issue of climate change.” To read more, click here.
Catholic parishes around New York are powering their churches, schools, and other diocesan facilities with non-fossil fuel energy. A new, three-year energy contract is bringing 100% green power to the twelve-county Diocese of Rochester, which is home to 350,000 Catholics. The new contract with New Wave Energy of Buffalo, NY, is not only answering Pope Francis’ call to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, but also bringing the parishes a significant reduction in energy costs compared to the previous energy contract. To read more on this success story, click here.
Green Houses of Worship is an environmental stewardship program sponsored by the Interreligious Eco-Justice Network in Connecticut. The program grants certificates of achievements for implementing eco-friendly measures in congregations. There are three levels, each with a checklist of 16 items. In order to complete a level, a congregation must complete at least 12 of the 16 items on the list. To view the checklists for each level, click here. To read more about Green Houses of Worship, click here.
Ascension & Holy Trinity in Wyoming, Ohio has reduced their carbon footprint by changing their lights to LED fixtures that use 1/3 of the electricity and their new boilers move their heating from 60% to 98% efficiency. To read the entire article, click here.
The West Shore Unitarian Universalist Church in Rocky River, Ohio, finalized a four year project of installing solar panels on their roof. There are 198 panels that are expected to produce about 20% of the church’s electricity needs. To read the entire article, click here.
New Community Project’s Sustainable Living Centers are located in Harrisonburg, Virginia, and Starksboro, Vermont. They are meant to put the groups principles into practice by teaching energy efficiency, eco-building principles, and sustainable transportation to visitors and workers. They also use these buildings to work on their Undoing Global Warming Campaign. To read more on the work that is done at these living centers, click here.