Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Good News for St. Stephen's!

GreenFaith Certification Program

Last October, the Episcopal Church and GreenFaith announced a collaboration to enroll Episcopal parishes in the GreenFaith Certification Program. For parishes successfully completing the application process, GreenFaith provides a two-year program to help the parish become greener and become a leader for other Episcopal parishes across the country and other congregations of any faith locally, while the Episcopal Church provides half of the tuition cost for the parish.

At St. Stephen’s, we brought the proposal to the vestry, formed a Green Team, and completed the application process with a February 1 deadline. Yesterday we learned that our application was accepted! We are the first congregation of any denomination or faith tradition in Nebraska to join the Green Certification program.

We are delighted with this opportunity to learn how to be better stewards of the environment (and better stewards of our finances as utility costs go down), deepen our connection to God through remembering God’s creation in our worship and our study, and to learn how to provide religious environmental leadership in our community. The program strengthens intergenerational relationships within the parish, and this was a big part of our decision to apply for the Certification Program. It’s an opportunity to show our children that we do care about the world in which they will live as adults, to learn and work with them to do the best we can to protect their future and the future of our parish, and to say to them through our actions as a parish that God cares about them and about the world.

GreenFaith and the Episcopal Church have announced a new opportunity for other parishes to join the program with a May 1 deadline. For parishes that might be interesting in joining, there is an informational webinar available tomorrow, February 16, at 2:00. Click here to find out more about the webinar; click here to read the October Green Sprouts post New Green Opportunity for Parishes about the program. If you want to talk about how this might work for your parish or how St. Stephen’s handled the application process, please contact me. I would be delighted to have more parishes in our diocese working toward Green Certification!