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You are here: Home » GreenFaith in the Media » Press Clips » Chatham Church Completes 'Green' Certification

Chatham Church Completes 'Green' Certification

Independent Press

Stanley Congregational Church in Chatham graduates the GreenFaith Certification Program and holds a celebration in honor of that achievement.

Chatham Church Completes 'Green' Certification

Members of Stanley Congregational Church, United Church of Christ, have completed all the requirements to become certified by GreenFaith, as a 'Sustainable Sanctuary.' Members of the Stanley Goes Green Committee receiving the certification banner include,

 

CHATHAM — Members of Stanley Congregational Church, United Church of Christ, gathered at a special luncheon on Nov. 20 to celebrate the fact that the church had completed all the requirements to become certified by GreenFaith as a “Sustainable Sanctuary.” The church, at 94 Fairmount Ave., is one of the first houses of worship in the country to achieve this certification.

Stacy Kennealy, director of the Certification Program and Sustainability for GreenFaith attended the luncheon and presented the congregation with a banner which recognizes the church as an environmental leader. She stated, “As one of the first congregations in the country to complete this process, Stanley Congregational Church is a strong example for other houses of worship statewide and nationally.” She noted that the church was the first institution in the certification program to:

host an interfaith (Christian, Muslim, Jewish) dialogue on environmental issues

support the environmental justice efforts of the Ironbound Community Corporation in Newark

provide interesting, clever environmental educational lessons for children and youth

create a rain garden on the church grounds

Senior minister, the Rev. Shawn Garvey noted that the support for this certification process illustrates the recognition by the congregation that we must be stewards of creation. He recognized Nancy Presnell (of Florham Park) for spearheading this effort. Rev. Garvey said, “We thank Nancy for her, energy, time, focus and commitment to this effort. Nancy has lived and breathed this. She is a shining light."

Presnell stated, “I learned of GreenFaith in 2006. The Outreach Dept. invited Director, Rev. Fletcher Harper, to come to Stanley Congregational Church to preach and lead a forum about environmental issues. Some simple eco-friendly actions, films, forums, discussions and informal meetings of interested parishioners followed. In May, 2009 the church board formally recognized the group as the “Stanley Goes Green” committee and gave support to our enrollment in the GreenFaith certification program. During the two-year period we were committed to educating the congregation through sermons, forums and written articles about the theological basis for care of creation, encouraging changes in behavior toward better stewardship over the earth as both individuals and as a congregation and raising awareness of environmental justice issues both local and global. For me, personally, the greatest reward has been the willingness of the congregation to support our programs, to participate in our activities and to commit to changing lifestyles to reflect awareness of the need to care for creation. While this certification marks the end of our two year process it is not the end of our commitment to continue our environmental efforts.”

Also present to offer congratulations to the congregation were Rev. Sherry Taylor, associate conference minister, for the United Church of Christ and Rev. Harry Taylor, former interim minister at Stanley Congregational Church. All present enjoyed a delicious vegetarian lunch prepared by members of the congregation.

Founded in 1992, GreenFaith is an interfaith environmental coalition which inspires, educates and mobilizes people of diverse religious backgrounds as environmental leaders. GreenFaith is widely recognized as a leader in the international religious-environmental movement. Through a range of innovative programs, GreenFaith helps diverse religious institutions put their beliefs into action for the earth. To find out more about GreenFaith, see greenfaith.org.

The public is invited to attend any 10 a.m. Sunday worship service of this ‘open and affirming’ church. The Sanctuary is handicap accessible. For more information visit, stanleychurch.org or call 973-635-7723.

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