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You are here: Home » GreenFaith in the Media » Press Clips » Grace Morganton Receives Green Certification

Grace Morganton Receives Green Certification

The Episcopal Diocese of Western North Carolina

Grace Episcopal Church in Morganton, NC graduates from the GreenFaith Certification Program

Grace Morganton Receives Green Certification

The banner Grace Episcopal Church received for graduating the GreenFaith Certification Program

 

Grace’s Green Team recently received the certification from GreenFaith, a national non-denominational organization, based in Highland Park, N.J., that inspires, educates and mobilizes people of all faiths for environmental leadership. Grace is the first congregation of any denomination in the state of North Carolina and one of only 11 houses of worship around the county to be certified.

"Grace Church, admirably, has completed a challenging series of steps to care for creation. It's hard to overstate the importance of this commitment. At a time when the scientific community speaks consistently about the threats facing the environment, we need leadership from faith communities.  Protecting the environment is a moral issue, and Grace Church has taken that to heart,” said the Rev. Fletcher Harper, GreenFaith executive director.

"We also believe that committing to the care of the environment is a way that faith communities can demonstrate that they're engaged with the most important issues of our time, that they are a community whose beliefs make a difference in the real world,” Harper added.communities. Protecting the environment is a moral issue, and Grace Church has taken that to heart,” said the Rev. Fletcher Harper, GreenFaith executive director.

A special service of “graduation” and recognition will be held October 20 when a banner from GreenFaith will be presented to the church and to the Green Team members.

"The Certification Program is not just about environmental steps, it's about an environmental transformation. Grace Church has 'greened' their community from top to bottom, and in the process, has experienced the growth and energy that comes from embracing one of the most important issues of our time. The program is not for the faint of heart, and Grace Church has excelled in it," said Stacey Kennealy, GreenFaith’s Certification Program and Sustainability director.

"From advocating for farmworkers' rights and protection of the Catawba River, to offering eco-themed worship services and 'greening' the building indoors and out, Grace Church lifts up a compelling and inspiring example of the environmental leadership that is possible at houses of worship,” Keanneally said. “Theirs is a story of hope — if other institutions follow their lead, we can absolutely change the course we're on, and preserve this beautiful planet for generations to come."

The Green Team, which began about five years ago as the Environmental Concerns Committee, has hosted a number of workshops, films, and community conversations on a variety of issues related to taking good care of the environment. In addition, the team also wrote the church’s food policy, encouraged vestry approval of a policy of purchasing only Energy Star-rated appliances, installed a bicycle rack, and led the church’s overall recycling efforts.

The team has brought in speakers and programs that introduce environmental justice issues to the community and continues to champion clean air, clean water and sustainable agriculture.

The certification process has involved a variety of efforts in the arenas of spirituality and worship, environmental justice and practical applications for sustaining the environment.

“Everyone at Grace Church can take pride in this achievement,” said Gene and Sherry Willard, co-chairs of the Green Team. “This congregation has been, and continues to be, encouraging and supportive.

“We’d like to thank Mary Jo Johnson and John Phelps, especially, for co-chairing the Certification Process. Their leadership, attention to detail and advocacy really propelled our Green Team efforts forward,” they said.

Members of the Green Team are Pat Phelps, John Phelps, Mary Jo Johnson, Bruce Randall, Dale Call, Harper Thayer, Judith Teele, Gail Galetta, Mike Jenkins, Sherry Willard and Gene Willard.

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