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You are here: Home » GreenFaith in the Media » Press Releases » GreenFaith and the Episcopal Church Announce Environmental Collaboration

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

GreenFaith and the Episcopal Church Announce Environmental Collaboration

Episcopal Churches to Enter GreenFaith Certification Program

The national Episcopal Church and GreenFaith are partnering to welcome Episcopal churches into the GreenFaith Certification Program. Tuition assistance will be provided for up to 30 congregations representing geographic, ethnic and financial diversity.

Oct 05, 2010

 

GreenFaith Media Contacts: 

Stacey Kennealy or Rev. Fletcher Harper
skennealy@greenfaith.org | 484-886-8468
revfharper@greenfaith.org | 201-390-0094

Episcopal Church Media Contacts:
Michael Schut or Chris Johnson
mschut@episcopalchurch.org | 646-945-8169
cjohnson@episcopalchurch.org | 212-716-6052

NEW YORK, NY — On October 5th, the Episcopal Church and GreenFaith announced a collaboration to enroll Episcopal churches in the GreenFaith Certification Program.  This unique program helps houses of worship become environmental leaders, reduce their operating expenses, and attract new members.  To launch the collaboration, the Economic and Environmental Affairs Office and GreenFaith are underwriting 50% of the tuition of 30 churches nationwide during the first year of the collaboration, with these churches chosen from among a larger number of churches which enroll in the Program.

The GreenFaith-Episcopal Church collaboration is the first of its kind for a Christian denomination.  “I'm very excited about this,” said Mike Schut, Economic and Environmental Affairs Officer of the Episcopal Church.  “The program is holistic and GreenFaith supports participating congregations very well. Parishes will green their buildings and grounds, develop relationships with environmental justice advocacy organizations and interfaith partners, and integrate creation care into education and worship. Congregations will learn from others’ experiences. The program is an avenue for deep congregational revitalization.”  Upon completing the Program, the churches will be certified as GreenFaith Sanctuaries and will contribute to strengthening the Episcopal Church’s environmental ministry.

GreenFaith will offer free webinars so that interested church leaders can learn more about this opportunity.  The hour-long webinars will be on:

•    Monday, Oct. 18, 7:00 pm and 9:00 pm ET
•    Thursday, Oct. 21, 12:00 noon and 3:00 pm ET

Recordings of the webinars will be available on-line.  To register for a webinar, contact Stacey Kennealy, Director of the Certification Program, at skennealy@greenfaith.org.

“The Episcopal Church has a longstanding commitment to the environment,” said the Rev. Fletcher Harper, GreenFaith’s Executive Director.  “GreenFaith is thrilled about this collaboration.”  GreenFaith is also working with the Union for Reform Judaism and the Masorti/Conservative Movement, enrolling a number of their synagogues in the Certification Program.  

The Economic and Environmental Affairs Office and GreenFaith look forward to welcoming churches into the Program in December and February as part of the Episcopal Church’s first Certification cohort.  New cohorts will be accepted in subsequent years.  To mark the significance of this collaboration, the Economic and Environmental Affairs Office and GreenFaith are underwriting 50% of the tuition of 30 churches selected from a national pool of applicants, enabling selected churches to enroll for a total discounted cost of $250-$750, depending on church budget size.  Beginning immediately, churches may apply by visiting http://greenfaith.org/programs/certification/the-greenfaith-certification-program.   Application deadlines for the tuition subsidies for the program are on December 1, 2010 and February 1, 2011.  

GreenFaith provides extensive programmatic support to participating churches.  Six webinars equip church leaders to complete the Program successfully.  An online center with over 200 resources helps congregations meet the Program’s requirements.  GreenFaith’s staff is available via phone and email to provide support.  A network of congregations nationwide shares best practices and success stories on-line.

When churches begin the program, they audit their facilities and programs and create an action plan.  They ‘green’ their facilities, saving energy and water, using non-toxic cleaning and maintenance practices, increasing recycling, and eating healthy food.  They offer environmentally-themed worship services and education for children, teens and adults.  They advocate for a healthier environment for poor communities.  They conduct interfaith programming, and share their progress with the media.  

“The Certification Program is a great approach to making a church a ‘green’ leader,” said Stacey Kennealy, Certification Program Director.  The 30 churches will serve as eco-mentors to other Episcopal churches nationwide and will share their experiences at regional and national events.


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The Economic and Environmental Affairs Office of the Episcopal Church seeks to embody the Episcopal Church’s call to educate, act and advocate for environmental justice and care for all God’s creation.   

Founded in 1992, GreenFaith inspires, educates and mobilizes people of diverse religious backgrounds for environmental leadership.  

Visit www.episcopalchurch.org/environment and www.greenfaith.org for more information.

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