Today I am in Washington DC, participating in a conference entitled “Greening America’s Congregations. It is being held at the White House and is jointly hosted by the White House office of Faith Based Programs and the Environmental Protection agency.
During this event, senior administration officials will call on faith-based organizations across the country to save energy and strengthen stewardship of the environment by improving the energy efficiency of their houses of worship with help from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s ENERGY STAR program.
The event will also feature discussions among Administration officials and leaders of the faith community about how congregations across America are already achieving significant carbon emission reductions by incorporating energy efficiency into their broader mission. The first worship facilities that have achieved ENERGY STAR certification will be recognized and special attention will be paid to interfaith, state, and local initiatives, and the role of stewardship in faith traditions.
Jerry Lawson, director of the EPA’s Congregational Division, is a long-time friend and a wealth of knowledge for churches who want to know more about how they can benefit from the services of the Energy Star program. I have known Jerry for many years, and he works tirelessly to get the message of environmental stewardship out to churches. I highly recommend that your leadership team look into what his department has to offer.
I became involved in the “green church” movement in the spring of 2005 when I made a presentation to the Virginia Baptist Church Building Conference. Later that year, I expanded the presentation at the first WFX Conference and Expo. Since that time, I have been privileged to speak over a dozen times in national platforms, write several articles on the topic, and provide consultation to several churches who were interested in “going green.”
Even though my current role at Auxano is not directly related to the green church, I maintain a high level of interest in it.
I will do a follow-up report at the end of the event – in the meantime, look for some reposts of previous “green church” writings I have done.