Eco-Journey is the blog of the Environmental Ministries Office of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.). It will include a wide array of environmental topics: upcoming environmental events, links to interesting articles and studies, information on environmental advocacy, eco-theology topics, and success stories from churches that are going “green.”
Author Rebecca Barnes-Davies is the Associate for Environmental Ministries at the PC(USA). She recently graduated from Louisville Presbyterian Theological Seminary with a M.Div. and Master of Arts in Religion (MAR) dual degree.
Are you interested in what financial resources are available for doing energy efficiency or renewable energy at your church? There are a few options you might be interested to know.
Through the Presbyterian Investment and Loan Program (PILP), an endowment loan is made possible by the generosity of faithful Presbyterians who give a portion of their own resources to support the growth of mission and ministry of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.). If your church is doing other upgrades and can add energy efficiency or solar panels into the project, this kind of fund might be right for you. Currently, the interest rate of an endowment loan is around 3.8%, but fluctuates with the market. Please be sure to check the interest rate before locking in to a particular loan.
Also, there are special incentive loans, available through PILP, like the energy conservation loan. These loans have a 5% interest rate. This specific loan is used to improve the conservation of energy resources such as more energy efficient HVAC systems, water heating, water conservation, lighting and insulation (Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) Investment and Loan Program, Inc.: Building Together through God’s Abundance April 2011).
To figure out which loan is best for you, visit the PILP website to learn more: http://pilp.pcusa.org/loan-options/
In addition to these loans from PILP, don’t forget to check with your local governing bodies as well. Your presbytery or synod may have loans available.
Also, some grants are state-by-state. Check your local resources and if you have a chapter of Interfaith Power and Light, ask for their assistance. They have some great resources and connections to help with projects like this. [http://www.interfaithpowerandlight.org/]
Listed below are other resources to help you find grants:
For national, state, and local programs for green building check out: http://www.epa.gov/greenbuilding/tools/funding.htm
If you are looking to find other resources for finding renewable energy government grants, go to:
http://www.renewableenergygrants.net/Renewable-Energy-Government-Grants.html. This link will provide you other avenues and websites to further your search.
The National Council of Churches of Christ Eco-Justice Program’s link to Green Building resources: http://nccecojustice.org/resources/index.php#greenbuildingresources
If you live in the San Francisco area, this could be a great resource for you: http://www.sff.org/programs/core-program-areas/environment/. They have a few grant opportunities through the Great Communities Collaborative, and the Mohrardt Grant Program-Preserving the Redwoods.
If you would like a pdf copy of the brochure by email, contact us at email@example.com.
First Presbyterian Church: Memorial Trees
First Presbyterian Church’s Saturday Morning Men's Bible Study group has sponsored a program of planting trees as memorials, or to honor an individual, on their church property. They plant the trees in late fall or early winter to improve the survival rates. First Presbyterian Church is using Tennessee native species to improve our survival rates and longevity.
First Presbyterian Church can make available substantial reference materials to help people select species compatible with their soils, sun and moisture conditions. Two members of their group are master gardeners. They have also engaged the services ...
First Presbyterian Church Palo Alto, CA
On Earth Day, First Presbyterian Church celebrated in worship by making prayer flags for one of the low-water gardens on their church campus. The worship service was focused on their role in caring for creation and they used the following Psalm to guide them as they made the flags:
Praise God from the earth,
you great sea creatures and all ocean depths,
lightning and hail, snow and clouds,
stormy winds that do his bidding,
you mountains and all hills,
fruit trees and all cedars,
wild animals and all cattle,
small creatures and flying birds ...
Trinity Presbyterian Church celebrates being an Earth Care Congregation!
As an Earth Care Congregation, Trinity Presbyterian Church of McKinney, TX, proudly celebrates the many great facets of this ministry! Some unique ways Trinity honors God's creation are: offering reusable shopping bags with Trinity Earth Care logos; selling Fair Trade chocolate; providing ceramic mugs and eco-friendly compostable, biodegradable cups for coffee; sending electronic newsletters; increasing paperless Sunday services; using fair trade Eco-Palms on Palm Sunday; taking field trips to places with earth-friendly practices; giving minutes for mission and bulletin inserts with a creation care focus; diverting approx. 7 cubic yards ...
As summer draws near, it is time to prepare for heat awareness. A week ago (May 24, 2013) was NWS NOAA Heat Awareness Day. It is important during these extremely hot days that you take care of your body. Also, know the signs of heat exhaustion and heat stress. Please remember to stay cool, drink plenty of water, and keep up-to-date about heat advisories in your area. Being knowledgeable and aware of extreme heat is very important. Please keep informed and inform others!
To become more prepared visit the CDC’s website for Emergency Preparedness and Response: http://www.bt ...
Warner Memorial Presbyterian Church: Kensington, MD
On February 27, 2013, Warner Memorial held the first of three Wednesday evening Green Film Fest showings.
When no one has signed up to dedicate chancel flowers, Warner Memorial displays green plants instead, and includes "The plants in the chancel today are offered to the glory of God in celebration of our home, Earth."
First Presbyterian Church of Edwardsville, IL: Going Green!
The church has been a supporter of the environment, and has a long program of recycling. All the paper used in their office has a large recycled component. Even though the cost is a little higher, it is important to them to continue with this initiative Recycled content is important. They also have a bin to recycle paper in their parking lot. Over time, they have recycled batteries, eye glasses, CDs, paper and aluminum cans.
There are wonderful things happening in Baltimore Presbytery!
At Maryland Presbyterian Church, the host for our meeting with these great compostable options, they have a native plants garden, worm composting, a demonstration garden for children, and are advocating in their state legislature for wind energy.
At Towson Presbyterian Church, there is ongoing tree planting on hundreds of acres and the church decided to keep its property always sustainable by making a conservation easement. They clean streams, do vegetable gardening, and have reached the top energy efficiency steps possible.
At Woods Presbyterian Church, they have worked on property concerns (which also ...
Riviera Presbyterian Church: Sustainable Landscape Replacement with No Budget
Riviera Presbyterian Church is located near Everglades and Biscayne Bay National Parks in sub-tropical south Florida, a globally unique ecosystem and home to a wealth of rare indigenous species. With 95% of the area's original habitat (outside the Parks) lost to development, and the overwhelming prevalence of exotic species in home landscapes, many of these natives (plants, insects, wildlife) are in danger of local extinction. Looking at its own property, RPC wished to replace its water- and maintenance-intensive exotics with well-adapted native material and be more welcoming to butterflies and ...