Overall Top Givers in 2016
One Great Hour of Sharing:
Strengthen the Church:
Neighbors in Need:
The Christmas Fund:
2017 Green Congregation Awards
Level One Awards
United Church of Christ, Congregational, Burlington, MA
UCC Burlington started a Green Team consisting of seven core members, and since forming has held Earth Day Sunday services in 2015 & 2016, including intergenerational participation. They illustrated how much of our regular diet directly relies upon insect pollination according to research by Cornell University and other known agricultural research groups. They bought blue recycle bins to encourage recycling of used programs, bulletins and bottles. They researched “green tips” from over 200 sources and publish them in their newsletter and bulletins. They have had screenings of a documentary about plastic (Bag It: Is Your Life Too Plastic?), and pollination (Wings of Life), and have encouraged gardening groups to use the building to meet and invite the public. They hosted Rev. Jim Antal who gave a sermon and met with congregants about eco stewardship. They had an energy audit, use power strips, installed LED fixtures, and reset their water heater temperature. The Trustees already do annual checking of all lights and filter replacement in the building, and have happily added cleaning the refrigerator coils to that checklist so it will be completed not only this year, but regularly going forward. They are looking forward to having solar panels sometime in the future.
Edwards Church is already a Green Congregation in many ways. They host meetings and events of Transition Framingham for free in their buildings. Transition Town is working to make Framingham more sustainable and resilient through grass-roots organizing. Their “Open Spirit” building also hosts an organization called the One Earth Collaborative, which is “dedicated to transforming our consciousness and our culture by acknowledging and strengthening our spiritual connection to the Universe and all it contains and allowing that connection to move us to action and to meaningful changes in our lives and in our communities.” On the more day-to-day level, they have accomplished the energy-saving goals listed for Level One, and are in the process of forming a Green Team to keep them motivated and on track. They serve Fair Trade products and promote them at their Alternative Gift Fair at Christmas time. They have already taken on many of the tasks at Levels Two and Three, having installed solar panels and a community compost, and are in the process of helping to create both a permaculture “food forest” and a community garden on their grounds. They continue to work with their community to be a beacon of hope and leadership for creation care.
The Federated Church of Orleans's work on becoming a Green Congregation was organized under three themes. The first is raising the congregation’s environmental awareness by a monthly creation theme reading in regular Sunday peace-candle lighting, and implementing care-for-creation focus in a 5-week Lenten series, working with the pastor to regularly include this theme in Sunday liturgy. The second theme is making church practices more environment-friendly: by arranging a comprehensive energy audit by Cape Light Compact and installing solar and LED fixtures/lights resulting in a $5,000 annual energy saving. They planned a Sunday lunch/forum to introduce members to home solar options, and launched a robust recycling system. The third theme is cooperating with environmental organizations: joining the new Cape Cod Climate Change Collaborative, and agreeing to seek other faith communities for membership. They also facilitated members' participation in the April 29 People's Climate events in Washington DC, Boston and Provincetown. Their Care for Creation team now looks forward to helping lead their church toward Level Two of the Green Congregation Challenge.