The 2014 recipients of the Steward of Creation Award were Unity of Tustin and Brea Congregational United Church of Christ.
Unity of Tustin submitted a video (below) created by Ethan Higgins and Cyrus Shadaram.
The following is the written submission by Brea Congregational United Church of Christ, along with a Powerpoint presentation that will be posted soon.
Pastoral Commitment to Cultivate Awareness of Global Climate Change and to Engage in Effective Actions
For the past 10 years our Pastoral Team has been cultivating the understanding of our moral obligation to care for creation. During the month of November we dedicate all sermons to the topic of creation care. In addition we have invited prominent theologians to preach, such as Dr. John Cobb, Dr. Jay McDaniels & Dr. Marjorie Suchocki. We have been cultivating our 'economy of trust' and intentionally developing the type of determination and resilience we believe is required to respond to the escalating climate disruptions we are witnessing.
Greening Education for our Congregation and our Community
Offered classes on:
- Energy efficiency & home improvement options. (Many of our members have installed solar systems)
- Reducing meat consumption
- Living lightly on the planet
- Recycling & up-cycling
- Trash to treasure projects
- The importance of organics
- Ongoing education & awareness on green issues on our Facebook page
- 2006 Removed 80% of our grass, planted native and draught tolerant trees and plants
- 2007 Installed drip irrigation system.
- Eliminated use of plastic ware, paper plates and styrofoam cups at church functions
- Our kitchen operates with a small amount of waste going to the landfill. Food scrapes are taken home to our chickens and/or put into compost bin.
- Installed new roof on Fellowship Hall with white reflective coating which reduces amount of heat our roof generates into the atmosphere and makes the building easier to cool in the summer.
- Removed 12 energy guzzling and inefficient ceiling fans.
- Made a significant investment to insulate our 100 year old Fellowship Hall on all three sides (attic, walls, & subfloor) prior to installation of new HVAC system
- Installed highly efficient HVAC system
- Removed florescent lighting and installed energy efficient LED lighting in our Fellowship Hall
- Removed carpeting and installed of commercial flooring that is partially made from recycled products. It was able to be laid without any toxic adhesives, has no off-gasing, and is cared for without the use of toxic chemicals which provides for a superior environment for our church members and especially our children. The manufacturer will recycle the product at the end of it's life.
- Participated in the UCC's 4 1 Earth campaign which included earth care, letter writing, and environmental awareness campaign
- Launched a Social Action Leadership Team (SALT) that engages in justice issues, including environmental justice. Currently engaged in a campaign to educate local citizens on the fracking happening in our community
- Showed Bill McKibbon's Film, Do the Math, which activated our congregation to take even more effective personal and collective actions
- Launched a Citizens Climate Lobby group which advocates for a carbon tax and dividend legislation
Our last two initiatives will hope will take place in the next 12-24 months
- Installation of double paned windows
- Installation of solar system
Small congregation doing significant things
On a personal note I would like to add that I think it is important to know that we are a relatively small church (125 members) with an extremely limited budget. We have been able to accomplish these things as a result of tremendous hours of volunteer labor and a greening fundraising campaign that raised over $130,000 from our church members.
Rabbi Dennis Linson of Temple Judea submitted the following information about what his congregation has done to green their campus.
- Increased use of CFL and LED light bulbs throughout our facility thereby reducing kilowatt hours of electricity used
- Participate in SoCal Edison Summer Cycling Program to curtail HVAC use during high demand event periods of time thereby protecting the grid
- Participate in State of CA and City of Laguna Woods waste paper/cardboard recycling program targeting reduction of 25% in landfill waste
- Using ECOBLUE organic bio-film reducing men's restroom urinal water usage by 99% and eliminating use of harsh non-biodegradable chemicals from the environment
- Installation and use of timers and programmable thermostats for reduction in HVAC usage when room space not-in-use.
- Use of CFL and LED light bulbs
- Timers and programmable thermostats to reduce HVAC usage,
- Participate in SoCal Edison Summer Cycling Program
As the result of energy upgrade, we reduced kilowatt hours and improved stewardship of organization financial resources through lower energy costs.