A Mass Movement of Faith

by Rev. Alan Jenkins, Oakhurst Presbyterian Church

climate marchOn Sunday, February 17, much to my mother’s chagrin, I played hooky from church. Accomplices included Presbyterians Jon Houghton (Druid Hills PC) and Edward Amos (Central PC). Mom knows I’ve skipped worship in the past, but what was different? Well, I was going to Washington, D.C. for, yet again, another protest march.

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GIPL’s Power Award Winner – St. Gregory the Great

The 2012 GIPL Power Award was given to St Gregory the Great Episcopal Church in Athens, Georgia at this month’s Seventh Annual GIPPYs. 

On behalf of St. Gregory the Great Episcopal-Athens, Church member Andrew Lane (right) receives GIPL’s Power Award from GIPL Board member Mark Douglas.

On behalf of St. Gregory the Great Episcopal-Athens, Church member Andrew Lane (right) receives GIPL’s Power Award from GIPL Board member Mark Douglas.

You may remember this winner from last year, as they received one of our Trailblazer awards for 2011 because of all of the amazing things they did to incorporate new and interesting ways to recycle using Terracycle and other avenues. This year they won the Power Award for their excellence in embracing renewable energy as well as energy efficiency. St. Gregory’s became the fourth church in Georgia to install a Solar Photo Voltaic system to generate electricity for their congregation.

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Peachtree Road United Methodist Church Named Ministry of the Year at the GIPPYs

2010 Ministry of the YearOur final winner at the Fifth Annual GIPPY Awards was Peachtree Road United Methodist Church, who took home the Ministry of the Year Award for overall excellence in promoting Creation Care.

The Ministry of the Year Award is given to the congregation that has shown creativity and determination in embracing caring for creation throughout their community. From energy efficiency, to education and worship, the Ministry of the Year works to incorporate caring for creation into every aspect of congregational life. This year’s Ministry of the Year is Peachtree Road United Methodist Church.

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Catholic Earth Day Committee Wins Trailblazer Award at the GIPPYs

Outdoor Mass celebrated by Fr. Edd Salazar, SJ

Outdoor Mass celebrated by Fr. Edd Salazar, SJ

Don’t miss this year’s Catholic Earth Day Celebration on May 1, 2011!

The Trailblazer Award is given to the ministry that has shown determination and creativity in creating something new and embracing Creation Care in revelatory ways. The Trailblazer Award at the Fifth Annual GIPPYs was given to the Catholic Earth Day Committee, which is sponsored by the Immaculate Heart of Mary Catholic Church in Atlanta, St. Thomas Apostle Catholic Church in Smyrna, and Ignatius House Jesuit Retreat Center in Atlanta, GA.

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First African Baptist Church in Savannah Receives Matching Grant

First African BaptistFirst African Baptist Church in Savannah is the oldest black Baptist church in North America. Founding members began meeting in 1773, and the current building was built in 1859 by slaves in the evenings after their daily work in the fields. It is the oldest brick building owned by African Americans in Georgia and was also one of the stops on the Underground Railroad.

As with any old building, many alterations and additions have been completed over the years with energy efficiency not a priority. After receiving a Power Wise energy audit, the main recommendation was to install attic insulation, which was not present and was having a big impact on energy bills. A matching grant of $1,975 was awarded to the First African Baptist Church. The addition of attic insulation will have an estimated annual energy savings of $1,062.

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Emory Presbyterian Church Wins Light Award at the GIPPYs

2010 Light AwardOur second winner at the Fifth Annual GIPPY Awards is Emory Presbyterian Church in Atlanta, who won the Light Award for excellence in promoting Creation Care in worship and education.

Emory Presbyterian has dedicated significant time and talents to educate their congregation, their community, and themselves on the many ways to care for creation, as well as incorporating caring for creation in worship.Emory Presbyterian is a founding member of the Atlanta Presbytery’s Earth Covenant Ministry, an environmental ministry of the Presbytery of Greater Atlanta, and it was the first congregation in the Presbytery of Greater Atlanta to approve funding for this ministry.

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Berea Mennonite Church Receives Matching Grant

John Weirwille, pastor at Berea Mennonite Church, applied for and received a matching grant of $2,190 to upgrade their attic insulation to a R30 value and to install LED exit signs throughout their buildings.  Energy cost saving following implementation of the approved projects is estimated at $1,000 per year.

Berea Mennonite Church is a congregation of the Mennonite Church USA. Its community was started in Kirkwood in 1952 as the first racially integrated congregation in Georgia. They moved to their current location on six acres of mostly wooded land at 1088 Bouldercrest Road SE, Atlanta in 1974. Continue reading

And The Winners Are…

Thanks to everyone who joined us for the Fifth Annual GIPPY Awards last night. We had a great turnout and enjoyed seeing you all, meeting lots of new people, and hearing about how your congregations have promoted creation care over the past year. We also  hope that you learned something from Cathy Woolard’s experiences as the Executive Vice President for Global Advocacy and External Relations at CARE USA.

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Success Story: St. Luke’s Episcopal Church

Contribution by Alexis Chase – ED and proud member of St. Luke’s Episcopal Church in Atlanta

Sixty-five congregation members came to help dig the Mustard Seed Garden. Food from these plots supplies the kitchen of St. Luke's Crossroads Community Ministries.

Sixty-five congregation members came to help dig the Mustard Seed Garden. Food from these plots supplies the kitchen of St. Luke’s Crossroads Community Ministries.

I am a member of St. Luke’s Episcopal Church in Atlanta. Our most recent newsletter had the following article. Because I am so proud of St. Luke’s and all of the work they have done to embrace energy efficiency, I thought I would borrow this article for you to read:

Meeting the Challenge

Thanks to the vision and generosity of a parishioner, St Luke’s underwent an Energy Audit in 2006. Four years later, the parish has met – and exceeded – the Governor’s Energy Challenge by shrinking its carbon footprint by a third. That translates into a reduction in energy consumption of more than 18 percent. “We were seeking to be good stewards of God’s creation, so St. Luke’s got an early start on our sustainability initiative with an energy audit in 2006,” said longtime parishioner, Cotten Alston, who has led this effort. “In particular, our energy conservation projects include automatic HVAC controls, high-efficiency lighting, and occupancy sensor lighting controls.”

St. Luke’s received a generous Energy Improvement Matching Grant from Georgia Interfaith Power and Light (GIPL) in 2007 toward installation of the centralized energy HVAC management control system.

“These efforts, combined with conscientious management by church staff, are saving us more than $36,000 annually,” reports Cotten. “St. Luke’s is also working to meet the goals of Georgia’s Water Conservation Implementation Plan.” Thanks to GIPL’s new Power Wise program, churches and other faith organizations now have a more affordable path to Energy Audits. Through Power Wise, a church can hire GIPL’s professional energy auditors and pay just $300 for a professional Energy Audit!

See, if St. Luke’s can do it, so can you! What are you waiting for? Call us to sign up for Power Wise!