This past Sunday, we welcomed over 125 participants at our first annual Green Team Summit. We’re celebrating that at least 57 congregations were represented at the event! We were inspired by the Keynote Presentation by Veronica Kyle and the many workshop leaders who covered engaging topics on sustainability. We are grateful to The Temple for hosting us and the Rothschild Social Justice Institute. We are convinced this was the perfect way to launch GIPL’s 15th Anniversary this year! Plans are underway for the 2019 Green Team Summit, and we hope you’ll join us.
Every year, GIPL awards grants to fund energy efficiency projects for faith communities across Georgia. To date, we’ve awarded close to $1 million dollars in matching grants and is having a huge impact on the reduction of energy footprints of sanctuaries, temples, mosques and religious schools statewide. This program intends to give hope to congregations embarking on the sustainability journey and inspire even bolder Creation care action.
This year, 23 grant applications were received totaling over $148,000! The GIPL Grants Committee met last week to review and make final decisions on the awards. Despite the large number of submissions, the committee was able to offer awards totaling $68,000 to 15 congregations and 2 religious schools. Most of the awards were for LED lighting upgrades, while some were for WiFi thermostats, insulation and re-commissioning of existing building automation systems. Continue reading
During this time of growing uncertainty, as climate catastrophe looms, and the inequality and dysfunction of social and political systems are exposed, it is more important than ever to be in a supportive community which inspires creativity, courage, and collective action. Continue reading
The Rev. Dcn. Leann Culbreath presents the grant check to Senior Warden Nikki Yarbrough (left) and Rector Rev. Dave Johnson (center).
Christ Episcopal Church in Valdosta was awarded a GIPL Energy Efficiency Matching Grant to support in-house energy efficiency upgrades. After receiving a GIPL energy audit, the congregation learned that there was significant energy loss in one of the oldest and most used buildings on campus. By adding insulation to the attic, the congregation is expected to save $1,000 per year in energy costs, and the payback time of the project will only be two years. Christ Episcopal was awarded $1,000 to complete the insulation upgrades.
The matching funds for this project were raised from church pledges, and the parish pledge drive dinner served as an opportunity to begin discussing Creation care as a means of expressing love of the Creator. The congregation hopes that this project will provide a concrete way to continue this discussion. In addition to the insulation upgrades, Christ Episcopal minimizes disposable dinnerware products, supports the development of a diocesan ecology center, and has dedicated green space with public access.
Congratulations to Christ Episcopal Church on their commitment to energy efficiency and Creation care! We look forward to seeing this congregation continue to grow in their efforts. The next matching grant application deadline is November 15, 2017. If your congregation has not yet received a GIPL energy audit, visit our website to sign up today!
Athens First United Methodist Church was awarded a GIPL Energy Efficiency Matching Grant to support lighting upgrades in the sanctuary to LED fixtures. They received $3,964 for these upgrades. This project will save approximately $1,000 per year in energy savings, and more when factoring in the savings on light bulb purchases.
After receiving a GIPL energy audit in the summer of 2016, Athens First UMC decided that upgrading their lighting fixtures would allow them to have more money to serve the community and church members. They also applied for a Georgia Power Commercial Energy Efficiency Rebate to help fund the project. The congregation is hopeful that these upgrades will demonstrate the financial and environmental benefits of using less energy.
Congratulations to Athens First UMC on their commitment to energy efficiency! We look forward to seeing how this congregation continues to increase their Creation care and energy efficiency efforts. The next matching grant application is November 15, 2107. If your congregation has not yet received a GIPL energy audit, visit our website to sign up today!
Decatur-area churches are coming together once again to offer this free community concert that celebrates Creation and our shared efforts to care for it. Co-hosted by Holy Trinity Episcopal Parish and its Green Team, this special event to be held on Saturday, September 30, is filled with spoken word and song so as to inspire reflection and action for the sake of the Earth and all inhabitants.
People of all ages from across the community are welcome to this free event to be held in the Nave of Holy Trinity Parish in Decatur. Talented students from Agnes Scott College, as well as folks from Decatur First UMC, First Baptist-Decatur and North Decatur Presbyterian churches, will be sharing their gift of music or spoken word.
Last year’s inaugural concert drew over 150 attendees enjoying over ten performances, including local singer/songwriters and acclaimed church choirs. The sanctuary was filled with the sounds of congregational song as well. This second annual gathering is sure to not disappoint. Come to be inspired and to sing along with new and old friends like!
This summer GIPL launched a new initiative that seeks to best serve African American churches in Georgia. The hope is that GIPL can learn how these particular faith communities can inform and participate in the shared responsibility to steward the earth through their particular cultural and theological perspective. We are excited to announce that Valerie Hill Rawls has joined the GIPL team to coordinate this initiative. Continue reading
St. Mark’s Episcopal Church in LaGrange was awarded a GIPL Energy Efficiency Matching Grant to fund a foam attic insulation project completed in March 2016. From the energy usage data already collected since the installation, the church is projected to have an annual energy savings of $600. St. Mark’s was awarded $2,748 for this energy efficiency project.
St. Mark’s incorporates Creation care into their weekly congregational prayers, and from that commitment, actively engages in other Creation care efforts. They recycle, encourage the use of reusable dinnerware, and open their facilities to environmental groups. The congregation has also committed to sharing cost savings with parishioners, and talking about how energy efficiency can save money and the environment both at home and church.
Congratulations to St. Mark’s Episcopal Church on their insulation project, and we look forward to seeing what further Creation care and energy efficiency efforts come from this congregation! The next matching grant application deadline is November 15, 2017. If your congregation has not yet received a GIPL energy audit, visit our website today to sign up!
First Baptist Church in Blakely, Georgia, was awarded its fourth GIPL Energy Efficiency Matching Grant to upgrade their lighting to LED fixtures. Many energy efficiencies have been incorporated already at this historic church in South Georgia following their GIPL energy audit a few years ago. Now the church is upgrading the old lighting in their kitchen, office and foyer to energy efficient LED fixtures. They received $1,191 in order to implement these lighting upgrades.
First Baptist Church of Blakely has committed to an ongoing LED project to upgrade all of the lighting in the church buildings. Last year, the church converted all of their lighting in the sanctuary to LED fixtures. Their next step is to install LED lights in the education building, and this year to the office, foyer and kitchen. This church has received 3 GIPL grants in the past to help with insulation, LED lighting upgrades, and WiFi thermostats for their buildings. Continue reading
Earlier this year, GIPL received a grant to provide direct support to selected parishes of the Catholic Archdiocese of Atlanta for their Creation care efforts. A pilot project was developed to help nine parishes and three schools increase energy efficiencies and water conservations while helping to reduce their overall environmental impact by 25%.
This project is part of a larger effort by the Archdiocese to respond to Pope Francis’s 2015 Encyclical on the environment, Laudato Si. In 2016, the Archdiocese published its Climate Action Plan as a hopeful response to the Pope’s encyclical. Continue reading