Updated Environmental Stewardship paper

April 4, 2007 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: Environment, Religion 

I’ve made a few tweaks to the Environmental Stewardship paper posted previously, at the request of the church’s Green Team.  The new file is attached at the link below.

Download Environmental_Stewardship.pdf (163.7K)

Green Church Options

March 14, 2007 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: Environment, Religion 

The report of the Lawrenceville Presbyterian Church “Green Team” to the Buildings and Grounds committee is complete.

We suggested several possibilities for inclusion in the upcoming Capital Campaign.  I say “suggested” rather than “endorsed” because timing prevented the Green Team from meeting and voting on the options.

The proposals are:

  1. Installation of Solar Panels – likely on the Fellowship Center – this is a big dollar project
  2. Switching from fuel oil to biodiesel for heating the church and manse – we concluded that the distribution network isn’t there today but should be soon.  This would cost more, but be cleaner.
  3. Replacing electrical lighting fixtures and incandescent light bulbs with lower energy alternatives (newer long tube ballasts, compact fluorescent bulbs)
  4. Insulating the roof of the Fellowship Center to increase R-value
  5. Lowering thermostats and placing framed instructions on temporarily turning them up in all locations – our new programmable thermostats automatically go back to the programmed setting after 2 hours.  This would involve setting them lower most of the time and turning them up only when a meeting is held in a particular room.
  6. Installing ceiling fans in the Fellowship Center (essentially a big high-ceiling multi-purpose room with basketball hoops)
  7. Installing storm windows in the Meetinghouse (sanctuary) – our historically accurate building does not have them.
  8. Power Vents for Fellowship Center (to pull hot air out of the room in the summer)
  9. Weatherstripping/caulking all buildings

As you can see, most of the recommendations are non-controversial but cost a fair amount of money when done all at once.

The focus of the Green Team should now shift to preparing advocacy and educational presentations for Earth Day (April 22).  We have the “Adult Forum” slot that day after worship.  The youth are leading worship that day, and we may have the environment be the subject of the “Adult Message” that replaces the “Children’s Message” (where the kids all come down front and get a special lesson) on that day.

Environmental Stewardship – A Biblical Foundation for Green Behavior

March 4, 2007 by · 5 Comments
Filed under: Environment, Religion 

The link below points to a paper entitled “Environmental Stewardship – A Biblical Foundation for Green Behavior”.  I wrote this paper for the Lawrenceville (NJ) Presbyterian Church’s “Green Team” committee.

The gist of the paper is as follows:

  • Humankind is part of Creation.
  • God sees Creation as Very Good.
  • Humankind was given “dominion” over the earth and all living creatures. This dominion includes both the right to control it, and the responsibility to care for it.
  • Christ’s redemption is for “us” – which includes all of Creation.
  • Creation itself will someday be set free from bondage to decay and will obtain the freedom of the glory of the children of God.
  • Creation must be shepherded in such a way as to preserve sustainability.

I can’t take credit for authoring most of the ideas in the paper – with few exceptions they came from the sources listed in the acknowledgments and footnote.  There is a little of me in there, particularly the parts about baptism and rabbits.

Download Environmental Stewardship

The paper has been given to our church Green Team to review, but has not yet been endorsed (mainly because we ran out of time to even start considering it this week).  If there are changes I’ll upload a new copy and post again about it.

The Lawrenceville Presbyterian “Green Team”

January 12, 2007 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: Environment, Religion 

Last night I attended the first meeting of the Lawrenceville Presbyterian Church “Green Team”.  The Green Team is charged with:

  • Reducing the church’s
    environmental footprint
  • Increasing our visibility
  • Educating our community
  • Inspiring our community
  • Connecting with other organizations
  • Advocating for public policy change
  • Connecting our efforts with our faith

The primary focus to start is to come up with and estimate ideas for the church’s upcoming capital campaign.  To that end we are talking about solar panels on the church, insulation, central A/C and/or geothermal energy for the manse (which is currently using window air conditioners), motion detector light switches, bike racks for parishioners, etc.

I went into the meeting thinking that I’d be really useful to the team given my experience with solar panels for home, a hybrid vehicle, and a few other green ideas from home.  It turns out that this church has some seriously committed environmentalists.  One man has a nearly-zero-energy home, others have been advocating in the community.  I felt like a midget among giants.  I hope that I can contribute.