St. Casimir Church implements green infrastructure practices

St.Casimir_July2016St. Casimir Church, in the Cleveland Catholic Diocese, received a Green Infrastructure Grant by the Northeast Ohio Real Sewer District to implement green infrastructure practices on its property.

The grant will fund a variety of stormwater management practices installed at the church over the next several months. Those practices will include permeable pavers in the parking lot that will allow water from storm events to soak into the sandy ground at the church instead of flowing into the storm drains and bio retention areas behind the church and convent to allow the roof water to collect into basins and drain into the sandy soil instead of running off to the nearest sewer. Continue reading

Care for Creation: Get Involved

catholicConference_resizedIn anticipation of the release of Pope Francis’ encyclical regarding the environment, we’d like to spotlight some of the Catholic Care for Creation initiatives in Ohio.

Catholic teachings have always stressed the importance of care for the environment. The Catholic Conference of Ohio, which represents each Catholic diocese in the state, has an environmental stewardship campaign, Environmental Justice Program, and an environmental issues awareness website, Care for Creation. The programs aim to reflect the religious, stewardship, and moral values that are central to Catholic teachings and faith. All of the programs work to encourage involvement and issue awareness. Continue reading

First Unitarian is a solar Cool Congregation

UUofClevelandFirst Unitarian Church of Cleveland has been recognized as a Certified Cool Congregation by national Interfaith Power and Light. Driven by a common mandate to be good stewards of Creation, the first 20 Certified Cool Congregations averaged 42% greenhouse gas reductions, showing that where there’s a will, there’s a way. In announcing the first twenty congregations to receive this recognition, The Rev. Canon Sally G. Bingham, says, “These congregations are leading the way. They are putting their faith into action and bringing moral responsibility to the forefront of the movement to protect the climate.” Continue reading

First Presbyterian Church of Athens wins EPA Recognition

AthensFirstPresbyterianChurch-OhioFirst Presbyterian Church of Athens crossed the finish line in EPA’s 2013 ENERGY STAR National Building Competition: Battle of the Buildings. In its fourth year, the competition featured buildings from across the country racing to improve energy efficiency, lower utility costs, and protect health and the environment. Together, competitors cut their energy costs by more than $20 million. Continue reading

Green Sanctuary

Orie Loucks, founder of the Green Sanctuary at HUU

Members of The Hopedale Unitarian Universalist (HUU) congregation are not only devoted to providing welcoming religious and spiritual inspiration to all people, but also dedicate time to steward and take care of the environment. The congregation is the first Unitarian-Universalist congregation in Ohio to receive the denomination’s official recognition as a Green Sanctuary. The Green Sanctuary Program accredits UU congregations committed to environmental stewardship and creating a sustainable lifestyle for members of the specific faith community. This Green Sanctuary creates a harmonious bond between religion and the environment that cares for the Earth. Continue reading

Goodness Grows

CommonGround_July2013Common Ground Church Community is an Earth Care Congregation that was started by Steve Fortenberry. At first, it was a small home study group that was outreach oriented. During their house church stage there were approximately 10 people, but as the church grew Steve recognized the need for a new church development to fill the need for corporate worship, as well as the programming it could provide. In the fall of 2004, members were interested in purchasing property to build the Common Ground church. In 2005, Common Ground received their church charter and in 2006 purchased land in North Lima to make a place of their own. The faith community built their church on a 30-acre lot that was previously a garden center. They chose the site because they believed they could steward the site and create a blessing to the community. From this site Goodness Grows was formed, which, indeed, became an inspiration and a true blessing to the community. Continue reading

Environmental Values

ForestHills_May2013Since the late 1970’s, Forest Hill Presbyterian Church in Cleveland Heights has been working on energy conservation and environmental awareness. Starting out with a focus on energy efficiency in their building, the church has also developed environmental values. Forest Hill Church’s mission statement for Earth care is “Care of the Earth… is achieved through encouragement and education, enabling change within our individual lifestyle, church and greater community.” They focus on encouraging the individual all the way to working with the community as a whole.

Longtime member, David Hunter, has been improving the building’s energy efficiency for many years. He has been a pillar in the church’s efforts to conserve energy for the past 30-40 years, with a significant focus the past 10-12 years. Continue reading

Sacred Earth

firstCongUCC_Columbus_3Environmental stewardship at The First Congregational Church, United Church of Christ, located in Columbus, first got started when global warming was just beginning to be taken seriously. “On April 17, 2007, at the monthly meeting of the Missions Commission, a sub-committee of eight members was formed to engage the congregation in environmental stewardship of the earth,” says Dawn George, the lead committee member. The committee decided to name itself Sacred Earth. The first project of the committee was to raise awareness about ways each person can conserve the earth’s resources. The next action was to begin selling Fair Trade Products through the United Church of Christ Coffee Project. Continue reading