GreenFaith-LRC Launch Press Release

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                                                                                  GreenFaith Media Contacts:

April 11th, 2012                                                                                                                            Stacey Kennealy or Rev. Fletcher Harper                                               

                                                                                                                                                       skennealy@greenfaith.org | 484-886-8468

                                                                                                                                       revfharper@greenfaith.org | 201-390-0094

                                                                                                                                             LRC Media Contact:

                                                                                                                                                           Dr. David Rhoads

                         drhoads@lstc.edu | Will respond quickly to email

 

GreenFaith, Lutherans Restoring Creation Announce Environmental Collaboration

ELCA Congregations to Enter GreenFaith Certification Program

 

Highland Park, NJ — Today, GreenFaith and Lutherans Restoring Creation (LRC) announced a collaboration to enroll Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA) congregations nationwide in the GreenFaith Certification Program.  This unique program helps houses of worship become environmental leaders, reduce their operating expenses, and attract new members.

 

To launch the collaboration, GreenFaith is underwriting 50% of the tuition of 20 churches.

 

Lutherans Restoring Creation (LRC) is a grassroots movement promoting care for creation in the life and mission of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA) – the largest Lutheran denomination in North America.  GreenFaith is a leading interfaith environmental coalition, serving diverse religious institutions nationwide.

 

The collaboration is the first of its kind for ELCA congregations. “I'm very excited about this,” said Dr. David Rhoads, LRC’s Director. “The program is holistic and GreenFaith supports participating congregations very well. Churches will green their buildings and grounds, develop relationships with environmental justice advocacy organizations and interfaith partners, and integrate creation care into education and worship. Congregations will learn from others’ experiences. The program is an avenue for deep congregational revitalization.”

 

Upon completing the Program, the churches will be certified as GreenFaith Sanctuaries and will contribute to strengthening the ELCA’s environmental ministry.

 

GreenFaith will offer free webinars so that interested church leaders can learn more about this opportunity. The hour-long webinars will be on:

 

  • Thursday, May 17th, 8:00 pm ET
  • Wednesday, June 20th, 8:00 pm ET

 

Recordings of the webinars will also be available after each date. To register for a live webinar or the recording, visit https://www.z2systems.com/np/clients/greenfaith/news.jsp?news=28 .

 

“The ELCA has a longstanding commitment to the environment,” said the Rev. Fletcher Harper, GreenFaith’s Executive Director. “GreenFaith is thrilled about this collaboration.” GreenFaith is also working with the Episcopal Church, the Union for Reform Judaism, the Conservative Jewish Movement, the Jewish Reconstructionist Movement, and Hindu America Seva Charities, enrolling a number of their congregations into the Certification Program.

 

Lutherans Restoring Creation and GreenFaith will welcome the first ELCA congregations into the Certification Program in December 2012.  Further ELCA congregations will be accepted at the May 2013 deadline and at subsequent twice-yearly deadlines. The 50% tuition discount offers churches the chance to enroll for a total cost of $300-$750, depending on church budget size.  Churches may apply by visiting http://greenfaith.org/programs/certification  

 

GreenFaith provides extensive support to participating churches. Six webinars equip church leaders to complete the Program successfully. An online center with over 200 resources helps congregations meet the Program’s requirements. GreenFaith’s staff offers detailed feedback to congregations, and provides support via phone and email. A network of congregations nationwide shares best practices and success stories on-line.  LRC will provide ELCA-specific resources which will enable participating ELCA congregations to give a distinct Lutheran identity to their environmental ministry.

 

When churches begin the program, they audit their facilities and programs using templates that GreenFaith provides, and create an action plan. They ‘green’ their facilities, saving energy and water, using non-toxic cleaning and maintenance practices, increasing recycling, and offering healthy, sustainable food, among other steps. They conduct environmentally-themed worship services and education for children, teens and adults. They advocate for a healthier environment for vulnerable communities. They conduct interfaith programming, and share their progress with the media.  As a result, they save money, achieve significant environmental projects, and experience the revitalization that comes from a deep commitment to caring for Creation.

 

“Environmental ministry is vital for a healthy world and a vibrant faith community,” said Stacey Kennealy, Certification Program Director. “We look forward to working with LRC to help ELCA congregations become strong ‘green’ leaders.”

 

 

Lutherans Restoring Creation seeks to empower and equip ELCA congregations, synods, seminaries, colleges and universities, outdoor ministry sites, public policy offices, social ministry organizations, and leadership to embrace caring for creation in substantive and meaningful ways.

 

Founded in 1992, GreenFaith inspires, educates and mobilizes people of diverse religious backgrounds for environmental leadership.

 

Visit www.lutheransrestoringcreation.org and www.greenfaith.org for more information.

 

 

 

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