St. Paul’s recently formed a “Green Team” to promote creation care. This group helps to discern ways church operations can become more environmentally sustainable, and encourages parishioners to make similar commitments to environmental stewardship in their own lives. In addition, the Green Team advocates for environmental causes within the community and encourages a love and reverence for the natural world.
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Some examples of the Green Team’s work and St. Paul’s ongoing commitment to environmental stewardship include:
- Last summer, St. Paul’s installed a 12 kilowatt solar panel array on their south-facing parish hall roof, which has already generated over 7 megawatts of power since it was activated.
- During the fall of 2015, St. Paul’s and First Parish Unitarian-Universalist jointly offered an Adult Learning Series to read Pope Francis’ recent environmental encyclical over a period of six weeks.
- Over the past five years, St. Paul’s has received two “Green Grants” from the Episcopal Diocese of Massachusetts to replace old windows with more efficient windows, installed LED parking lot lights, and re-zoned their heating system for greater efficiency.
- On Earth Day Sunday 2016, St. Paul’s hosted the Rev. Margaret Bullitt-Jonas, Missioner for Creation Care in the Episcopal Diocese of Western Massachusetts. Rev. Bullitt-Jonas preached about environmental stewardship during the service and offered an adult forum afterward, entitled “A Spirituality of Creation Care.” In today’s fast-paced, hectic, urban society, many of us feel out of touch with – even alienated from – the natural world. Reverend Bullitt-Jonas will explore why connecting with nature is an important part of our spiritual life. What spiritual practices and theological perspectives open our eyes to encounter God in nature? How can reverence for God’s Creation sustain our efforts to protect the web of life?
- St. Paul’s supports an annual Bike to Church Sunday, encouraging parishioners to bike, scoot, skate, or walk to church, as they are able.