Episcopal Diocese of Virginia
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Green Church Projects

The Committee wishes to publicize the experience of churches in the Diocese that have undertaken to conserve energy and water.  Please submit information on the experience of your church to the Chair of the Committee.  Your experience is likely to be most valuable to other churches in the Diocese and elsewhere if you describe how you used volunteers and professionals, what steps you believe were most cost-effective, what was involved in getting buy-in from the congregation and vestry, and whether efforts to green your churchinspired members to make similar efforts in their households.

After viewing an informational webinar sponsored by Green Faith: Interfaith Partners for the Environment , Trinity Church, Washington, Virginia, determined to administer a survey to its congregation to gauge members’ concern for stewardship of creation.  Approximately 20 percent of the congregation submitted responses to a survey administered through written handouts in church and Internet polling.

Trinity administered the survey before committing to any specific projects. As Alisa Booze Troetschel , Chair of the Stewardship Committee, explained, “we wanted to see what the members thought we should do.”  The overwhelming majority of respondents considered care for God’s creation to be a Christian responsibility and expressed a belief that “conservation measures by individuals in their homes, cars and work environment are worth the effort.” Further, the respondents believed that a focus on local environmental issues was more appropriate for the church. As one example, the church is considering a landscaping project to demonstrate environmentally friendly uses of native plants on or near church property.

Additional detail on the survey responses is here.  The survey instrument developed by the Church is here.

  •  Christ Ascension Episcopal Church, Richmond, Virginia

Located just west of the Bellevue neighborhood in the Northside neighborhood of Richmond, Christ Ascension Episcopal Church was built during 1959-61, a time when the energy efficiency of a building was a neglected concern. The Church regained independent parish status two years ago, and relies on income from two tenants for a significant part of its annual budget.

While acknowledging that that the building is grossly inefficient with many poorly designed features, the Church has been able to identify both short-term and longer term measures that can be taken to improve the efficiency of its uses of energy and water.  More ...