2016: Working Faithfully With Our Leaders on Climate Solutions
On Saturday, April 2, 2016 the EarthCare Ministry hosted a dialogue meeting with government officials to discuss what Fairfax County and Virginia are doing to address solutions for climate change. Speakers included Fairfax County School Board Chairwoman Patricia Hynes, Fairfax County Board of Supervisor John Foust and Virginia’s Chief Resilience Officer Brian Moran.
Three practical workshops on local/state energy issues, involving youth in climate solutions and "greening" congregations followed the speakers' presentations. This event was co-sponsored by the Faith Alliance for Climate Solutions (FACS) and Interfaith Power & Light (DC.MD.NoVA).
2016 Earthcare Actions
"In the spring, at the end of the day, you should smell like dirt." -- Margaret Atwood, Bluebeard's Egg
Aligned with the Unity of Fairfax Core Value on Integrity — “Our thoughts, words, and deeds are trustworthy, authentic, respectful, and responsible.” — we have kept our commitment to the Unity EarthCare Covenant as demonstrated by:
- Conducting the annual Earth Day event
- Conducting the very successful annual Winter Solstice Celebration
- Representing Unity of Fairfax as a member of the Faith Alliance for Climate Solutions (FACS) to collectively focus on local and state governments to take the lead in energy conservation and environmental stewardship.
- Offering monthly the very popular Local and Organic Sunday refreshments
- Providing earth curriculum in Sunday school (e.g. planting tulips and caring for five planters in front of the church)
- Renewing annually our sacred Unity EarthCare Covenant with the congregation
- Providing education to the community on Best Practices (BP's) in storm water management through tours and seminars to interested parties, such as the Earth Science classes at NVCC. We have been designated as a county demonstration site.
Earth Friendly Purchases
- Purchasing new recycle bins for use in the Atrium and Kitchen
- Purchasing new compost bins for food scraps and coffee grounds
- Installing more native plants and trees, including nine new Dogwoods along Hunter Mill Road
Work on our Campus
- Sponsoring the Adopt-a-Spot program to maintain our gardens
- Installing new landscaping under the Unity wall sign at the East end of the building
- Maintaining and beautifying our Meditation Garden
- Maintaining our grounds with organic materials and eliminating chemicals
- Sponsoring the Spring and Fall Beautification Days
- Sponsoring Summer Weed Pulling and Pizza Parties (oh yeah!)
- Supervising the trimming and removal of dying trees on our campus
- Producing the Unity of Fairfax monthly Green Insert to provide environmental news and local and church activities on such topics as energy, recycling, spirituality and environmental justice, FACS updates, and landscaping and local green products.
- Maintaining liaison with the Saturday Farmer's Market in our parking lot
- Developing a pamphlet containing all 12 of the monthly Green Inserts to inform visitors and new members of the church as to what we do as a ministry
- Conducting team monthly meetings on every second Monday from 7:00 to 9:00 pm where all are welcome to come and share their ideas and energy about our five-sacred acres
- Providing EarthCare representatives to the labyrinth core planning team
- Overseeing the audit of the church’s electrical usage and bringing to fruition the total replacement of all fluorescent and incandescent lighting with state-of-the-art LED lights. This project will save many dollars from the church’s operating fund will reduce climate damaging emissions.
Would You Like To Be An Earthling?
As you see from the list of the EarthCare actions last year, we have many interests beginning with the care of our five-sacred acres, but we are much more. We sponsor and co-sponsor many events here at Unity and with other organizations. We are about educating ourselves and others on ecology, climate change, storm water management, providing a healthy environment for pollinators, green roofs, energy audits, conservation and wildlife protection, and gardening.
New recruits, Sharon Mulreany and Sandy Siles, have adopted their spots. You too can become an Adopt-A-Spotter. Our motto is, “There is no spot where God is not.” Contact Linda Randall (firstname.lastname@example.org) or Joanne Williams (email@example.com) for more information and to select your spot.
Pete Clifford, Lead, EarthCare Ministry Email: firstname.lastname@example.org or 703-273-8469
The legacy of Earthcare at Unity of Fairfax is on the Earthcare Legacy page on our website.