KC Churches Honored for Green Efforts

At a recent press conference at The Village Presbyterian Church, the Sierra Club released the “Faith in Action: Communities of Faith Bring Hope for the Planet” report at an award ceremony recognizing two local faith communities featured in the report – The Village Presbyterian Church, of Prairie Village, KS, and All Souls Unitarian Universalist Church, of Kansas City, MO.  The report highlights one exceptional faith-based environmental initiative from each of the fifty states and illustrates a growing trend.

“Faith communities are key in addressing the moral imperative of the environmental crisis, leading by example, by education and by inspiration.  They can influence people to transform their way of thinking and believing, which can transform their way of living and acting,” said Jerry Rees of the Village church.

“Faith in Action” is a project of the Sierra Club’s Environmental Partnerships Program, which works actively with faith groups around the United States to broaden support for environmental protection.

The press conference showcased the efforts of The Village Presbyterian Church and the All Souls Unitarian Universalist Church.  Each church is involved in applying a unique perspective to the environmental conversation while taking the lead on finding solutions to our environmental challenges.  Both churches participate in the Sustainable Sanctuary Coalition of Greater Kansas City, which they helped launch to partner with, encourage, and assist faith groups to preach, teach, model, and advocate for sustainable living and ecological justice for all creation, working in keeping with the tenets of each faith group.  

“It was wonderful for the Village Church to receive this honor from the Sierra Club,” said Chuck Gillam, of the Village Church.  Gillam spoke of the tremendous cost savings that will be realized at the new auxiliary building, which could be the “greenest” church in the state of Kansas.

Frank Drinkwine, Kanza group chair and conservation chair of the state Executive Committee of the Kansas Sierra Club, has been a leader in the “greening” efforts of All Souls church.  Drinkwine has chaired the Green Sanctuary Committee at the All Souls church for the last two years.  He has also been a leader in his Sierra Club roles, and we are delighted to see him share his talents with the church community.   

Terry Wiggins, of All Souls church, put her feelings into words so well…“The real payoff for me has been to see how the members of the congregation have reacted.  They know it’s a big deal, and they have thanked us (the Green Sanctuary Committee) for helping them “behave better.”  As the verse says, “Step by step, the longest march can be won, can be won…”

The full report can be accessed at http://www.sierraclub.org/partnerships/faith/report2008/report2008.pdf

By: Stephanie Cole


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