Creation-Care, 365

 PNW United Methodists
Caring for God's Creation

Creation Quote:
"Global Climate Stewardship"

Small Steps:
Cool Congregations Challenge

Tools for Renewal:
"Climate Justice" Designation

Extra Tools:
Incentives Database
Lectionary Links

Events & Actions:
Autumn 2012

Creation Keepers:
Cooler UMC Campuses

UMC News


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"CC-365" Archives
Please click on the above link to find an indexed list of our archived issues.
Issue #57 "Cool Incentives" August 31, 2012
Interfaith Power & Light
Interfaith Power & Light logo

Whether it's our individual homes, churches, or larger institutions, a little "incentive" can go a long way in helping to garner much-needed support for confronting global climate change.  This particular issue of Creation-Care, 365 highlights a few of the many "incentives" available to people of faith -- and just about anyone -- who wants to reduce their "carbon footprint."  Some of these incentives have to do with bolstering one's visibility to the larger public (e.g., the PNW "Climate Justice Ministries" designation and LEED certification).  Other incentives are financial in nature -- you'll find a few of these sprinkled throughout this issue as well (e.g., "Cool Congregations Challenge" and the "Database of State Incentives for Renewables & Efficiencies").  If you've been looking for further incentive or help in your efforts, I hope that you find a "cool drink of water" in this current issue. 

Grace and Peace be with you,

Creation-Care Project Coordinator

PNW Office of Connectional Ministries    


QuoteCreation Quote

UMC Book of Discipline

Social Principles, 160.D, "Global Climate Stewardship"   


"We acknowledge the global impact of humanity's disregard for God's creation. Rampant industrialization and the corresponding increase in the use of fossil fuels have led to a buildup of pollutants in the earth's atmosphere. These "greenhouse gas" emissions threaten to alter dramatically the earth's climate for generations to come with severe environmental, economic, and social implications. The adverse impacts of global climate change disproportionately affect individuals and nations least responsible for the emissions. We therefore support efforts of all governments to require mandatory reductions in greenhouse gas emissions and call on individuals, congregations, businesses, industries, and communities to reduce their emissions."

 SmallStepsSmall Steps... for Greater Good
Enter the Cool Congregations Challenge!
From Interfaith Power & Light
Cool Congregations 2012


Entries for the 2012 Challenge are officially open.

If your congregation has been doing work to curb your carbon impact, now is the time to share your story and get the recognition you deserve. Or if you have a project in mind, now is the time to get started, because any energy-saving measures you take between now and October 18 will be eligible for recognition.

The Cool Congregations Challenge is a national contest to recognize faith communities that are responding to climate change and becoming good stewards of Creation. Cool Congregations are role models for energy efficiency and conservation in their communities. All qualifying entrants will receive a beautiful certificate suitable for framing. In addition, cash prizes of $1,000 will go to winning contestants in each category:

* Energy Efficiency and Conservation
* Renewable Energy
* Grounds and Water Conservation
* Engaging Congregants and Communities

You may enter any time, starting today, right up to midnight on October 18, 2012. ...Enter today. It's free of charge, it's easy, and it's fun.
ToolsTools for Renewal
  Carbon Footprint "Climate-Justice Ministry" Designation

A project of the PNW UMC Conference  


Our PNW Office of Connectional Ministries would like to recognize those churches/agencies that are working to understand and reduce their "carbon footprints."  We will do so -- on our online church/ministry directory  and at Annual Conference 2013 -- by designating such ministries with the "Climate Justice Ministry" icon that appears to the right.    


As church-seekers browse our online, PNW Church & Ministry Directory, they will be able to look for church according to this designation -- they'll be able to match their creation-caring values with the life of your ministry.  If your  congregation/ministry has already measured its "carbon footprint" and taken steps to reduce it, please contact Tanya Barnett so that we can give you this designation.  


If your congregation/ministry would like to receive this "Climate Justice Ministry" designation, please follow these steps:  

  1. Please visit the UMW's Carbon Footprint Toolkit and read "What is a 'carbon footprint?'" and "Why is it important to reduce our carbon footprint?"
  2. Calculate your congregation/ministry's carbon footprint by using Interfaith Power & Light's "Congregational Calculator" at
  3. Based on these calculations, identify at least 3 priority actions for reducing your congregation/ministry's carbon footprint.
  4. Develop and enact an action plan for addressing these 3 priority actions - please contact Tanya Barnett if you would like help with this step.
  5. Prior to Annual Conference 2013, report your church's progress to Tanya Barnett.

Throughout the 2012-2013 year, all churches and ministries that make reasonable progress toward addressing their 3 priority actions will:

  • Receive the "Climate Justice Ministry" designation (pictured above) in our PNW Church & Ministry Directory  
  • Receive special recognition at Annual Conference 2013

If you'd like to learn more, please contact Tanya Barnett, Creation-Care Projects Coordinator, PNW Office of Connectional Ministries at [email protected].  

Many thanks, and blessings on your ministry.


Extra "Tools"
Database of State Incentives for Renewables & Efficiency
DSIRE is a comprehensive source of information on state, local, utility and federal incentives and policies that promote renewable energy and energy efficiency. Established in 1995 and funded by the U.S. Department of Energy, DSIRE is an ongoing project of the N.C. Solar Center and the Interstate Renewable Energy Council.
Lectionary Links
Some excellent on-line sermon helps -- most of which coincide with the Revised Common Lectionary:
Events & Actions
Autumn 2012

 CreationKeeperCreation Keepers

Sustainability Efforts in
UM-Related Educational Institutions
The following comes from UMC General Board of Higher Education and Ministry's web site and is but a taste of the creation-caring efforts UM-related institutions are taking.  The following two examples are relatively "close to home"; please click here to view their extended list of sustainability efforts in other UM-related institutions.

"Editor's Note: This list highlights some of the environmentally friendly practices of UM-related educational institutions. The information was provided by the institutions and includes only some of the practices at each college or university. Many institutions have set a timetable for achieving carbon neutrality.

University of Puget Sound

"The university's Live Green House, completed in August 2008, was stripped to its frame and rebuilt using lumber, tiles, paint, and insulation derived from sustain

UPS Earth Day 
Photo from a UPS Earth Day service event 

able sources. Solar heating, low-flow showerheads, and Energy Star-rated appliances were installed, as well as a rain garden to collect water for irrigation. The Gold LEED certified house is now a kind of laboratory for sustainable living. Over time more of the university's houses will be renovated to the same standard.


"Student-led initiatives include fair trade coffee, a student garden, a Student Market where knitters, growers, artists, bakers, and other student artisans can sell their goods to other students and campus members, and a campaign to eliminate plastic water bottles."


Willamette University

"Green practices guide campus construction and renovation

LEED Willammette
"Willamette's Ford Hall earns LEED Gold certification"

projects at the Salem, Ore., campus, including the recently completed student residential hall, awarded LEED Gold certification, and a new academic building under construction, slated for LEED Gold. Energy management systems have been implemented in campus buildings with a goal of cutting energy consumption in half by 2020.


"Electric cars and hybrids are replacing the gas-dependent vehicle fleet and a campus Bike Shop, staffed by student volunteers, offers free bike loans. Lawns are fertilized with compost tea, native plants reduce the need for water and chemicals, most weeds are hand-pulled rather than sprayed, and leftover garden debris provides compost for community gardens.


"The Willamette food service partners with local farms, ranches, and fisheries to offer organic, hormone-free, sustainably produced food. Cooking oil is recycled, food leftovers are given to local ranchers, and disposable tableware is made from sugarcane or recycled paper.

'The families leave with strengthened relationships, a feeling of community, and deepened spiritual practices,' Witt says. 'It is a renewal that continues for the summer and beyond.'"

Recent UMC Creation-Care News
"Creation-Care, 365" is a free, bi-weekly resource of the PNW Annual Conference of the United Methodist Church.  Subscribers are welcome to reprint any/all of the materials contained within; cite "Creation-Care, 365," Thanks and God bless you in your creation-caring efforts.