Eco-Stewardship at Luther Place Memorial Church
1226 Vermont Avenue, NW
Washington, DC 20005
In the summer of 2006, Luther Place members founded an ad-hoc committee focused on reducing our energy and environmental footprint, educating members and the public about environmental sustainability, and promoting grassroots activism for environmental causes.
We have focused on the theological connection between God and environmental awareness through multiple sermons and children’s sermons. In the fall of 2006, Luther Place held an Earth-centric Christian worship service. For Lent, Luther Place’s ‘Creation’-themed Vesper service focused on environmental stewardship.
Reducing energy and waste:
- Luther Place joined the Greater Washington Power and Light coalition in the winter of 2005. Though we are not yet purchasing clean energy, we hope to within the year.
- The congregation is filling out paperwork with the city of Washington DC to conduct an energy audit
- Luther Place initiated a Walk, Bike, and Ride (carpool or mass transit) to Church program in the summer of 2005.
- Volunteers added a glass pane to exterior of historic stain glass windows to protect the windows and provide an air gap for better thermal insulation. Additionally, volunteers apply plastic weatherizing film to historic pane windows each winter.
- In addition to recycling, Luther Place also purchases recycled paper.
- Purchased sustainable-harvested palms for upcoming Palm Sunday service.
- Moving to eliminate the use of disposable plates, cups, and utensils during Church social events
- Discussing opportunities for an environmentally-conscientious landscape renovation to reduce the resources needed to sustain our grounds and begin moving towards a carbon-neutral footprint.
- Hosted a screening of Al Gore’s An Inconvenient Truth with a discussion afterward; half in attendance were from other congregations or the neighborhood.
- Hosted Inspiring Progress author Gary Gardner for a presentation on the links between religion and environmental conservation.
- Include weekly “Eco-Tips” in our Sunday church bulletin (space permitting), with 38 tips posted on our church website.
- Participate in the Greater Washington Power and Light efforts to increase awareness and activity
- Luther Place’s Walk, Bike, Ride program includes t-shirts to promote alternative transportation
- Leveraging activities and careers of members to form natural partnerships; currently, Luther Place members supporting Eco-Stewardship serve in the Federal government, in the commercial building industry, and in an earth-focused not-for-profit. Additionally, a Luther Place member has been appointed to the mayor’s Green Advisory Council
- Examining opportunities to raise awareness within the ELCA, to include supporting the Web of Creation.
- Joined Yale University’s Project on Climate Change and Harvard’s Religion and Ecology forum
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