Newsletter

December Newsletter

jackie, December 1, 2018

Dear FACS Community:

Thank you for your generous donations to our Giving Tuesday campaign! With your help we were able to reach our goal and take full advantage of our matching gift. In order to continue our advocacy efforts and ensure a healthy, safe and equitable environment for all we still need support. Please consider a donation to our Fairfax to Zero Campaign so we can continue to promote local policies that will reduce greenhouse gases in Northern Virginia.

Your support means more now than ever. You’ve probably seen the recent news storesabout the release of the fourth National Climate Assessment Report and the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change report. Both reports detail the current impact climate change has already had on people, animals and the environment. They outline the catastrophic impact climate change will continue to have and both reports call for immediate action to be taken. Those impacts will be felt by everyone, including here in Northern Virginia. Together we can draw on our love for all of creation, including those people that will be most adversely impacted by the intensifying effects of climate change, and make a difference.

Advocacy

FACS Testimony at Fairfax County Legislative Agenda Public Hearing

Cindy Speas, FACS’ Providence district advocacy leader, testified on behalf of FACS at the Fairfax County legislative agenda. She spoke in support of initiatives in the county’s legislative package, including removing barriers to solar, preserving open space, limiting the use of plastic bags, and smart transit measures to reduce emissions. She also emphasize the need for the county to focus beyond county operations only. “In the Global Climate Change and Environmental Sustainability Initiatives section, you report to the General Assembly on your strategic commitment to new environmental and energy goals in county operations. FACS would like to remind the Board that we believe the current focus on energy use in county operations alone is only part of what needs to be done. As you know from all our conversations with each of you individually, FACS would like to see the county take a broader leadership role in reducing greenhouse gasses county-wide – including businesses, homes, houses of worship and transportation. Read her full testimony here.

You can watch her speak at 3:56:15

FACS is seeking new members to join its advocacy teams. Interested in learning more about your role as a FACS Advocacy Team member? Read more here! To join or ask questions, please contact Meg Mall or David Kepley, FACS’ Advocacy Chair. Now is a great time to join as our advocacy season heats up. View our talking points and our leave behind to learn more about our current advocacy priorities.  

The Faith Community wants to see more solar power in Virginia!

Sign our petition and let our state legislators know that the faith community wants to see more solar power in Virginia. Currently, Virginia is lagging behind other states in the rate of installation of solar power due to a variety of policy barriers, including limitations to distributed solar (electricity produced at or near the point where it is used, including solar panels) and net metering (a billing mechanism that credits owners of solar panels for electricity they add to the grid).

Removing these barriers will lay the foundation for VA to move towards a 100% renewable energy economy. As people of faith we understand the connection between a transition to clean energy and the impact that will have on the health and well being of all people. A just transition to renewable energy is cleaner, healthier and cheaper than alternative energy sources. Increased installation of solar creates jobs and supports economic growth.

Join FACS at the 2019 Advocacy Kickoff Event

Join FACS as we launch our advocacy in 2019 with our annual FACS Community Council Advocacy Kickoff meeting. We’ll hear from local experts on a variety of topics related to our climate advocacy. You’ll also have a chance to meet with teams organized by county district to debrief, strategize and plan for 2019.

Never been involved with FACS’ advocacy before? This is a perfect opportunity to come and learn! You will leave equipped with the key issues impacting our county, and will have an opportunity to take action before you leave. Join us as we develop local solutions to the climate crisis!

Date: Friday, January 11th 2019

Time: 1:00 – 4:00 PM

Location: Mount Vernon Unitarian Church, 1909 Windmill Ln, Alexandria, Virginia 22307

RSVP Here!

Fairfax County Environmental Quality Advisory Council Public Hearing

Each year, EQAC holds a public hearing to obtain input on issues of environmental concern. The public is encouraged to attend EQAC’s public hearing to share views on the state of the environment and to identify environmental issues applicable to Fairfax County. Interested in testifying? Reach out to us!

Date: Wednesday, January 9th, 2019

Time: 7:30 PM

Location: Conference Room 4 and 5 of the Fairfax County Government Center, 12000 Government Center Parkway, Fairfax, VA

Virginia Conservation Network

VCN organizes Conservation Lobby Day to ensure a strong conservation voice is heard early in the legislative session. Volunteer advocates are invited to join professional staff of Network Partners as they meet with state legislators and encourage them to support environmental policy advancements. You can read their environmental briefing book here.

Date: Wednesday, January 30th

Time: 7:30 AM – 2:30 PM

Location: Richmond, VA

In Case You Missed It

Mount Vernon District Environmental Expo

Mount Vernon District Supervisor Dan Storck hosted his first Environment Expo where he explored how everyone can help save our planet, with the theme “Saving the Earth One Person at a Time”FACS lead a workshop on how to play our Carbon Footprint Game.

Energy Efficiency Workshop

Thank you to all who attended the energy efficiency workshop at Messiah United Methodist Church! Jill Barker with EcoAction Arlington and Energy Masters Volunteers led a wonderful session on how individuals can #ActOnClimate in their own homes.

Interested in bringing an energy efficiency workshop to your place of worship? Email jackie@faithforclimate.org

Upcoming Events

 

Climate Advocacy Training in Leesburg

Come to a free Climate Advocacy Training led by Citizens’ Climate Lobby (CCL), a nonpartisan volunteer group, focused on national policies to address climate change. Trainers from CCL will teach techniques to use in building political will for climate action and in lobbying Congress on climate change.

Date: Saturday, December 8th

Time: 10:30 AM – 3:00 PM

Location: Banshee Reeks Nature Preserve, 21085 The Woods Rd, Leesburg, VA 20175

Register for the event!

Congregation Spotlight

Herndon Friends Meeting

Herndon Friends Meeting was looking to make their property a sanctuary for its non-human residents. At the same time, the landscaping at their place of worship needed updating as the foundation shrubs were overgrown and starting to die back from over-trimming. With a dedicated landscaping committee, members of Herndon Friends Meeting quickly learned how to transform their property into a thriving ecosystem for native plants and insects. They found that native plants can solve many problems such as erosion, runoff and maintenance. For a year, their committee worked to educate members of their congregation about native plants, get quotes from landscaping companies and apply for grants. They were able to secure $3,500 in matching grant money and worked with their congregation’s business meeting to secure funding for the rest.

In a year, they were able to transform their property into a wildlife habitat and create a public witness to their testimony of environmental stewardship. The new landscaping provides a way to educate all their members as well as their youth in Sunday school. The youth have catalogued a variety of insects, plants and animals on the property, and congregation members volunteer to weed and maintain the plants. Additionally, they upload images to iNaturalist to educate and engage the community. Click here to see different species on their property.  

Margaret Fisher, a volunteer at Plant NOVA natives and member of Herndon Friends Meeting, helps to educate congregations about ways to include native plants on their property. Plant NOVA Natives has specific resources for places of worship and has worked with over 40 faith communities. They also have a Facebook Group Sowing Seeds of Stewardship NOVA for congregations to ask questions and share resources.

Watch a video about Grace Presbyterian Church’s native plants garden.
 
Want to learn more about native plants at your place of worship? Emailinfo@faithforclimate.org and we can connect you!

 

 

Resource Corner

Are you looking to stay up to date about climate news and events? Check out the FACS blog for a list of suggested monthly newsletters to follow.  

Is your Green Team newly established or already established and looking for help, a consultation or ideas? Jen Koon, a FACS Ambassador, works with congregation leaders one-on-one to spark ideas, work through problems and develop goals. Jen has worked with congregations across Fairfax to develop 2019 goals.

Email jackie@faithforclimate.org if you’re interested in meeting with a FACS Ambassador.

 

Environmental Justice

Share and enjoy these images from the JustSeeds Artist Cooperative! Ask your congregation to include one of them in your weekly bulletin or online newsletter.

In Peace,

Faith Alliance for Climate Solutions

FACS