January Newsletter

jackie, January 3, 2019

Dear FACS Community:

As we welcome 2019, we take delight in knowing the tremendous progress that has taken place across Fairfax County this past year. With your generous donations to our Fairfax to Zero Campaign, faithful acts and unrelenting prayer Fairfax County has made steps towards reducing their greenhouse gases. Thank you for supporting the work of FACS!


FACS’ Advocacy Teams met with Fairfax County Board of Supervisor Sharon Bulova

Representatives from FACS’ Advocacy Teams met with Sharon Bulova to discuss the county’s cooperation with the Fairfax County Public School Board on their respective commitments to acting on climate change and sustainability, the impact of climate change in Fairfax County from a public health standpoint, the need for a community-wide climate action plan, and the role of the faith community in addressing climate change. 

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.  

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 Delegation Pre-General Session Public Hearings

The Fairfax County delegation to the VA General Assembly will hold a hearing for public comment regarding the upcoming 2019 session. Fairfax County residents who want to sign up in advance to speak at the hearing should register online using the form by January 3rd. If you’d like to speak on behalf of FACS please email us at

Date: Saturday, January 5th

Time: 9 AM

Location: Board Room in the Fairfax County Government Center, 12000 Government Center Parkway, Fairfax, VA

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

Inova JustOne Campaign

FACS partnered with Inova Health System‘s JustOne campaign, where their goal was to show the real positive impact all of our small actions have on the environment!

During this campaign, Inova’s Sustainability Team recorded sustainable actions and awarded weekly prizes to those who participate. Actions can be as simple as using a reusable water bottle instead of a Styrofoam cup.

The goal of this campaign was for community members to take 5,000 actions to protect our environment for the month of December.

Stay tuned for further collaboration in 2019!


Litter Free Virginia

FACS has partnered with Litter Free Virginia to encourage residents to take part in #LitterFreeVA. This is an excellent opportunity for the faith community to document and clean up single use plastics in the community.

This year Litter Free VA will focus on legislation to decreases the use of plastic bags. Check out the website to learn how to take action.

Wondering how to get your congregation involved? Have a youth led clean up at a local park or creek. Educate members after a service and have them send in letters to local representatives. Purchase reusable cups and plates for after service snacks. These are just a few ideas!





Upcoming Events

Play the Carbon Footprint Game in April

In honor of Earth Day, join FACS and congregations all across the region this April to play the Carbon Footprint game! FACS will host a webinar in February review the guide and resources. With our toolkit, the game is easy to play and makes a big impact across all generations in your house of worship. More information to come!





Congregation Spotlight

Grace Presbyterian Church

With momentum and support, Grace Presbyterian Church has their eye on the new year! Grace Presbyterian jumped into action in after hearing the call to creation care. Last year, their congregation’s Missions Committee supported “greening” their congregation and rallied around new initiatives brought forward by a newly created position, an environmental liaison. This team looked for ways to educate, inspire and update the church.

Grace Presbyterian planted 100 native plants on their property with a faith based grant from Plant NoVA Natives. The garden acts on creation care and serves as an education point for the community. Plaque cards were placed on each plant for the community to learn. Watch a video about the native plant garden. Additionally, the environmental liaison team saw the opportunity for recycling education within the congregation. The team created signage and purchased recycling bins so people knew what to recycle and where to recycle. This initiative helped increase the congregation’s recycling and influenced members behaviors beyond the doors of the church. The environmental liaison team also installed LEDs across the campus. This along with continued reminders to shut off lights has had a tremendous impact on their utility bill and electric use.

These steps are helping to lead the charge for more initiatives in 2019. The congregation is looking into installing solar panels and motion censored lighting as well as planting an herb garden in the back of their church.

Thanks to Grace Presbyterian for an inspiring start to 2019!


Resource Corner

FACS Ambassador

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 if you’re interested in meeting with a FACS Ambassador.


Environmental Justice

Food Justice

Read the FACS’ blog “Food Justice is Environmental Justice” by Grace Plihal, AmeriCorps VISTA at Food for Others in Fairfax County

“You, too, can contribute to the mission of Food for Others this spring and beyond. If you have a green thumb and a giving spirit, commit to growing a row of veggies for Food for Others this season– or even replicating Peace Lutheran’s community garden at your own church. In addition to environmental benefits such as soil replenishment and providing a sanctuary for pollinators, and contributing to a healthier future for your NoVA neighbors, gardening has been proven to have measurable individual mental and physical health benefits.”

In Peace,

Faith Alliance for Climate Solutions