Green Team Update: Appalachia and Coal

FROM THE GREEN CORNER:

From the Ashes, a National Geographic documentary and Tribeca Film Festival 2017 Selection, will be broadcast on the National Geographic Channel Sunday, June 25 at 9 PM (check your local listing to verify time).

This documentary provides a thought-provoking look at Appalachia, the use of coal for energy production, the problems that arise, and some possible solutions. The Green Team, Warrenton Climate Change Group, and Virginia Interfaith Council co-sponsored a preview of the documentary last week at Saint James’ and recommend the film.

While coal-fired energy production emits large amounts of carbon dioxide which damages our planet, the loss of employment in that industry has hurt many people.

Frostburg, MD Coal Mine

Ideas from different perspectives are most valuable: how do we balance both the needs of our planet and those of people? After watching the preview of From the Ashes, the group suggested the following ideas:    

— Learn more about Appalachia and the people there by reading. Explore the website for the Appalachian Regional Commission (ARC)

Contact your Congressperson and request their support for continued funding of the Appalachian Regional Commission.

— Sign up for ARC’s newsletter or follow on Facebook.

— Consider visiting Appalachia, its beautiful state parks and bluegrass festivals. Abingdon and Bristol are considered “big cities; but you can find the most distressed counties listed by state here

— Volunteer to help in free clinics such as Mission of Mercy.

— Consider how other countries address the loss of coal jobs (U. K., Canada, etc.)

Mountaintop Coal Mine

Green Team Update: Response to Leaving the Paris Climate Agreement

For all of us, our country’s departure from the Paris Climate Agreement was deeply disturbing. Responses however, have included some very positive suggestions which focus on the fact that we, as Americans and Christians, believe that individuals are empowered to act. Please consider the following ways to respond:

— We pray because the Earth is God’s creation, and it is in His hands. The Presiding Bishop of the Episcopal Church made the following statement. A number of Episcopal Church bishops have also issued a joint statement.

— We work ever harder on our individual efforts to reduce our use of resources and our production of carbon dioxide.

— We join and support (both financially and with our time) those groups that work for sustainability. Virginia has joined the U. S. Climate Alliance; consider voicing your support for this action.

— We support the advancement of research in STEM in our universities -perhaps earmarking donations to our alma maters – and research facilities.

— We never forget those who lose homes and livelihood due to climate change.

— We never forget those who lose jobs from change in technology and who need support and education.

Your feedback is welcome: greenteam@saintjameswarrenton.org

Featured photo via United Nations Photo on Flickr.

From The Ashes: Environmental Film Night is Thursday, June 15

Thursday, June 15 @ 7:00 PM in the Parish Hall

FROM THE ASHES is being shown in small venues all over the U.S. before it premiers on the National Geographic Channel later in June.  The Interfaith Power and Light network is distributing advance copies of the film with the intention of raising awareness that will potentially result in both thought-provoking conversation and constructive action.                      

FROM THE ASHES captures Americans in communities across the country as they wrestle with the legacy of the coal industry and what its future should be.

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Earth Day Events in the DC Area

FROM THE GREEN CORNER

Do you have plans for EARTH DAY on April 22? There are many good events going on that help us appreciate our planet.

But did you know that the Anglican Communion recognizes a similar but much older celebration on April 25?  It is called ROGATION DAY, and the earliest ceremonies were believed to have been practiced in the British Isles in the 7th century when farmers asked the priest to bless their newly planted crops.

Even then, people understood the vital need of healthy soil and God’s blessing for abundance. Take time to  pray for the health of our planet during the upcoming week. Consider the many pressures upon our planet’s resources and how you can help.

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Green Team Update: Water Justice & Upcoming Events

“Water is the hammer through which climate change hits the earth.” – GreenFaith

Over the next weeks, the Green Team will consider how we can conserve and protect our planet’s clean water. We can use biodegradable soap products. We can return unused pharmaceuticals to proper sites rather than flush them into the sewer (Fauquier Hospital will accept them April 22, 9 am-12 noon).

What other ways can you suggest to protect our water? Email us your ideas!

GreenFaith and the Trinity Institute in New York City will be hosting a global theological conference, Water Justice, on March 22-24.

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Paris 2015: Finding Energy to Address Climate Change

Please join Saint James’ Episcopal Church, Warrenton to learn more about the United Nations Climate Change Conference to be held in Paris, Nov. 30-Dec. 11, 2015.12187739_10153301581701028_4105466599945871130_n

We welcome Karen Allen, a member of Saint James’ and Director of Development for Solar Energy Light Fund (SELF). SELF’s mission is to design and implement solar energy solutions to assist the 1.5 billion people living in energy poverty with their economic, educational, healthcare and agricultural development. Since 1990, SELF has completed projects in more than 20 countries and pioneered unique applications of solar power such as for drip irrigation in Benin, health care in Haiti, telemedicine in the Amazon rainforest, online learning in South Africa and microenterprise development in Nigeria.

Ms. Allen is attending the Climate Change Conference on behalf of SELF and will share her insights about what is at stake at the Paris meeting, along with the role that energy poverty plays in global climate issues. Before joining SELF, Karen worked on behalf of wildlife and conservation as Public Affairs Director for the Audubon Zoo, the American Zoo & Aquarium Association, Conservation International, and helped establish Disney’s Animal Kingdom.

A panel discussion will follow with Ms. Allen, Michael Rainger, and Gerry Eitner.

Mr. Rainger founded Energized Research / Learning Institute (ER-LI) in Warrenton. He has participated with local officials and identified projects, program and initiatives which led to the public schools saving almost $2 million in four years, and to the county government saving $220,617 in three years, Vint Hill EDA saving $20,000 per year since 2010 and Chestnut Forks Tennis and Fitness Club saving $3,500 in 120 dagys during the winter of 2013!

Ms. Eitner is a Saint James’ member and has been a spiritual coach and mentor for many years. She is the founder of the Communities of Peace Foundation, a template for creating peaceful communities. Catalyzed by the events of 9/11, that template was initiated in Warrenton and has been seeded in 10 US communities and has expanded to projects in Afghanistan, Costa Rica, Kenya, Uganda, Nigeria, South Africa, and Ethiopia.

The public is welcome at this community-wide event, sponsored by the Green Team of St. James’ Episcopal Church, 73 Culpeper St., Warrenton, Va. Call the church office at 540-347-4342 or email greenteam@saintjameswarrenton.org for questions.