Green Team Update: Appalachia and Coal


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.

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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.

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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


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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Green Team Update: Earthworms & October 16 Meeting

Dear Green Team,

As you know, the Blessing of the Animals was held Oct. 5. Chosen because of its proximity to the Feast Day of St. Francis, this event honors his love of creation. Last Sunday, Ed led a fascinating Adult Ed discussion on the life of Francis, and the Blessing was a great follow-up.

The Green Team had earthworms blessed as part of our SPOTLIGHT on composting (thanks, Dorothy S!).  During the Blessing service, we read St. Bonaventure‘s comments about St. Francis. In describing St. Francis’ care for creation, St. Bonaventure included this:

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Upcoming Green Team Programs

Oct. 4 is the Feast Day of St Francis. There is much to learn about this extraordinary man who lived in the 12th century and inspired others to honor God’s creation.  When Jorge Bergoglio (Pope Francis) was elected Pope by the Catholic Church in 2013, he chose to honor this man by using his name.

In honor of St Francis, please considering participating in one or more of the following:

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Green Team Update: Recycling

In the summer, it is so tempting to use disposable picnic ware or to take a break from sorting out recyclables. And isn’t it just too hot to go back to the car when you’ve forgotten your reusable shopping bags?

In addition, certain items such as pharmaceuticals, batteries, motor oil, or fluorescent light bulbs/CFL’s should be handled in special ways. Please remember how important your actions are and help our planet, especially in summer.  Insert your zip code in the following link for information about how and where you can recycle.

Earth 911 Recycling Search

Grinning Planet

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Green Team Update: Food Safety


Some food manufacturers use “open dating,” or calendar dates stamped on a food product’s package, to help retailers determine how long to display a product for sale.  If an open date is shown on a product, both the month and day of the month (and year for shelf-stable and frozen products) must be displayed on the product packaging.  Immediately adjacent to the date a phrase explaining the meaning of the date such as “sell by” or “use before” must be displayed.

The date does not correspond to the date by which the product must be consumed to ensure food safety; rather, the date is indicated for product quality.

Open dating is typically found on perishable foods such as meat, poultry, eggs, and dairy products.  After an open date passes, food may not be at the best quality, but products should still be safe if handled properly and stored at proper temperatures.  If the product has a “use-by” date, the product should be consumed or frozen by that date.

According to the USDA, even if a use-by date expires during home storage, “a product should be safe, wholesome, and of good quality – if handled properly and kept at 40F or below.”  If food develops an off odor, flavor, or appearance due to spoilage bacteria, the food should be discarded for quality reasons.

Foodborne bacteria can grow and cause foodborne illness before or after the date on the package if foods are mishandled.  Food, such as meat, left out at room temperature for more than two hours could become unsafe, even if the date on packaging hasn’t expired.

In the case of infant formula, if stored too long, it can separate and clog the nipple.  Baby food stored for too long may lose nutrients.  Do not buy or use baby formula or baby food after its “use-by” date.

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Green Team Spotlight | Food Waste

The Green Team would like to spotlight food waste for the next few weeks. Recent articles in National Geographic and the Washington Post have brought this issue to the forefront. While the facts may seem overwhelming, this is a problem on which we can have great impact both individually and as a faith community. After reading our problem statement, please share your ideas with us via email. We will work together over the coming weeks to address food waste in our community.

“…whenever food is thrown out it is as if it were stolen from the table of the poor.”

Pope Francis’ encyclical Laudato Si’ (On Care for our Common Home)

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Green Team Updates


Conversation on “Care of Our Common Home” is today, March 13, 3:30 PM, at the Washington Fire Hall. Please join us in this important event. The third conversation will be held April 10.


It’s spring, and we will soon have the Monarch butterflies returning. You can help these important creatures by planting milkweed for their caterpillar stage.

Learn more:

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Final Lenten Supper

Wednesday, March 16

Supper at 5:30 | Discussion at 6:00

Our last Wednesday Lenten discussion will address our responsibility for our planet.  

The church (especially the Episcopal Church) has long understood their responsibility for the created world, but has come to that place by very different means.  We will look at different biblical perspectives, different theological understandings, and what we at Saint James’ are doing and should do in the future to be better stewards of the fragile earth, our home

We will also participate in bible study and experience the richness and layers of meaning that come from careful informed study.  We will enter into discussion and participate in practical examples of ministries as we ask “what does scripture have to say about it? Why do we do it? Does it help build up the kingdom of God? Is it part of our core identity as the body of Christ?”

Lenten Green Calendar

lent calendar-1 (dragged)

Over the 40 days of Lent, learn about eco-justice (caring for creation and all humans in it) and take action on the issues of waste, energy, water, consumption, and food. Join the Saint James’ Green Team on your Lenten journey by taking this calendar and a mite box, which are available in the Parish Hall. You or your child may choose one thing to take on or give up from the list of actions below compiled by our youth and/or follow the daily devotional adapted from PCUSA Earth Ministries. In our mite box, we will deposit “fines” for not sticking to our chosen discipline or the daily devotional. The boxes will then be collected on Easter Day, and the money designated for a green action.

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Christmas Gift Ideas from the Green Team

Many of the best gifts in life are not things!

Would you consider giving and getting less stuff this year?  By reducing the energy required to produce, package, and transport surplus goods, we can contribute to our planet’s health and well-being.

If you decide to make changes in your gift-giving habits, you might think about starting gradually.  Find a few ideas and give them a try this holiday season.  

Here are some alternative gift ideas

Please share your own ideas and special traditions at

  1. Give an experience.
    • Music, art, riding, or sports lessons
    • One-on-one date night with a child
    • Plan for a movie, play, concert, museum or sporting event with dinner, ice cream or snacks.  The child has your complete and undivided attention.
    • Winter weekend get-away for the whole family
    • Access to a heated pool at your motel/hotel would be a treat in itself.  For children who love splashing around in the water, winter swimming is awesome.  The pool doesn’t need to have Olympic dimensions.  Any size will do.    
    • A subscription to a magazine expands a child’s horizons every month.
    • Cricket Magazine is a great choice.
    • Start a new tradition in which family members write individual notes of appreciation to everyone in the family.  These messages are affirming, honor shared feelings, and strengthen family ties.
  2. Donate to a charity in the name of a loved one or organize an alternative gift fair to support local and international charities.  Because this may be a departure from your traditional gift exchange with family and friends, you might tell them gently that you prefer their supporting a charity instead of buying gifts for you.


  1.  Give the gift of time. Create a gift certificate that offers babysitting, a lunch date with a friend or relative, a home-cooked meal, or whatever you wish to share.
  1.  Give something that you made such as baked goods, spiced pecans, baking mix in a jar, birdseed wreath, or Tried & True Hand Cream


  1.  Select fair trade products for the coffee, tea, and chocolate lovers on your list.
  1.  Check out the reusable bags at    
    • These bags come in many sizes.  Folded up, they are tiny when not in use.  (So easy to carry!)  They make terrific gifts.

Here are other actions that are sure to spread good cheer.  They certainly did in my life during the past year!  As the recipient of every one of these thoughtful gestures, I am thankful to both friends and strangers…..

  • Pay the bill for strangers at the table across the room.  When the waitress told us that our bill had been paid by someone we didn’t know who had already left the restaurant, we were astonished.  That initial act of generosity sparked us to do the same for other strangers in that room – and perhaps they did so as well.  Never underestimate the impact of one random act of kindness!
  • Write a letter to someone you haven’t seen or talked with in a long time.   The blessing of reconnecting is priceless!
  • Give away a really good book that you enjoyed to someone with similar reading tastes.  You may even think of more favorite “treasures” to share with others.
  • Give narcissus bulbs (also called paper whites) that grow in water on a bed of stones or gravel.  The fragrant blooms warm both the heart and soul when cold weather seems endless.
  • Host a potluck or a wine tasting to bring people together.  Invite everyone to contribute food and/or wine.
  • Shovel snow for an elderly neighbor

Charity Contact Information

** Your additional ideas will be appreciated. Share them at

Episcopal Relief and Development

  • Box 7058
  • Merrifield, VA
  • 22116-7058

Soroti Ministry

Fauquier Food Bank

  • 249 E. Shirley Avenue
  • Warrenton, VA  20186

Fauquier Free Clinic

  • 35 Rock Pointe Lane
  • Warrenton, VA  20186

Learning Starts Early Fund

  • Northern Piedmont Community Foundation
  • P O Box 5
  • Culpeper, VA
  • 22701



  • Terrific Home Remedy for Chapped Hands!!!
  • 15 oz. bottle of baby lotion
  •  8 oz. Vitamin E cream
  •  6 oz. Vaseline
  • Mix all together with mixer until whipped and fluffy.
  • Divide into small glass jars.
  • Give as gifts and enjoy!  


  • ¾ cup flour
  • ½ cup warm water
  • 3 tablespoons light corn syrup
  • 1 pkg. unflavored gelatin
  • 4 cups bird seed
  • Bundt pan
  • Nonstick spray
  • In a large bowl, stir the gelatin into warm water until it is dissolved.
  • Whisk in the corn syrup and flour.  
  • Stir well to make a paste.
  • Pour the 4 cups of seeds into the paste and mix until it is very well combined.
  • Press the mixture – a little at a time – firmly into the Bundt pan.
  • You will notice in the morning the paste has become really hard.  It has a whitish color.
  • Just turn the pan upside down and the wreath will slide right out onto a drying rack.  Allow it to dry completely……be careful not to break it though.
  • Tie a ribbon and hang it for birds to enjoy!

This catalogue is brought to you from Saint James’ Green Team with warm wishes for meaningful Advent and Christmas seasons.         


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 for questions.

Green Team Meeting | Thursday, Sept 17

lilies - 1

Saint James’ Green Team formed this summer and after two meetings has begun an energy audit with a 7-step plan for action to reach maximum efficiency on our campus thanks to the services of Michael Rainger, founder of the Energized Research / Learning Institute (ER-LI).

The Green Team and Communities of Peace has extended an invitation to the leaders and members of other churches in town to explore whether they’d like to consider starting the same 7-step energy reduction program.

Join us as Mr. Rainger describes the program, his process at Saint James’, and shares his success stories. ER-LI was founded by Rainger after he had worked for almost 5 years, mostly as a volunteer (1653 free hours), with Fauquier County Public Schools, the School Support Council and Aspirations 2015 Strategic Planning.

Working as an Energy Conservation subject matter expert with Fauquier County and the Vint Hill Economic Development Authority (EDA) in Northern Virginia rounded out his skills in the Public Service Sector.

Michael participated with local officials and identified projects, program and initiatives which led to the public schools saving almost $2 million in four year, 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 days during the winter of 2013!