“All creation is the Lord’s, and we are responsible for the ways in which we use and abuse it. Water, air, soil, minerals, energy resources, plants, animal life, and space are to be valued and conserved because they are God’s creation and not solely because they are useful to human beings. God has granted us stewardship of creation. We should meet these stewardship duties through acts of loving care and respect.”
Emmanuel’s Green Team takes stewardship of God’s Creation very seriously. We sponsor a variety of educational and recycling programs throughout the year. If you would like to get involved, or get more information, please contact the Green Team.
How We Care For Creation
Emmanuel is a Certified Cool Congregation church that practices sustainability and strives to be good stewards of God’s creation. We recycle at Emmanuel and we use only reusable dishware for our events – disposable dishware and serving ware are not permitted. We purchased renewable energy to help offset the carbon footprint of our church community. Emmanuel also has implemented many energy efficient upgrades – HVAC systems, smart thermostats, lighting upgrades, and motion detectors.
Emmanuel promotes Community Solar – a pilot program launched in Maryland that allows anyone who pays an electric bill enjoy the benefits of affordable, clean local solar energy without installing anything on your roof. It doesn’t matter if you rent, lease or own your home, you can subscribe to a local community solar farm in Maryland and receive a credit on your electric bill each month for the energy produced by your share.
Learn more about Solar
Our Capture the Wind Campaign began in 2011 and we thank all who have signed up over the years for 100% wind power for their homes. We had partnered with Clean Currents and later with Groundswell which negotiated discounted rates for 100% wind power, but those programs no longer exist. We are no longer recommending signing up for 100% wind power for homes and instead are encouraging members to sign up for community solar. Since we began this campaign, we raised over $1000 for our green initiatives at church and appreciate all the members who signed up.
Learn more about Wind
Because of the interconnected climate crisis and plastic pollution crisis, we organized a six-month campaign (2019-2020) to reduce single-use plastics that culminated with #PlasticFreeLent. During our campaign, we had guest speakers, held workshops, provided a resource page of weekly tips, offered alternatives and encouragement in an effort to help reduce our plastic use. We held mini-challenges encouraging people to demand corporate responsibility and government policy to provide alternatives to plastic.
Learn more about Plastic
Something as simple as the kind of coffee we drink reflects our values. At Emmanuel we only serve Equal Exchange Fair Trade Coffee at all of our events because we believe small farmers should be paid a living wage and coffee should be grown in ways that protect the environment. Watch Video: Equal Exchange: Who We Are and What We Believe In
Our Green Team sold Equal Exchange Fair Trade products (chocolates, coffee and tea) and proceeds were used to benefit Emmanuel’s missions including the Nicaragua Youth Scholarship Program (YSP). Although we no longer are selling, you can purchase directly from Equal Exchange HERE and support their mission.
Polystyrene Foam #6, commonly called Styrofoam, in block or food container form, is collected at EPS Recycling and sent to a Dart Container facility in Pennsylvania. Once there, the blocks are shredded, melted, and densified into solid 5-10 lbs. blocks. The blocks are then sold to manufacturers to be made into picture frames, pencils, rulers and molding for house construction.
Styrofoam is accepted all year long. Drop off is at Emmanuel UMC Ministry Center carport (house at end of large parking lot)
Learn more about Styrofoam
In 2017, Emmanuel participated in the Trees for Sacred Places sponsored by Interfaith Partnership of the Chesapeake and the Alliance for the Chesapeake Bay. This project was important to Emmanuel to care for God’s Creation by helping heal the planet through watershed restoration and creating community beauty. We held a tree planting instead of our regular second Sunday service supplying the volunteers and planted 60 trees on the hill behind the cemetery. View the photos from this event.
In our commitment to good stewardship, the Green Team participated in Interfaith Partnership of the Chesapeake‘s Faithful Green Leaders Training program and were trained in rain garden maintenance. Volunteers learned how to keep our rain garden projects functioning properly for local stormwater management and how to come up with a maintenance plan for scheduling and recruiting volunteers. See photos from our events here and here.
Every fall since 2015, Interfaith Power and Light (DC, MD, NoVA) has sponsored Climate in the Pulpits, inviting congregations of all faiths across DC, Maryland and VA to raise Creation care and climate justice as part of their sermons and through other learning programs. Emmanuel is proud to participate in this annual call to raise awareness across the region on the climate crisis by holding workshops, movie screenings and sermons during our Sunday services.