Newsletter

May Newsletter

jackie, May 1, 2019

Dear FACS Community:

We are grateful for the recent success we’ve had in our Fairfax to Zero campaign. We are particularly proud of the work of our advocacy teams! Together we were able to get funding for the Community-Wide Energy and Climate Action Plan. The county allocated $277,000 to fund two critical staff positions for Energy and Climate Planning charged with establishing specific goals and strategies for achieving meaningful reductions in greenhouse gas emissions. Additionally, we are ecstatic about the creation of the Office of Energy and Environment. This office will include a staff of seven and a one-million-dollar budget to lead the charge to achieve sustainable cuts in greenhouse gas pollution county wide. None of the would have been possible without the tremendous support of the Faith Community!


Advocacy

Fairfax County Board of Supervisors Forums

This year is a pivotal year for elections in Northern Virginia, with over 50 seats open in the general election this November. With so many candidates running in several key districts, the June 11th primaries provide an important opportunity to vote. See below for the races that will be on the June 11th ballot. FACS has partnered with local organizations to offer two forums on the environment for the candidates for the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors (note, all candidates have been invited) and a live, televised debate for the Democratic Candidates for Chair of the Board of Supervisors (a general election debate will be organized this fall). Come and learn what the candidates views and proposed policies are on climate and the environment!
 

On the June 11th ballot:

  • Member Virginia Senate, 31st, 33rd and 35th Districts
  • Member House of Delegates, 38th and 49th Districts
  • Commonwealth’s Attorney
  • Chairman Board of Supervisors
  • Member Board of Supervisors, Braddock District
  • Member Board of Supervisors, Hunter Mill District
  • Member Board of Supervisors, Lee District
  • Member Board of Supervisors, Providence District
More information on the upcoming elections here.
May 2nd, 7:00 – 9:00 PM at Northern Virginia Hebrew Congregation
 
May 9th, 7:00 – 9:00 PM at Church of the Good Shepherd
 
Candidates for Chair: Board of Supervisors Debate

Moderated by FACS Board Member and Lead Pastor at Peace Lutheran Church Rev. Sarah Scherschligt, candidates will discuss topics related to a healthy, sustainable and equitable Fairfax County, including climate change, affordable housing, transportation, land use and inclusion.

Date: Monday, May 13th
Time: 8:00 P.M.
Channel: Fairfax Public Access Channel 10 Inside Scoop

Sign our Fairfax to Zero Petition

FACS worked hard to encourage the Board of Supervisors to fund the new Community-wide Energy and Climate Action Plan earlier this month. Now we need your help to push them to make eliminating all greenhouse gas pollution in Fairfax County by 2050 the primary goal of the Action Plan. Establishing such a goal—standing with other leaders—will guide the County in creating its roadmap. Fairfax County can become a leader in Virginia.

Sign our Petition for Fairfax to Zero 2050

Fairfax County Healthy Communities Coalition

FACS is excited to join a coalition of local transit, clean water, housing, smart growth, and climate advocacy groups to promote the Fairfax Healthy Communities platform. We hope all candidates for Fairfax County Board of Supervisors and Virginia General Assembly offices will adopt this platform! Read the platform here.

Fairfax Healthy Communities calls for an integrated approach to the land use, housing, transportation, conservation, climate and social equity challenges facing our county.

 

Earth Day

Thank You!

April was an eventful month for congregations across Fairfax celebrating creation care! A special thank you to Messiah United Methodist Church and Peace Lutheran Church for collecting donations for FACS in honor of Earth Day. Additionally, Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Rockville, Unitarian Universality Congregation of Fairfax, St. Mark Catholic Church, United Christian Parish, McLean Islamic Center, and Northern Virginia Hebrew Congregation played the Carbon Footprint Game this month!

Upcoming Events

Sustainability Awards and Showcase

Faith Alliance for Climate Solutions is proud to announce our Showcase and Awards Celebration on Sunday, June 2nd from 3:00-5:00 PM at Northern Virginia Hebrew Congregation! Congregations are invited to host a table to display the work their congregation has accomplished this year. If you would like to host a table email jackie@faithforclimate.org.  

Faith Alliance for Climate Solutions (FACS) Sustainability Champion Awards celebrate and recognize the contributions of individuals, congregations, businesses and local elected officials/public sector employees in Northern Virginia. These individuals and organizations work tirelessly toward improving the environment; contributing to a healthy, livable climate, in our community! Nominations will be accepted in these four categories: individual, congregation, local business, and local elected official/public sector employees. Please take the time to nominate those who deserve to be celebrated by submitting a nomination form before the May 6th deadline. Awards will be presented during the June 2nd, 2019 FACS Awards and Showcase Event at 3:00 p.m. Detailed information about how to nominate can be found here.

REGISTER NOW! Join us on June 2nd and hear from Kendyl Crawford, Director of Virginia Interfaith Power and Light, speak about Environmental Justice in Virginia and strategies we can take here in Northern Virginia.

Go Green at Your Home

Join FACS at Saint John Neumann Catholic Church to learn how to purchase green energy and solar panels for your home.

Bob More, a member of Saint John Neumann, will present on purchasing green energy and how to reduce your carbon footprint through energy choices at your home.

Ryan Van Patten, a representative from LEAP, will teach participants how to go solar at their home, taking advantage of the county’s spring Solarize Campaign.

Register Here!

Date: Thursday, May 16th

Time: 10 AM – 11:30 AM

Location: Saint John Neumann Catholic Church, 11900 Lawyers Road, Reston, VA 20191

Solar for your Congregation

Join FACS & Ipsun Solar for an overview of how make solar projects a reality at your congregation. This hour long webinar will teach participants the steps to coordinate a project. This is a great webinar for any interested congregations! 

Herve Billiet of Ipsun Solar worked with green group leaders at Our Lady Queen of Peace to make their solar energy project a reality. After all the planning, permitting, coordination with the utility, and construction were completed, the resulting system of 319 panels featuring a blue Cross design came to be. During the webinar, Herve will discuss the energy cost savings and environmental impact from the solar installation, touch on the financing and Dominion program that facilitated the project, present a round up of press coverage of OLQP’s solar story, and offer thoughts on how other congregations could model their own solar projects after OLQP.

Date: Friday, May 10th

Time: 12:00 PM

Register Here!

Energy Justice Workshop 

Would you like to learn how to make your own and others’ homes more comfortable while reducing climate pollution and saving money on energy bills?

Please join the Faith Alliance for Climate Solutions at Unitarian Universalist Church in Reston for an energy justice workshop! Jill Barker and Eric Goplerud of Arlington Energy Masters will teach participants how to perform simple upgrades to achieve energy and water conservation. After reminding ourselves where our energy comes from and why it matters, this hands-on workshop will train participants of all skill levels to confidently undertake energy upgrades in their homes.

Date: Sunday, May 5th

Time: 11:45 AM – 1:45 PM

Location: Unitarian Universalist Church in Reston (1625 Wiehle Ave, Reston, Virginia 20190)

Register Here!

Plastic Paradise Documentary 

EVERY single piece of plastic that has ever been created since the 19th Century is still SOMEWHERE on our planet. So, if it never goes away, where does it go? The plastic bag recycling project of UUCF, UUCReston, Unity and Fairfax 350 has already collected more than 540 pounds or 45,000 bags plastic bags and a Trex bench will be donated to a park at the event.

Date: Friday, May 31st

Time: 6:30 PM

Location: Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Fairfax Chapel (2709 Hunter Mill Rd, Oakton, Virginia 22124)

3rd Annual Mother’s Day Rally

Learn about the youth climate movement and celebrate the Virginia Green New Deal with a lineup of incredible speakers and entertainment.

Date: Sunday, May 5th

Time: 2 – 3: 30 PM

Location: 10455 Armstrong St, Fairfax, VA 22030-3627, United States

Meaningful Watershed Educational Experience for Children

Green Muslims invites children of all faith perspectives to join together for an exciting interfaith adventure, where we explore the outdoors and its role in our lives and learn about the Chesapeake Bay Watershed we call home. This is for children ages 9-12 and will take place on Sundays, June 23-July 28, 1:30-4:30 at multiple locations. Visit the Green Muslims website for more information or email contact@greenmuslims.org.

Volunteer Opportunities

Pass out LED Bulbs with FACS

Volunteer with FACS & Fairfax County Government to pass out LED bulbs in exchange for CFL and incandescent bulbs through the county’s LED Lightbulb Exchange EventsSign up here!

Community Outreach 

Are you interested in volunteering at community events with FACS? We are looking for interested individuals who can talk about the work of FACS at community events such as farmers markers, festivals and conferences. FACS has all the materials and needs interested individuals who can volunteer for two hours at a time. We have many events coming up this Spring! Sign up here or email jackie@faithforclimate.org.

Call for Volunteers

Have a special skill? We are looking for volunteers with a few spare hours a month who can help FACS with fundraising, legal, financial and social media backgrounds. If you are interested email meg@faithforclimate.org.

Resource Corner

Ramadan Creation Care Calendar

This year Green Muslims, together with Virginia Interfaith Power & Light, wants to help you have a greener Ramadan. Give back to humanity and the earth and show your gratitude to the Creator through conservation, cleanliness, and reflection on nature. Click here to download the calendar!

Choose an Earth Friendly Restaurant              

Check out 350 Fairfax’s website and learn about Earth Friendly Restaurants in Fairfax County.

Grants for Places of Worship

Congregations can apply for grants with projects focused on watershed and energy conservation. More information can be found here.

Children’s Activities

Looking to teach children about the environment? Our blog has recommended activities, books and information just for kids! Consider implementing this in your educational classes.

 

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.

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

Montgomery County Faith Alliance for Climate Solutions

Inspired in part by the work of the Fairfax County-based Faith Alliance for Climate Solutions, Walter Weiss of River Road Unitarian Universalist Congregation and others have convened MCFACS to coordinate strong faith support and a moral voice for environmental policy and action in Montgomery County. Working together with Interfaith Power & Light, MCFACS will help connect Montgomery County congregations to opportunities to undertake climate education, greening, and state or national climate advocacy. To connect to MCFACS, join the google group by sending a blank email to mcfacs+subscribe@googlegroups.com, or contact https://groups.google.com/forum/#!contactowner/mcfacs

In Peace,

Faith Alliance for Climate Solutions