October Newsletter

jackie, October 1, 2019

On Tuesday, September 17th over 300 people of faith and community members across Virginia came together to engage in a deep conversation about environmental justice. As we work together to repair our damaged climate, we must make sure that everyone most impacted — including low-income people, people of color, the vulnerable, and those on the frontlines — is part of every solution. Please sign our petition to the Federal Energy Regulation Commission asking them to issue a stop-work order for the Mountain Valley and Atlantic Coast Pipelines. These pipelines disproportionately impact lower-income and elderly people, African American and Native American communities. 


If you missed the event you can read about it here or watch a recording here. If you feel energized and called to act, get involved in our advocacy work, upcoming events, and programs below!



Youth Climate Strike

Thanks to all who marched with FACS at the Youth Climate Strike! We were inspired and energized by all the voices calling for climate action! If you’re looking for ways to discuss and engage youth about climate change check out these activities. Check out this link for more photos:


Fairfax County Budget Testimony

FACS Board Member and Temple Rodef Shalom member Joe Cohen, FACS Board Chair Eric Goplerud, and Great Falls Group Sierra Club Virginia Clean Energy Chair Debra Jacobson all testified in support of Fairfax County’s FY2020 carryover budget recommendations which included $4.5 million for the next year of the county operations energy strategy and $750,000 for a consultant to develop the Community-Wide Energy and Climate Action Plan (CECAP). The board unanimously approved funding of these initiatives. This was a critical step in ensuring forward movement on climate in the county.


Arlington County Energy Plan

Board Member, David Kepley, at a rally organized by the Virginia Sierra Club celebrating Arlington County’s decision to adopt the Community Energy Plan. The plan incorporates goals for buildings; resilience; renewable energy; transportation, County government actions, and education and human behavior. Specifically, it calls for Arlington to become carbon neutral by 2050, government operations to achieve 100% renewable electricity by 2025 and for the community to achieve 100% renewable electricity by 2035. The FACS Fairfax to Zero goal urges Fairfax County to adopt a goal of net zero emissions by 2050. Sign our petition to tell Fairfax County to take action!



Board of Supervisors Environmental Committee Meeting 

Join FACS advocacy members at the Board of Supervisors Environmental Committee Meeting which is open to the public. Check here for the agenda and background materials as they are available. It is anticipated that the Tree Action Plan will be reviewed as well as an update on the CECAP and other items.

Date: Tuesday, October 8th

Time: 11:00 AM

Loaction: Fairfax Government Building (12000 Government Center Parkway

Fairfax, VA, 22035)

Advocacy Teams

FACS is seeking new members to join 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 at

C-PACE Webinar

Join FACS for a C-PACE Webinar! Financing building improvements and clean energy upgrades using Commercial Property Assessed Clean Energy (C-PACE) can help faith-based organizations and overcome upfront cost barriers and easily access capital that is paid for over time through savings on utility bills.  C-PACE offers low interest rates, long terms to minimize payments, and a solid value proposition for mission-driven organizations that may have difficulty accessing more traditional financing. That’s a good deal not only for communities, but for local clean energy businesses, the regional economy, and our shared environment.

This webinar will offer an overview of C-PACE programs in the region, and successful examples of faith-based and non-profit organizations that have used this financing.  Presenters will answer frequently asked questions these organizations may have about C-PACE.

Date: November 7th

Time: 12:00 – 1:00 PM

To register, please click on the following link: C-PACE for Faith-based Organizations and Non-Profits

Upcoming Events

Fall Candidate Forums

2019 is THE vital election year for Fairfax County with ALL local & state candidates on the ballot. Hosted by the League of Women Voters, FACS is co-hosting a series of non-partisan forums this fall. See the full schedule and link to volunteer on the LWV website. FACS Advocacy Teams will be present at each forum. Contact us for more information and to get involved.

Spirituality and Sustainability Webinar

Many faith-based organizations want to take action to help steward our environment, starting with their own buildings, but often don’t know how to begin. This webinar will provide framework and tools to help congregations accelerate their energy transitions. 

Date: October 15th

Time: 1:15 – 2:45 PM

Register Here

Climate in the Pulpits

This fall, through a partnership between Interfaith Power & Light (MD.DC.NoVA), Faith Alliance for Climate Solutions, and Virginia Interfaith Power & Light, pastors, rabbis, imams, and other clergy in congregations across the region will be raising up Creation care and climate change as part of their sermons at weekly services and through other learning programs. Throughout Virginia, congregations will be inviting the ir communities to better care for Creation: at home, in our congregations, in our local governments, and around the world.

Sign up at to commit your congregation to raising up climate during the weekend of November 15-17, or any weekend this fall. You are invited to participate i n a way that best fits your community. This could include inviting a guest speaker, hosting a coffee hour discussion, or organizing a workshop. Email with questions.


Plastic Free Challenge

Join the Plastic Free Challenge from October 1st to 30th and pledge to avoid single-use plastic—especially plastic bags, bottles, and straws. This is a great opprotunity to change your habits. You can sign up here! Want to get your congregation involved? Learn more about reducing your plastic consumption  or watch Walk the Talk: How to Reduce Waste At Your Congregation. 

Day of Action: Creek Clean Up

Faith Alliance for Climate Solutions is partnering with Friends of Accotink Creek and the Plastic Free Challenge for a Day of Action for people of Faith. Join other volunteers making Accotink Creek a cleaner and healthier place for fish, frogs, and people by removing plastic trash. Enlist your place of worship to contribute to the effort and spread awareness of our shared responsibilities to the environment. This event is great for Green Teams, individuals, or congregations. All are welcome to this event including youth and children. Volunteers should dress appropriately for walking in the woods, with long sleeves, long pants, and sturdy footwear. Wading gear, grab st icks, and rakes also help, since much of the trash is in the water. We will supply bags and gloves.

Date: Saturday, October 5th 9:00 – 11:00 AM

Location: 3401 Pickett Road, Fairfax VA 22031

RSVP Here 


Faith Spotlight

Jilliann Downey, a youth at Mount Vernon Unitarian Church, recited an original poem about climate change at the service. You can read the poem below! 

You Can’t Comb Over Climate Change

We eat a single burger from our favorite restaurant

The water boils

We climb into our gas guzzling, poison emitting machines

And make another pointless trip to who knows where

The water boils

The office building is chilled to the point of people reaching for sweaters

The water boils

New homes arise and with them, trees fall

The water boils

A building is added to the swell of a bustling city

The water boils

And we are the frog with little time to jump from the pot

Plastic Free Fairfax Spotlight 

Together, Unity of Fairfax, 350 Fairfax, Woodburn Homes Civic Association, and the Unitarian Universalist Church of Reston worked together to recycle plastic bags in Fairfax after being inspired by the Plastic Free Challenge


“We learned that plastic bags can’t be recycled in Fairfax County and they do harm to recycling plants. Instead of throwing them out, we learned of a company, Trex, that collects plastic films and turns them into decking material and outdoor furniture.  Through a call to Trex we discovered that they offer recycling challenges for schools, universities and other groups.  For civic and faith-based groups, the challenge offers an outdoor bench in return for collecting 500 pounds of low and high-density polyethylene films within a six month period.” Read more here!


In Peace,


Faith Alliance for Climate Solutions


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