Conscientious, Creative Care of God's World
As Christians we are called to care for one another and also to care for home that God has given us. At SPC we respond to this call in ways that promote good stewardship of resources in in the building we are privileged to enjoy and on the grounds that surround it. In small but meaningful practices like using china and glass for church gatherings rather than disposable paper products, to energy-conserving temperature settings to the use of CFLs and L.E.D. lights (not to mention turning off those not in use) to the budgeting for and execution of large projects, we have tried to instill a culture of conservation.
Major projects in recent years have included:
1) 2008 - replacing large boilers and an inefficient heating system with state-of-the-art zoned heat in the part of our building that is used the most, the Nursery Day School.
2) 2009 - replacing the large boiler that served our office areas with a fuel-efficient zoned heating system, zoning the air-conditioning in the same areas, and installing a new roof with greatly improved insulation properties.
3) 2010 - our first Environmental Fair - an event open to the entire community that featured experts on solar energy, energy efficient HVAC systems, green landscaping practices, recycling, local farming, and more.
4) 2011 - partnership with members of Swarthmore Friends Meeting and other community members, establishing the "Earth Care Council," an ecumenical group committed to raising awareness, providing education and helping to connect those interested to resources and tools that will enable them to be good stewards of God's creation. Under this umbrella, we hosted our second Environmental Fair, this time at Strath Haven High School.
We are also beginning to work more closely with neighboring faith communities and municipalities in hopes that together we can be more effective in our stewardship of the larger community. Anyone interested in being part of this process is invited to visit the Environmental Stewardship Task Force page and to be in touch with chairperson, Virginia Thompson (members directory - login required).
SPC delighted to report that our efforts in environmental stewardship have been honored quite publicly. For 2 consecutive years (2009 and 2010) SPC has been distinguished as a recipient of the Energy Star Congregation Award from EPA (Environmental Protection Agency). We are one of two such congregations in the the entire country to be so honored! And in the summer of 2010, in a program new to the Presbyterian community, we were among the first congregations to be certified by PC(USA)'s Environmental Ministries as an Earth Care Congregation.