CREATION CARE MINISTRY
The Episcopal Church’s Covenant for the Care of Creation is a commitment to practice loving formation, liberating advocacy, and life-giving conservation as individuals, congregations, ministries and dioceses. It is helpful to review this as our Creation Care Ministry moves forward using this covenant as our guide:
In Jesus, God so loved the whole world. We follow Jesus, so we love the world God loves. Concerned about the global climate emergency, drawing from a range of approaches for our diverse contexts, we commit to form and restore loving, liberating, life-giving relationships with all of Creation.
LOVING FORMATION For God’s sake, we will grow our love for the Earth and all of life through preaching, teaching, storytelling, and prayer.
LIBERATING ADVOCACY For God’s sake, standing alongside marginalized, vulnerable peoples, we will advocate and act to repair Creation and seek the liberation and flourishing of all people.
LIFE-GIVING CONSERVATION For God’s sake, we will adopt practical ways of reducing our climate impact and living more humbly and gently on Earth as individuals, households, congregations, institutions, and dioceses.
To learn more about Immanuel’s Creation Care Ministry and Action Team, contact Denise Freeland at email@example.com.
Click here for information on how to reduce, reuse, and recycle
Click here for a comprehensive guide on planting native trees: why and how.
Click here for the latest information and FAQs on Immanuel’s solar project.
Click here for the list of native plants growing in Immanuel's garden.
CREATION CARE NEWS
August 7, 2022
Solar Project Update
Since our solar panels began generating electricity on June 7, 2022, they have produced over 17,000 kWh. This represents 26 percent of the electricity our solar vendor, SES, expects the system to generate annually. It also represents over 26,000 pounds of carbon dioxide not emitted into the atmosphere and is the equivalent of 200 trees being planted!
It has been over three years since the idea of a major solar project began to be seriously discussed at Immanuel. Many, many thanks to the donors whose gifts made the project possible – with the cost of the array, accompanying infrastructure, and roof preparation accomplished outside the church's annual budget.
We project that the array will provide two-thirds of Zabriskie's annual electrical requirements, saving the parish approximately $6,500 per year. You can click here to monitor the daily, weekly, and monthly electricity output.
July 21, 2021
Sacred Space - Memorial Garden
Our team continues to think about how to integrate sustainable practices into our planning and care for the grounds at our church. We are working with Chain Bridge Native Landscapes, a local company focused on integrating native plants and sustainable design, on several areas of our property that need new planting, especially to deal with rainwater management and erosion control.
The newly-planted area behind Zabriskie Chapel features Packera aurea (Golden ragwort), Itea virginica (Virginia Sweetspire), native ferns, and rushes, to name a few. A complete list of the garden plantings will soon be available. We hope these plants inspire parishioners and visitors alike to consider incorporating native plants for use in home gardens.
As we go through this landscaping process, we are also considering the other areas on our property, most especially the Memorial Garden, and we hope to contract with this company for further discussion and planning throughout the summer and fall. We have been blessed to have strong parishioner support over many years to care for the gardens and other spaces on the property, and we look forward to engaging many in the parish in projects on the grounds through 2021 and beyond.
July 5, 2021
After meeting virtually with the Seminary leadership team in January 2021, it became obvious that Immanuel was much further down the road of solarization than VTS. The timing of their multi-building renovations was such that the only practical solar alternative for them was a 5 KWH pilot project mounted on the roof of the Welcome Center next to the new chapel. This compared unfavorably with the 85 KWH system proposed for Immanuel and promised no economies of scale from which we could benefit.
As the first quarter of the new year progressed, we received three bids from local solar installers, IPsun, Sustainable Energy Systems (SES), and Nova. After much deliberation and analysis of the three proposals, SES was declared the winner with the best likelihood of achieving the 60% offset of our electrical needs and yielding a savings of $6,500 per year in utility costs. Concurrently, with the backing of the Rector and Vestry, we continued our silent period campaign to collect pledges to offset the cost of the project, which when complete will cost ~ $197,000. As of this writing we are about there and have opened the pledge campaign to the wider parish. All of this was reported to the parish at the 20 June Forum Hour.
In the past month, we have entered into a contract with SES to install the solar panels and accompanying electrical elements necessary to tie into the Dominion Energy grid. As part of that contract, we had to stipulate to the roof condition prior to the installation. For that reason, we contracted with DBS, who installed the new roof on the Zabriskie complex, to inspect the roof and provide a list of recommended repairs. That list is in hand and is modest in scope and includes tree trimming to improve the roof exposure. On 23 June, DBS conducted an electrical inspection of the Zabriskie complex, measured the roof area and assessed the structural integrity and spacing of the raftering. Costs to date are $3,000. Upon receipt of SES’ visit report, we can expect some changes in their proposal.
We have asked those parishioners who have indicated a desire to contribute outside of the annual pledge process to make good on their pledges across a two year timeline, with a majority of the pledges received in 2021. The earliest the installation can begin is this Fall, either in mid-September, but more likely in November. October is blocked out for the Pumpkin Patch. More to follow.
— Written by Doug Henry
May 20, 2021
Good Samaritan Collection Bin
New! The City of Alexandria is committed to recovering resources sustainably and has launched a Reuse Map and Directory. Reusing items is an effective way to save natural resources, protect the environment, and reduce costs.
Immanuel’s Good Samaritan collection bin for gently used clothing is now listed in the Alexandria Reuse Directory under “Donate or Drop Off.”
Our bin is located just off the Zabriskie parking area.
Our Trex Bench has arrived and was assembled and placed in the Memorial Garden by Shawn Whitman.
It is a powerful reminder that our parishioners and friends kept 500 pounds of plastic bags out of our local streams, rivers, and bellies of wildlife by donating the plastic bags and films to Immanuel’s Recycling Challenge. Our bench is the product responsibly created for us by Trex from our 500 pounds of plastic collected. And all of this was happening during the pandemic.
We invite you to go sit on the new bench and take some time to reflect on the past year. Thank you to all who participated in the Recycling Challenge and for caring for God’s Creation in this way.
--Submitted by Denise Freeland
January 21, 2021 Creation Care News