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Eco-Justice Resolutions
from Dioceses of the Episcopal Church

A Resolution on Sustainability

For the 173rd Convention of the Episcopal Diocese of Vermont, 2009


A Resolution on Sustainability

Resolved, that the stewardship of our physical resources is a complex and sensitive endeavor requiring the consideration of many issues including age, deferred maintenance and the availability of supporting infrastructure, and

Further Resolved, that energy loss is a primary factor in both the costs of maintaining our physical resources and in our institutional stewardship of God's creation, and

Further resolved, that each parish, mission, chaplaincy, agency and other entity of the Diocese is hereby directed to perform an energy audit and develop an energy loss reduction plan within the next two years, with reports to be submitted to the 174th or 175th Conventions of the Diocese.


EXPLANATION

The Energy Audit

According to resources from The Regeneration Project, an interfaith ministry devoted to deepening the connection between ecology and faith, simple improvements can reduce a church's energy costs by 20% to 40%. These small changes contribute to a church's long-term sustainability and help congregations fulfill the call to become better stewards of our natural resources. An energy audit is the first step to establishing a realistic baseline for energy use and resource stewardship throughout the Diocese. The Bishop's Task Force on Sustainability, enabled and called into service at the 171st Convention of the Diocese of Chicago, is committed to working with the needs of the entire Diocese in improving our stewardship of what God has given.

The Energy Loss Reduction Plan

The Bishop's Task Force on Sustainability is asking for loss reduction plans for several reasons. First, plans from entities throughout our Diocese will generate a bank of good ideas and best practices that can be shared. Second, the act of creating a plan serves to focus intent into action. Plans are developed in community and are tailored to the specific and unique concerns of each parish, mission, chaplaincy and agency. Third, the submission of a loss reduction plan provides accountability, both within the faith community creating its plan and among our greater community of the Diocese of Chicago. A loss reduction plan can be as simple as "Com Ed said in our audit that we need weather stripping so we plan to weather strip all doors" or as complex as a tailored alternative energy scheme.

Energy Audit Providers

The Task Force is aware of several independent companies that can provide energy audits. At least one of these has offered to provide them at no charge, but others may charge a fee for their services. The Task Force does not endorse any of these providers, and the Task Force encourages parishes, missions and Diocesan agencies to perform careful due diligence before retaining any third party (whether for a fee or at no cost) to perform an energy audit. Please contact Clare Butterfield from our partner agency, Faith in Place, at Clare@faithinplace.org if you would like information on any of those providers or if you know of a firm that you would like to add to our list. Alternatively, please contact the Task Force at ecochurch@episcopalchicago.org for that information.

Adoption of this resolution is not expected to require expenditures that would have an impact on the Diocesan budget.

Sponsor: The Bishop's Task Force on Sustainability

  • Lisa Rogers Lee, Co-chair
  • Susan Gibbons (St. Mark's Barrington Hills), Co-chair
  • Jessica Abell (CDSP)
  • Peter Graening (Cathedral of St. James)
  • Nicole Schall Plotner (Cathedral of St. James)
  • The Rev. John Crist (LaSalle Cluster)
  • Leanne Gehrig (St. John's, Chicago)
  • Therese DeLesio (Seabury Western)
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The EpEN is a national network of active lay and clergy persons within the Episcopal Church, USA, who share a common concern for the environment and a common belief in the presence of God in all Creation and who work to make these concerns and beliefs known throughout all Provinces and Dioceses within the church.  Members come from around the Episcopal Church USA.  The activities of the EpEN are focused on the areas of Reflection, Education, and Action. 

If you would like to contact any of these groups or to find out more about the EpEN, please click on the links on the left.

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last update: 2012-02-25

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