Welcome to The Racine Green Congregation Program!
An interfaith coalition of congregations promoting ecologocal justice and sustainable living from faith perspectives in Racine, Wisconsin.
 Welcome our Companion Organization: The Kenosha Green Congregation Program
 

RACINE GREEN CONGREGATIONS

REPORT FOR SPRING MEETING SATURDAY, APRIL 5, 2014 AT TRINITY UNITED METHODIST CHURCH

 

Present: 15 people representing The Eco-Justice Center, Emmaus/St. Andrew, First United Methodist Church of Muskego. Mount Pleasant Lutheran, Olympia Brown Unitarian Universalist, Resurrection Lutheran, and Trinity United Methodist Church.

 

The Rev Jeanne Jones of Trinity United Methodist gave the opening devotion

 

“Earth-friendly Lawn Care: What it is and How to do it.” Presented by Alison Chernouski of the Root Pike Watershed Initiative Network.

The presentation explained the organization and the programs of Root-Pike Watershed Initiative Network. She explained how the runoff from our yards gets into the waste stream and eventually the water shed. We were encouraged to avoid fertilizers and other lawn or garden treatments with toxins. We were also told not to put grass clippings on the street to be washed down in the storm drain. These items drain critical oxygen needed by fish and other water life. We are to pick up after our dogs. Stop oil leaks in cars and use a car wash.

We were encouraged to plant trees and rain gardens that absorb water rather than let it run off and to install rain barrels to catch/ use water coming off of rooftops. We were encouraged to use milorganite as fertilizer, which will safely promote grass growth and also diminish weeds. Also, she promoted fescue lawn grass, a short slow-growing grass that will significantly limit the need to mow. Alison answered question of the group.

 

The congregations then reported their green activities.

The Eco-Justice Center: Sister Janet went through a list of activities that are taking place in the next few months at the Eco-Justice Center. She also reported that they are in process of building a treehouse.

 

Resurrection Lutheran Church: They have developed a prairie area on their property that includes berry bearing trees, seed balls thrown into the Prairie to create flower bombs, and a place for people to walk and enjoy the natural area.

 

Olympia Brown Unitarian Universalist: They are in process of expanding the planting of native garden plants in a natural area near their building.

 

Trinity United Methodist Church: They were happy to host our meeting. They are recycling printer cartridges and their bulletins. They host the food pantry on the north side. They also announced that there was a recycling day at the Caledonia town Hall for all things electronic.

 

Mount Pleasant Lutheran Church: They showed a display that could be used at Earth Sunday that included recycled toilet paper, recycled coffee filters, compact fluorescent light bulbs, the recycling of hardcover books, and the disposal of medications. They showed a video by high school girls on water use. John Berge he writes a monthly column on local issues of ecological stewardship which is circulated for other congregations to include in their newsletters.

 

First United Methodist Church of Muskego: They have installed a rain barrel, and they work with their garden to provide food for the Muskego food pantry.

 

Emmaus/ St. Andrew Lutheran Church: Together these congregations are carrying out the Cool Congregation program designed to lower energy use and carbon footprint in member’s homes. They have about 20 home units participating, divided into small groups to meet and do their home carbon footprint, make a pledge to lower their energy use in various ways, and to return a year later and measure the ways in which they have lowered their carbon footprint.

St. Andrew has qualified as an Energy Star certified house of worship, which they have achieved through the Energy Stewards Initiative program sponsored by Lutherans Restoring Creation. EPA Energy Star has announced that the EPA energy Star program will be an initiative in Racine and Kenosha. Information was given out about this program.

 

Emmaus/ St. Andrew also has its leadership in place for its garden and for the farmers market it hosts in the parking lot on 4 mile Road on Thursday afternoons. They will continue to contribute to the food pantry in the north side at Trinity United Methodist.

 

Rev. Michael Mueller closed with prayer.

Our thanks to Trinity United Methodist Church for hosting us and for the refreshments.

 



Cool Congregation Training Program for reduction of home energy:
On Saturday, November 2, 2013. 8:30 to 9:00 at the Lutheran Church of the Resurrection, representatives from six congregations and the Eco-Justice Center congregations were trained in order to train members of their congregations members in reducing energy and carbon footprint in their homes. Participants calculated their own carbon footprint and made pledges to reduce energy use. We saw a power point presentation by Peter Bakken, head of the Wisconsin Interfaith Power and Light Organization. Sister Janet took us through a process of getting us in touch with our faith roots and our deepest concerns. At the end, each church made plans for next steps.
To view a brochure, click here. To see a description of the program, click here.
Or, to get to the same sign-up, you can also go to the link at the Wisconsin Interfaith Power and Light website, Cool Congregations Page:

http://www.wisconsinipl.org/wiplcoolcongregations.htm. (You can also get to this page from the www.wisconsinipl.org home page, by clicking on the top left “Cool Congregations” button)

Questions? Contact David Rhoads, director of the Racine Green Congregation Program at drhoads@lstc.edu
 
If you want to do your own energy assessment of your home, download The Home Checklist for Energy Savings: Room by Room.
 
Fall meeting: October 5, 2013. Kate Field on "Permaculture" Click here for a full report.
Cool Congregation Training Program for reduction of home energy: Saturday, November 2, 2013. 8:30 to 9:00. Seeking small teams from congregations to be trained and return to congregation to train members. To participate, contact David Rhoads at drhoads@lstc.edu

Spring Meeting: Saturday, April 5, 2014 from 8:30 to 10:00 at Trinity United Methodist Church. Program TBA
Featured Projects
 

Lent 2014:

Meatless Mondays or Veggie Mondays (Spring/ Lent, 2012)
Racine Green Congregations join for six weeks in the late winter and early spring a Lenten Discipline for those congregations observing Lent. The congregations will seek to enlist individuals and families to observe one day a week with a meatless meal, designed to reduce the carbon emissions that come from the raising of aniumals for food and also to contribute the money you save to a charity of your choice for hunger relief. 
Click here for the full resources for obsering Meatless Mondays for six weeks: Introduction, prayers, recipes, facts about hunger. Click here for just meatless recipes.
We invite others to contribute meatless recipes that we will post on the site to David Rhoads at drhoads@lstc.edu. 
 
Carbon Fasting for Lent. The United Church of Christ in Massachusetts sponsors an ecumenical carbon fast for Lent. If you sign up, you will receive each day via e-mail an insopirational message and a suggested activity for reducing your carbon output. The sign-up is at: http://www.macucc.org/pages/detail/2410.
 
Earth Day 2014. Earth Day is April 22. So it is a grand opportunity for congregations to celebrate their commitment to care for creation with worship and educational events on the weekend of April 26 and 27. Christian communities can check out the resources at the National Council of Churches site at http://nccecojustice.org/earthday/. 
 
Mother's Day.
Celebrate Mother Earth's Day. Trinity United Methodist holds a panel of garden specialists promoting healthy gardening practices to honor Mother Earth. At Resurrection Lutheran, they plant trees. Be creative. Find a way to celebrate and honor earth on Mother's day!
 
Arbor Day:
Plant Trees. This year, celebrate Arbor day by planting trees on yourchurch property and by encouraging members to plant trees. Visit the Arbor day website for ideas and information, consult with the city arborist or other local expert, and learn more about the beauty of trees and the value of trees and forests for the support of life on our planet. Get 10 free trees: www.arborday.org.

 

Father's Day Project:

Collect Neckties for Quilts: Collect old ties and contribute them to Prairie Moon Quilts (www.prairiemoonquilts.com), which makes quilts from the ties and contributes the quilts and the proceeds to charities. Last year, Olympia Brown Unitarian Universalist Church and Trinity United Methodist did this project and collected hundreds of ties. Send the collected ties to Prairie Moon Quilts: Necktie Project, 31763 Intrepid Road, Macon, MO 63552. For more information, contact Jeff Sytsma at jeff12759@aol.com. Consider this project for Father's Day, June 19.

Transportation Month (May or June)
As part of our monthly emphasis, RGC offers resources to observe transportation month. Last year, Resurrection Lutheran Church observed a month-long emphasis on transportation as a means to live simply and to reduce carbon use. Check out all the resources--information, study guide, bulletin announcements, suggstions for congregation and home, and a letter template to send to representatives--under "Projects" on the side bar. See what Resurrection did with bicycles, smart cars, and more. Transportation month at Resurrection.
 
Celebrate the Season of Creation (2014). To prepare for this, go to www.letallcreationpraise.org where you will find all the resources needed for worship committees, preachers, and education committees to plan and carry out this important season of the church year.
News Items

FREE ELECTRONIC RECYCLING

Racine Habitat ReStore is now providing no charge electronic recycling at 2302 DeKoven Ave. Deliver electronic items to ReStore, located in the Kranz building one block east of Taylor Ave. It is open Tuesdays and Thursdays, 10 to 4 and Saturdays 9 to 4.

 

Electronic recycling service has been added to to the ReStore mission of selling donated new and used construction materials, household furniture, major appliances and fixtures. All proceeds are used to build and rehab Habitat homes in Racine.

 

Accepted electronics include TVs and monitors, computers / laptops and parts, peripherals, printers, stereos, video and audio recorders, phones, typewriters, video game consoles and more.

Questions: call 262 898 2929 Lois Solberg, Mgr.

 

Gateway Earth Day Eco-Fair: TBA
 
Bird City USA: Racine has qualified to be declard a "Bird City" by the organization Bird City USA. To see the criteria for this selection, go to www.birdcitywisconsin.org.
 
Racine Marinas Certified as "Green." All four of Racine's marinas--Reefpoint, LakeShore Towers, Gaslight Pointe, and the racine Yacht Club have been certified as clean marinas by the recently formed Wisconsin Marina Association. For news and a guidebook, go to www.wisconsincleanmarina.org.
 
WE Energies Energy Efficiency Program for Congregations.
WE Energies offers congregations free energy audits, reports with recommendations, some free energy saving devices, and many incentives on products to reduce energy. This is a no brainer!! Even if you have done this longer than three years ago, it is worthwhile doing it again and taking it to the next level. There is nothing to lose and everything to gain. At our RGC meeting on Saturday May 1 at 8:30 (see details above), Jon Young, the Souteastern WI point person for this program, presented a power point about this initiative. Invite property people and trustees. For more information, click here and go to the WE Energies Web site link for small businesses.
 
Wild Root Market: Developing a New Food Co-op in Racine.

Our mission is to enhance the quality of life and economic vitality of southeastern Wisconsin through the sustainable operation of a full-service, cooperatively owned grocery store serving its community, employees and owners while working as a part of a stronger local food system.  

 

Wild Root Market is a values driven business which will operate according to the 7 Cooperative Principles  Thusly, Wild Root Market will promote and model business practices which underscore the ideas of equality, economic justice, environmental sustainability, and fair trade.  As a for-profit corporation, Wild Root Market promises to be an excellent corporate citizen that values a triple bottom line:  profit, people, and planet.  For more information about Wild Root Market, to buy a share, or to become involved in growing it's membership, please send inquiries or mailto:colleen@wildrootmarket.com.