Report of RGC Winter Meeting 2012

Racine Green Congregations

Winter Meeting:

Saturday, February 4 from 8:30 to 10:00

Christ United Methodist Church


We had an energizing meeting with 35 people present representing 13 Racine congregations and organizations.

Opening Devotion: Dave Rhoads

Introductions around the table


Presentation: “The Cool Congregation Program” Peter Bakken, Director of Wisconsin Interfaith Power and Light headquartered in Madison, WI. Peter explained the steps that can be used to calculate your home carbon footprint and then take actions and chart your reduction. He gave out materials for the program. There was lively conversation with questions and sharing. Peter is willing to come back and give a half-day workshop to congregations in the Racine/ Kenosha area eager to participate in this program. The steering committee will take up this offer.


Report of the congregations:

OBUUC: Have done extensive work on energy reduction;  Did “Ties for Quilts” program (RGC home page for more information); youth sold energy-reducing products for the Green Energy Agents program; announced that Goodwill will take all clothes (even those not wearable by other standards) and ship them overseas.

Resurrection Lutheran: Sponsoring speaker Douglas Tallamy for March 5 at Golden Rondelle (See RGC home page); turning area behind church into a natural preserve, planted trees; observing Meatless Mondays for Lent; will observe Transportation Month in June (see our home page for info on both of these programs).

First Presbyterian: Looking into replacing furnace. Need info to help with decisions.

Covenant Presbyterian: Energy-reduction actions; transfer to 2 boilers, replace lighting, programable thermostats, insulation. Will investigate WEEnergies free energy audits and incentives.

Mount Pleasant Lutheran: John Berge writes monthly eco-justice newsletter column (available for your use under “Blurbs” on our RGC sidebar); have recycling of a number of items, including cell phones, domestic batteries, and other items, and other earth friendly practices.

Trinity United Methodist: Planning a walkthrough to see what more can be done on energy reduction; Held Red Cross emergency information forum; developed telephone tree for emergencies; will celebrate Mother’s Day also as Mother Earth Day with special program; will do Meatless Mondays for Lent; plan a day to recycle computers.

Emmaus Lutheran: Recycling program; Lights Out campaign to foster conservation among members; participating in Energy Stewards Program.

Racine interfaith Coalition: Pastor Michael Miller reported on recent trip to India to Gandhi Center where low-tech energy projects were abundant; Encouraged us to support HALO in getting solar panels.

Saint Andrew: Did Season of Creation; advertising recycling with different items each month (this month cell phones); planting a meditation garden; getting ready for large garden and farmer’s market in spring; St. Andrew is working with three other congregation in partnership building, including green commitment. Participating in Energy Stewards Initiative.  

Christ United Methodist: new energy audit; working on lighting and energy reduction actions.

St. Luke Episcopal: just getting started; changed over from paper to ceramic in the kitchen.

Holy Communion Lutheran: Lots of energy-reduction activity has been done throughout the buildings; weekly prayers for Earth in worship.


Special Invitation from Kenosha Green Congregations: Three representatives from Kenosha shared their visions for starting a Green Congregation Program in Kenosha. Last month, five steering committee representatives of four churches met with Dave Rhoads to develop plans. They will have their first meeting in March, and they are requesting that we send representatives to their meeting to explain our program. We wish them the best and extend our support.


Closing: Blessing by Sandy Roberts


Thanks to Christ United Methodist Church for hosting us, to Betty Brenneman and Marilyn Kiemen for providing refreshments, and for our speaker Peter Bakken.


Next Meeting: Saturday, March 31 from 8:30 to 10:00 at Mount Pleasant Lutheran Church.

“The Nehemiah Project” presented by The Rev. Bill Thompkins, Fellowship of Christian Believers.