Congregations Share Sustainability Initiatives & Resources

The exciting and diverse range of green initiatives occurring in local faith communities was presented to an interested group of congregation representatives at the Sustainability in Your Congregation gathering on September 11, 2012. Sponsored by the Interfaith Green Network, the meeting provided an opportunity for eight congregations to each share a specific initiative and for all participants to learn about local resources for support. Some common themes emerged as presenters shared stories of successful processes and barriers to change. Two prominent and related themes were the importance of continuing, consistent education as preparation for change, and the need for incremental change.  Several congregations reported unexpected, indirect benefits resulting from their sustainability initiatives.

Congregations presenting were:

  • ·         Ascension Catholic Church – Community Garden
  • ·         Euclid Avenue United Methodist Church - Geothermal Heating and Cooling
  • ·         Fair Oaks Presbyterian Church – Garden Ministry
  • ·         First United Church of Oak Park – Professional Energy Audit
  • ·         Good Shepherd Lutheran Church – Green Fair and Eco-Film Fest
  • ·         Grace Lutheran Church and School – Waste Reduction / Recycling
  • ·         St. Giles Family Mass – Community Makes Change Faster
  • ·         Unity Temple – Policy Advocacy


Five resource groups presented information about their work and the services available to congregations. Groups presenting included Citizens Climate Lobby, Green Community Connections, Seven Generations Ahead, Sugar Beet, and EI2. After the formal presentations, all resource groups were available for discussion and materials distribution for participants.  (See contact information for resource groups below.)


To learn more about this meeting or about the Interfaith Green Network, contact Richard Alton, 773-344-7172 or

Click here to see the complete power point slides from “Sustainability in Your Congregation."


Resource Groups—Contact Information


Energy Impact Illinois—

Home energy assessments and weatherization rebates!

Pamela Brookstein,



The Sugar Beet Coop—

Request the e-newsletter for this planned local food coop!

Cheryl Munoz,



Seven Generations Ahead/PlanItGreen—

Environmental Stewards Program for Oak Park/River Forest Sustainability Plan

Erin McMillan,

708-660-9909, x4


Citizens Climate Lobby—

Speakers bureau on climate change and carbon tax solution

Ken O’Hare,



Green Community Connections—

One Earth Film Festival, Green Living & Learning Tour, web site, eNewsletter and Facebook page with calendar and news about local sustainability events & networking

Sally Stovall,