This blog was created by the Green Team at South Church in Andover, MA. The Green Team's purpose is to promote good environmental stewardship in the church's facilities, in our homes, and the wider community. The committee also works to raise awareness and foster action on Climate Change.
Co-chairs Mark Bohrer and Candy Dann
South Church is a member congregation of the United Church of Christ www.ucc.org and the Massachusetts UCC conference www.macucc.org.
oBill spoke to several people today at fellowship hour about attending the environmental retreat.
oOnes who expressed interest included: Nathan Combs, Peter and Deb White, Tom Appleton and Eric Stubenhaus.
-Mar 4 – Mark promoted the retreat
oGood interest from David and Ellen Van Arsdale
§Their son Mark Van Arsdale is a HS science teacher in Alaska. He was selected for a NOAA expedition to the Gulf of Alaska this summer as part of the US Fisheries research program. He wrote a marine biology environmental curriculum for high school. Possible Skype call during retreat? Talked about this with Ellen Van Arsdale.
oLindsay King, with 13 month old daughter
oTalked to several other people and gave out flyers, but didn’t get names
-Signed up - From February meeting:
oThere were roughly 11 families, ~25 people – Steve has a list of names – this is about half of a good turnout (more is better)
oneed more younger families with kids
-So far (adults+kids)
oDana Walsh & family (2+2),
oBohrer (1+1, and 2 partial? depends on band schedule)
oSteve’s list – Mason’s?, Nardini’s?, others…
Retreat Planning Committee
ACTION: Mark to schedule committee meeting
-Steve Fink, Nick Bohrer, Mark Bohrer, Susan Johnston, Graham Long, Anna McGrath, Kristie Nardini
-Invite: Emily Appleton
Highland Center Room Availability
Steve checked with AMC Highland Center –we don’t have a block reserved for us, if I’m remembering correctly – However there are still a good number of rooms available, but they are being reserved, so people do need to make their reservations, and encourage anyone planning to go to reservations.
Plan for next few months – personal invites - ACTIONS
-Steve >> handoff to Mark, Bill and Candy
oMarc & Suzy Henderson, John and Lois Roberts, (English teacher…), Chris & Lenore Price
oMulu Kedebe & Jacob Urban, Buffy Pritchard
oWayne and Robin Gendron
oTom Appleton, Betsy Hopkins, Emily Appleton (invite to the committee), Polly & Duncan Pyle, Steve Longo
-Send responses to Mark, who will compile list
Push for reservation at AMC Crawford Center by Earth Day...
Fall / Family / Foliage / Fun / Future! (Logo: maple leaf? )
Celebrating Nature / Celebrating Family / Celebrating the Future
-Mark sent an email to Dana asking about Earth Day plans. Earth Day is Sunday April 22
1)All-Member Retreat For The Environment – Columbus Day Weekend
·Announcement at church this Sunday to
promote signups & reservation
·Steve put together an updated info
packet – he will send out a new version after a few tweaks
·Mark & Susan will be at Fellowship
hour to promote
·Bill contacted Jan Holden on Social
Justice Coalition and Board of World Service
·Both groups are interested in working
together on this
·Next step: assemble a team, start the
process of church discussion of divestment
·This will start in December
·Model for this discussion will be to put
together series of church meetings
·Similar to process for solar panels
and Lupine road
·Not known yet whether we bring forward
to the Trustees this year
·Goal is to get church to divest, and also
general church membership to divest
·Related goal for church is to discuss
and implement a socially conscious investment policy
3)Climate News / Activism
·Bill and Susan went to event by
medical doctors on climate change effects on public health TODAY.
·This conflicts with the perception of
most Americans that climate change won’t affect them and their families until
sometime in the future. But the doctors told how it is affecting people and
·These personal stories are more
effective than just the scientific
4)Storytelling Event – Janet Clarke talked to Dana
·Possible dates in spring – date not
Email from Janet:
I met with Dana yesterday to discuss plans for a Storytelling speaker and
meal event and to make it a church wide event, not just a Green team event.
Storytelling is what we are about in our Faith journey, sharing the Good
Dana is very interested in the idea and suggests partnering with the
Deacons and Youth, to build interest from a wider perspective and also for
We also discussed using this as part of writing our Lenten booklet
stories, or around Earth Day. Ash Wed is
Feb. 14th, the Lenten book deadline would be late in Jan. We looked at
presenting this after worship on a Sunday.
The calendar is full, possible dates:
Jan. 21st- (is the day after the
Chili Cookoff), Best dates- Feb 4th, and
May 6th (would fit with Earth Day)
Other possible scenarios for this would be during the week when
youth/confirmation met, pulling in those families and youth, or a Saturday
Present: Mark Bohrer, Fran Fink, Steve Fink, Bill Schroeder, Janet Clarke
Away: Iric Rex, Terry Ebner, Marty Mason, Candy Dann, Susan Johnston
Mark to add Marty Mason to Green Team committee mailings!
Next meeting: Thu Nov 16
1)Harvest Dinner Recap
·Great family event, kids and families made scarecrows and pasta
·Good turnout, although fewer than 2016
i.probably around 50 in attendance vs maybe 65 in 2016
ii.Next year: focus on the personal invitations, and signup for little jobs
·Dana spoke about church giving, which matched well with the theme of the Giving Garden
·Slide show of Giving Garden played during pasta/activities time and dinner
·Emily spoke about the Giving Garden, and a short green Ted video about Nokia corporate environmental responsibility.
i.We did lose > 50% people before the green video
2)MA Interfaith Power & Light – you’re invited to the Nov 1st annual conference!
·If you’re interested, contact Bill Schroeder, to carpool from Andover: WESchro721@aol.com
·Theme: “Paris: We’re Still In!”
·First Parish in Framingham, Scott Hall, 24 Vernon St., Framingham, Nov 1, 2017, 7 PM – 9PM
Global warming is a moral issue that we are called to address--and soon. Learn how Massachusetts can lead by passing laws that will move us to a clean energy future. Hear what congregations are doing to reduce carbon pollution, engage their communities, and witness publicly.
i.Why Massachusetts Needs a Carbon Pricing Law: Senator Mike Barrett
ii.Solar Access 4All :
·Rev. Mariama White-Hammond, Bethel AME, Andrea Nyamekye, Neighbor 2 Neighbor, Joel Wool, Clean Water Action
iii.Advocating for 100% Renewable Energy for Framingham
·Larry Decker, First Parish, Framingham & Mike Croci, Sustainable Framingham
ii.Living Our Values: Joan Rachlin, Temple Israel, Boston
iii.A Vision of Carbon Neutrality, Jim Nail, St. Dunstan’s, Dover
3)Divestment - Report from Bill Schroeder
·Candy and I met with Kate Jagger last Thursday to talk about ways to approach the fossil fuel divestment/socially responsible investing discussion in the congregation. Kate had a number of good suggestions, including:
i.Make it a conversation and not a specific proposal. If you start out with a proposal, then the proponents are on the defensive. And other valuable suggestions aren't gathered easily.
ii.There is money available from the Science and Faith fund that could be used to facilitate the discussion. Maybe pay for guest speakers. Maybe pay for child care at discussion sessions
iii.The church is about to roll out a Planned Giving Drive. Would be good to not draw attention away from that.
·We agreed that the next steps should be:
i.Get team of proponents together. See if Board of World Service or Social Justice Coalition want to engage on the fossil fuel divestment. This can become a church movement.
ii.Go to council - ask for them to endorse the conversation
iii.If endorsed, make an initial plan for how to hold the conversation.
4)Retreat Planning - Green Retreat for the Future 2.0
-Highland Center Date set: Oct 5th – 7th – Columbus Day weekend 2018
-Steve making progress on organizing a retreat committee
-In discussion: lead in program: storytelling seminar in Spring 2018
§ACTION: Janet – write up a short promo summary of story telling seminar
·Talk to Dana and Alex, who are interested in idea of story telling
§Connect to Earth Day? Invite confirmands ?
-Retreat - Similar format & structure, Explore area, Science projects, Guest speaker
oSteve presented the Why/How/What for the retreat (include)
-Market as Family Christmas gift December 2017
oRetreat theme: Successes, inspiration, stories!
-Storytelling: start with a family environmental project, what is the story?
-Everything good that’s happening that we don’t always think about
oFor example: Candy talked about how acid rain was solved
oFor example: Steve presents about his house, with pictures
oFor example: kids show what they’ve done, what they care about << this is powerful
§kids especially have moral authority
oFor example: Bill tell the story of MIPL, what, why, who
-Have readout afterwards on the stories at church, at a service
5)Two funds at church could support Green Team activities, if money needed for anything - Seeds of Faith Fund and Science Fund
Plans for Earth Day 2018
-have a green/solar house tour.
-invite North Parish, Christ Church, many congregations
-See if there is a local solar tour
-ACTION (Mark): contact staff – date for Earth Sunday in Spring
Was is there a mini-kitchen in library? Refrigerator, microwave, coffee makers...when kitchen is not so far! Steve will talk to Alex.