Thursday, June 20, 2019

Green Team Meeting Notes and Plans 6-20-2019

Green Team Meeting Notes and Plans 6/20/2019

Attendees: Bill Schroeder, Steve Fink, Fran Fink, Mark Bohrer, Susan Johnston, Candy Dann
Away: Graham Long, Janet Clarke, Tim Smith

ACTION – Mark – after input received – followup with church staff – what dates do we have?

News: New meeting night! We will now be meeting on 3rd Tuesday of the month – next meeting is August 20th!

1)      Green Bee
-          Discussed new topics
                                             i.      Energy audit by Mass Save is worth checking even if you’ve done it before!
Candy had her 4th – and they found an additional thing to do – they added insulation in her attic. Residents of Andover benefit from additional support by Columbia Gas. Instead of 75% coverage by MassSave, insulation is now covered 100% with Columbia Gas contribution. So now is the time to think about an Energy Audit! This program by Columbia Gas is only good for
                                           ii.      Energy in NE - Bill
                                         iii.      “Zero Waste” Picnic followup – talk about what we what we did as a church! Less than 5 lbs of trash was leftover. Everything else was composted or recycle.  - Bill
                                         iv.      Lupine Road energy saving  - Steve
                                           v.      Greater Lawrence Technical HS programs – Steve
                                         vi.      Carbon Offsets for travel – Mark

2)      How can we have a climate prayer moment in every service
-          More positive messages than concerns is important – what people are doing that is succeeding, how people are coming together around the world, Good news “Eagles return to their places along the Merrimack!”, etc
3)      Picnic - Followup
o   Education value was useful – people learning about what can be composted, recycle, “it’s easy” conversations….
o   Having a compost service was useful to get people to see it and think about this option
§  Could church benefit from compost service? The thought is probably not…

4)      Retreat followup – people talked to Steve about it positively – we should think about Fall 2020…new location?

5)      Bio-Mass Energy Discussion  - Bill
o   There is a proposed plan in the state to add bio-mass energy prodution in western Mass.
o   Mass DOER is proposing treating bio-mass energy sources as a Class 1 renewable energy source
o   Bill find out some more and share info
o   Movie “Burned” was very enlightening about how this is not a good idea environmentally

6)      Church Year Plans
o   Harvest Dinner – is set for Saturday October 19th
§  Celebrate the Giving Garden, sharing what they did, how they did it.
o   Fall Sunday Service – Social Justice and Climate Crisis – no feedback from pastoral staff as of yet
§  This is an opportunity to have the youth be involved
§  Can this be a community event?
§  The Green Team is ready to assist
o   Earth Day Sunday (50th year of Earth Day) – no feedback from pastoral staff as of yet
§  Any Sunday April 19 through mid-May
·         Green team is ready to support pastoral staff and contributing in any way we can
·         Can the service be a community event?
o   Can one of the monthly contributions go to a local conservation or environmental group?
7)      Discussion on possible microgrid plans in Andover – Steve has plans in progress

Parking Lot - Not discussed
8)      Renewable/Electric options for church
-          Long-term Plan to get the church off gas completely

Wednesday, May 29, 2019

2019 Annual Report of the Green Team

2019 Annual Report of the Green Team

The Green Team is an ad-hoc committee within the Church. Its purpose is to promote good environmental stewardship in the church's facilities, in our homes, and in the wider community. The committee works to foster action on the Climate Crisis and on Climate Justice. Our motto is “We can do this!” We meet once a month during the regular church year. We welcome new members and new ideas. Everyone is welcome to participate!

All-Church Retreat: We hosted an all-church retreat on nature, the environment and creation care. It took place on Oct 5-7 2018 at the AMC Highland Center at Crawford Notch, NH. All ages took part. We were both outdoors and in. Rev. Jim Antal, the outgoing Mass UCC President, was the special guest speaker. Because of the recent Columbia Gas crisis, the discussions and workshops took on added importance. From this came Mary Pritchard founding the group Working to Educate for Climate Action Now (WECAN).

The Green Bee: A new feature in the Weekly Buzz – these short pieces give tips about being "more green" with links to articles that go into more depth about environmental issues.  They have been ranging from 7 to 24 "clicks" when these links have been offered, an excellent response! (Nora is able to chart these.) 

Report on the Solar Panels - after 6 years in service, and with efficiency improvements at the church, the solar panels are now producing MORE than 100% of our annual electricity needs. You can find the report on the solar panels on the church website green team page:

Divestment: The Green Team raised the issue of Socially Responsible Investing (SRI) and fossil fuel divestment for the church's investments.  At the request of Church Council a separate committee was established to facilitate a church-wide discussion on the topic.  The SRI committee hosted several open discussions, and published its findings on the church website here:   As a result of this discussion the Trustees of the Trust Funds have begun shifting the church's investments in the direction of SRI (or Environmental, Social and Governance, as it is often now called).  A number of individual church members have also made changes in their investments as a result.

Green Picnic: Last June, we again helped make the all-church picnic a “green” event again by setting up and demonstrating how to compost food waste, paper products and recyclables, and how throw away trash can be greatly reduced, almost to zero. Our goal was to show that it’s easy to do this at your home once you know how.

Earth Day: In 2019 Earth Day fell on the day after Easter, so there was no specific Earth Day worship service. However, there was a church-wide ONCET meeting on April 27 in which church members discussed their visions for the environment and future generations in South Church's future ministries.  Also, Faith Forums hosted a several week study/discussion titled "The Climate Crisis - What Will We Do?"

Respectfully submitted,
Mark Bohrer, Candy Dann, Bill Schroeder, Susan Johnston, Steve Fink, Fran Fink, Janet Clarke, Graham Long, and Iric Rex.                                                 Contact us at

Thursday, May 16, 2019

Green Team Meeting Notes 5/16/2019

Green Team Meeting Notes 5/16/2019

Attendees: Bill Schroeder, Graham Long, Steve Fink Mark Bohrer, Susan Johnston, Candy Dann (phone)
Away: Fran Fink, Janet Clarke, Tim Smith

ACTION – Susan – call Offbeat Compost to see if they compost paper plates
ACTION – Susan – order compostable plates & napkins
ACTION – Candy – check with contact John Genetti at AHS about composting paper plates
ACTION – Steve – drop off compost bin & cups – either at church or with Susan
ACTION – Mark – contact 3 Giving Garden leads on proposal for Harvest Dinner in Fall
ACTION – Mark – after input received - send church calendar request this month to pastoral staff

1)      Picnic
o   Supplies
§  Paper plates – we need 500 – Susan found a source online - sturdy
§  Cups – re-usable plastic cups - Finks will drop off & coordinate with Susan
§  Bowls –  Candy will drop off bowls
§  Silverware – use church silver & wash
§  Green barrel – Finks will drop off & coordinate with Susan
o   Signs
§  Candy will email last year’s
o   Compost – Roots Compost is now Offbeat Compost – Susan to investigate to have them pickup

2)      Church Year Planning – We need to send input on proposed/possible dates
o   Harvest Dinner
§  Plan to celebrate the Giving Garden, sharing what they did, how they did it.
·         Mark – will contact Emily, Mark A, Fran to suggest us supporting them and ask about their preferences / idease on possible dates mid-September through mid-October
o   Fall Sunday Service – Social Justice and Climate Change
§  The Green Team would like
§  This is an opportunity to have the youth be involved
§  Can this be a community event
o   Earth Day Sunday (50th year of Earth Day)
§  Any Sunday April 19 through mid-May
·         Green Team believes this is important
·         Green team is open to supporting pastoral staff and contributing in any way we can
·         Can the service become a community event?
o   What about asking for the monthly contribution go to some local green group?

3)      Green Team Annual Report – Mark will draft and send out

4)      Discussion on possible microgrid plans in Andover

Parking Lot - Not discussed
5)      Renewable/Electric options for church
-          Long-term Plan to get the church off gas completely

6)      SC Green Team website
-          Lots more information there now. Anything more needed?

Thursday, February 21, 2019

Green Team Meeting Notes 2-21-2019

Green Team Meeting Notes 2/21/2019

Attendees: Bill Schroeder, Fran Fink, Steve Fink Mark Bohrer, Candy Dann (phone)
Away: Janet Clarke, Tim Smith, Susan Johnston
Need to re-add to the invite: Graham Long

Thank you was sent by Massachusetts Interfaith Power&Light to South Church sending a $1000 contribution
Board of World Service agreed to support “Be The Spark” program by MIPL
- $500 matching from BoWS to Green Team $500 contribution >> for $1000 contribution

News: We are now sharing green ideas in the weekly buzz  – Susan is doing this with Nora
- Our green bee is now showing the way!

News: Jim Antal is speaking Memorial Hall Library 3/16 (3/17? ) as part of a WECAN event
-        WECAN = Working to Educate for Climate Action Now
-        Mary Pritchard founded WECAN, inspired by Climate Retreat
-        We are discussing ways we can work together and support WECAN

News:  Electricity Generation from Solar Panels
-         Bill prepared a report & sent it to Trustees. It will also be included as a story in the next quarterly newletter.
-         Mark sent a Powerpoint version to Nora. It’s now posted on the church website and on church TV message board. Nora will rotate the slides, with a new slide each week.

1)      Climate Mitigation program in Andover – Steve reported on this
o   Town leadership is working on acquiring funding from this MA state program

2)      Columbia Gas updates - Merrimack Valley Gas Crisis Recover Green Initiative – Steve
o   Lots is going on! Steve will have more updates to report on soon.

3)      Renewable/Electric options for kitchen - Bill is the point person here
o   The Trustees (Iric) sent out an email in December that there was a decision to stay with gas appliances
o   The Trustees gave several justifications which we thought were answerable and could be overcome
o   This include addressing Columbia Gas compensation for appliances, electric service in condition
o   Things may have changed with what Columbia Gas will fund.
o   Iric could not make it in January and asked to reschedule - Mark proposed a new date to meet  to Iric
o   We are offering that Trustees use the GT as a resource. We want to support and help find solutions.
o   Mark will be the liaison to Trustees, and will be at the next Trustees meeting
o   February Trustees meeting was cancelled. Next meeting is March 18th  (3rd Monday)
ACTION: Mark will call Iric

4)      Long-term Plan to get the church off gas completely

5)      SC Green Team website
- There is now some basic information on the website, including
- Candy is working with Nora on where we appear – Candy has made some suggestions
- ACTION: Candy – get on the “Get to know us” menu
- ACTION: Steve – send photos from retreat, send to Susan, and she will select ones for the website
-        ACTION Mark – update Climate Reader and share with Green Team to review

6)      Divestment and Socially Responsible Investment – Bill
-        the Trustees of Trust Funds made an announcement of their plans to do this at annual meeting
Not discussed this meeting – things we want to do:
- Retreat 2.0 at Fellowship Hour - World Cafe tables return - Steve/Mark
- sharing Climate Cares and Concerns during church