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NCC Eco-justice awards two churches
for reducing their 'carbon footprint'

Washington, September 15, 2009 - Two congregations have made significant strides in reducing their "carbon footprint" -- their energy consumption -- and each have been awarded twenty copies of the Green Bible by the National Council of Churches Eco-Justice program.

Good Shepherd Church and school, an Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA) congregation of about 200 people in Plainview, N.Y., has reduced their carbon footprint by 26,200 pounds of carbon dioxide per year as part of the NCC’s Carbon Reduction Campaign (CRC).

Good Shepherd’s achievements have elevated it to first place in the CRC Challenge, with reductions exceeding those of over 30 other congregations who participated. The CRC, designed to empower and support congregations to take proactive steps to reducing their greenhouse gas emissions while protecting Creation, has collectively already reduced more than 271,530 pounds of carbon dioxide. 

Motivated by their mission of “loving, living and sharing Christ,” Good Shepherd members have worked diligently to install 100 compact fluorescent light bulbs (CFLs), insulate five of their six buildings and install four programmable thermostats, effectively reducing their energy consumption by 25 percent and saving $18,000 a year in utility costs.

With an initial investment of $20,000, Good Shepherd’s payback period is just over one year and the savings achieved in future years will ensure that they are able to live out their mission. According to Lizzie McGurk, NCC Advocacy and Outreach Specialist, “every congregation can do what Good Shepherd has done by starting with small scale, manageable projects that have fast paybacks.”

The second energy-efficient congregation is Lawrence Avenue United Methodist Church in Charlotte, Mich., which  has reduced over 9,064 pounds of carbon by installing 25 CFLs and five Light Emitting Diode (LED) exit signs which will save the congregation approximately $360 per year.

This congregation was inspired to reduce their carbon footprint after the environmental stewardship committee and the financial stewardship committee, came together to share ideas and resources and find common ground. This partnership led to the congregation’s first project, replacing all non-stain glass windows with energy efficient windows. Members from each group worked together and in February 2009, their utility bill went down $1000 compared to the previous year.  

The NCC is the ecumenical voice of America's Orthodox, Protestant, evangelical, Anglican, historic African American and traditional peace churches.  These 35 communions have 45 million faithful members in 100,000 congregations in all 50 states.

NCC News contact:  Philip E. Jenks, 212-870-2228 (office), 914-589-6948 (cell) ,

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