Episcopal Diocese of Virginia
The Episcopal Church »  |  The Diocese of Virginia

Green Faith Certification Programs

Green Faith: Interfaith Partners for the Environment:  Two-Year Certification Program

Green Faith was founded in 1992 by Jewish and Christian leaders in New Jersey who believed that the state’s religious community needed an organization to connect diverse religious traditions with the environment. Over the years, Green Faith has convened conferences, advocated for greater awareness of the relationship between religion and the earth, and through a growing number of programs promoted green energy in churches and households. 

The Green Faith Certification Program for Episcopal Churches guides churches through a process to incorporate religious concern for the environment into spirituality, worship, religious education, stewardship, and advocacy for justice. The Green Faith Website includes links to an informational webinar and PowerPoint presentation here.

In October 2010, Green Faith and the Episcopal Church announced a collaboration to enroll Episcopal churches in the GreenFaith Certification Program. Churches making application by May 1, 2012, may qualify for a 50-percent tuition subsidy. Support will be awarded based on criteria that include budget size, ethnic and geographic diversity, congregational size, and other factors. Support will be offered on a first-come, first-serve basis to qualifying churches. Details are here.

The Director of Green Faith is The Rev. Fletcher Harper, an Episcopal Priest.  An article by The Rev. Harper describing the objectives of the Green Faith Program in general terms may be found here The Green Faith Website includes links to a number of resources that churches may find helpful even if not enrolled in the certification program.

The Virginia Conference of the United Methodist Church Green Church Initiative 2.0 : Resources

The Virginia Conference of the United Methodist Church has developed a Green Church Initiative Covenant that congregations may adopt.  The Covenant commits a congregation to make the connection between faith and the church’s role as a member of the community of God’s creation by worshiping in a manner that will motivate seeking God’s reign on earth by cherishing, protecting and healing creation; to “seek opportunities for ourselves and our children to learn more about God’s creation and our role in it;” to “commit to making changes in our lives that will enable future generations to experience, as we have, the fullness of creation; and to “look for signs of creation’s groaning (Romans 8:22) in our own community and take the necessary steps to alleviate its suffering.” The Conference has developed a detailed, broadly scoped checklist of steps to implement the Green Church Initiative 2.0 Covenant:  http://www.vaumc.org/ncfilerepository/churchsociety/green/GCIFinal.pdf

Earth Care Congregations: A Program of the Presbyterian Church USA

The Earth Care Congregations program of the Presbyterian Church USA enables congregations to earn certification as "Earth Care Congregations." Each congregation that has been certified has committed to an “Earth Care Pledge” and accomplished a specific number of actions toward caring for God’s earth in four categories: worship, education, facilities, and outreach.

The Church has published A Guide to Greening Presbyterian Churches. The guide provides congregations with worksheets, resources, and instructions for becoming an Earth Care Congregation. Appendices in the Guide detail steps to be taken to become an Earth Care Congregation, provide extensive lists of resources for the four categories of effort, many on the Web, and provide an overview of the certification program.  The Pledge and form for the Environmental Audit to be completed by an Earth Care Congregation are here.

Congregations earning 25 points in each of the four categories can be certified as Earth Care Congregations and receive various honors. Congregation members are also invited to participate as individuals by completing similar actions in their homes. A listing of Presbyterian Churches that have been certified as Earth Care Congregations is here.