Saint Gregory’s Episcopal Church announced it has applied for and has begun the rigorous two-year process of earning the accreditation.
GreenFaith is a New Jersey-based organization that offers a two-year environmental leadership program for houses of worship from all faiths and throughout the nation. The unique program helps religious institutions become environmental leaders by guiding them through green-facility upgrades, incorporation of environmental principles into worship and religious education, and participation in environmental justice efforts. Only ten houses of worship have earned the certification to date.
“The Episcopal Church has a longstanding commitment to the environment,” said the Rev. Sica. “Saint Gregory’s looks forward to joining the GreenFaith-certified institutions that have become environmental leaders in their communities”, she added.
Saint Gregory’s already boasts a community garden, which is open to the public on a first-come, first-serve basis, giving area residents the opportunity to grow their own local organic produce. The church recently installed energy-efficient windows and distributes eco-friendly palm branches on Palm Sunday.
To earn GreenFaith certification, Saint Gregory’s will build on those efforts by improving its South Beverwyck Road church building and grounds, reducing waste and energy use, and working environmental lessons into its worship and educational programs.
Rev. Sica emphasized that environmental stewardship is an important part of her church’s work. “The preservation of earthly resources is not only consistent with religious teachings, but is essential to fulfilling our mission,” she said.
“We’re very excited about ‘greening our church’”, said Karen Stoia, a member of Saint Gregory’s who is leading the church’s certification efforts. “We know that changing our practices and upgrading our facilities will be difficult, but our congregation is up for the challenge”, she added.
Anyone interested in joining Saint Gregory’s Church in its efforts to earn the environmental certification or interested in participating in its community garden can contact Rev. Sica at (973) 887-5879. St Gregory’s Church is located at 480 South Beverwyck Road, Parsippany. We are a progressive and inclusive community welcoming all God’s children.