|Grace has been keeping bees since the summer of 2015. Sadly, our bees did not survive the winter. Fear not- we will be keeping bees again this summer! Grace “Metro-pollen-tan” Honey is available for purchase when available. If you would like to support our “girls” please contact our bee keeper at firstname.lastname@example.org.|
Grace Growing Green
From the beginning, God’s people are commanded to care for the earth. Recent years have brought new inspiration for taking a “greener approach” at Grace, and for inviting all of us to better steward God’s creation. Lutherans Restoring Creation was one source of new energy.
Grace members traveled to Camp Kirchenwald a few years back to learn and came back to implement these ideas:
- “Grace News” offers tips for become greener in our everyday lives.
- We recycle office paper, chipboard, cardboard, glass and plastics, and Styrofoam.
- Seasonal worship booklets cut down on paper and ink usage, and are recycled at the close of each season.
- We purchase sustainably harvested palms for our Palm Sunday services, and sustainably grown coffee for our fellowship hour.
- We use digital controls and software to manage most of our heating and cooling systems, creating schedules for occupied times with setback temperatures for the unoccupied areas and times, saving gas and electricity.
In late 2020, Grace completed a renovation of the historic church building. New education space was created, an elevator added, and we upgraded our mechanical systems to new, modern, and much more efficient equipment. The project gave us a chance to mitigate the run-off from the new addition and the whole north roof of the church building. An average rainfall of 43” per year allows us to capture 111,800 gallons of water, returning it to the aquifer through pipes and an underground basin instead of polluting the bay through the overloaded city sewer system.
Also, our Memorial Garden Fountain was re-worked to so that run-off from the roof of the educational building replenishes the fountain with rainwater. Due to these efforts, Grace was one of the featured properties on the Lancaster Conservancy’s 2020 Water Week walk last August!
The final touch of the renovation was the landscaping. Collaborating with the Lancaster Conservancy, we studied our gardens and decided to remove invasive plants from our landscape, replacing them with native species. We are now a certified urban wildlife habitat by the National Wildlife Federation. Our plaque is proudly displayed by the gardens at the front of our church.
This winter Grace became a member congregation of the Interfaith Partners for the Chesapeake to honor, care for, and protect the Chesapeake watershed. As an ICP congregation we are called to honor our sacred bond with our Creator, serve as good stewards of the land and waters of the Chesapeake, and sustain the life and health of all creatures.
We pledge that through our words and actions to :
- Celebrate, respect, and revere the Earth’s blessings
- Demonstrate good stewardship in how we manage our land and facilities
- Engage members of our community in the work of caring for the environment
- Embrace the mission of Interfaith Partners for the Chesapeake to work together to protect and restore our shared watershed
Looking to the future we hope to improve our existing recycling programs, reduce the use of single use products such as plastic cutlery and Styrofoam dishes, investigate solar energy, and encourage our members to become involved in community organizations that are helping the planet.
If you are interested in joining the green team, please contact the church office at 717-397-2748