Going greener in Vermont

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Jay Vos of the blog Blazing Indiscretions was a delegate to the Diocese of Vermont’s recent convention. He makes a point about resolutions that each of us should bear in mind:

I’ve always questioned the purpose of resolutions at these conventions. This was my first time as a delegate from my parish, but I’ve also been a delegate at conventions in another diocese. Mostly I find resolutions are just puffed up words that make the promoters and delegates feel good and think they’ve done something noteworthy. Usually these pithy expressions get hidden away in the diocesan journal and forgotten forever.

Conventions are forever considering resolutions that the neither the convention nor the people in attendance have the power to advance, enforce, etc.

That said, in his address to the convention Bishop Tom Ely took some legitimate steps toward transforming sentiment into action:

First, I will reestablish our Diocesan Committee on the Environment and charge it with keeping this subject before us, both in terms of education and action. The Reverend Anita Schell-Lambert, Rector of Saint Peter’s, Bennington and convener of the Program Committee for this Convention, will serve as chair of this committee. I will seek concurrence from the Diocesan Council in December, and if Council shares my concern I will appoint additional members to serve on this committee. You are welcome to make your interest known to Anita or to me.

Secondly, in addition to this Committee and in cooperation with its work, I will convene a Task Force to study and plan for what it will take to bring renewable energy projects to Rock Point and to make Rock Point – by the year 2015 – a model of energy conservation and efficiency in Vermont and beyond. Chuck Courcy, our Property Manager, is already in conversation about this with others, including the students at Rock Point School. I will bring this agenda to the Rock Point Board in December for discussion and action. I have every reason to believe that there are many people with expertise in this area, who value and cherish Rock Point as we do, and who are ready to assist us in this effort.

And speaking of going green, Trinity Episcopal Church in Redlands, Calif., is leading the way, according to the San Bernadino County edition of the Press-Enterprise.

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The Vermont Interfaith Power & Light November newsletter reports that St Barnabas Church in Norwich, VT has gone solar:

At a ceremony in October, a new array of solar panels was dedicated at St. Barnabas Episcopal Church, given by the

White Flowers Foundation and the children of church member

Ann Flowers in honor of Ann's 80th birthday. Bishop Thomas

Ely was present to celebrate with the family, the congregation,

and church's rector, the Rev. Beth Hilgartner. The Bishop

spoke of every solar panel being "a sign of our commitment to

a sustainable future for this planet..." The photovoltaic panels

are connected to the power grid, and on sunny days, the electric

meter now runs backwards, giving the church credit for the

power used at night and on cloudy days.

I attended St James's, Piccadilly when I lived in London. In September, Reuters did a short video about churches and carbon footprints and it includes a look at St James's and its photovoltaic panels. Have a look here.

- Jay Vos

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