Waquoit Church Receives Highest Award as a Green Congregation

Waquoit Church Receives Highest Award as a Green Congregation

The Waquoit Congregational Church was recently awarded the highest designation as a green congregation by the Southern New England conference of the United Church of Christ. Of the 615 church in the conference, Waquout Church is the fourth church to receive this designation, and the first church on the Cape to do so.

The award will be given during Sunday, Feb. 5 worship service by the Rev. Emma Brewer-Wallin, the conference Minister for Environmental and Economic Justice.

“We are honored to achieve this award. We’ve been working on environmental justice for a long time,” said The Rev. Nell Fields, minister at the Waquoit Congregational Church. “We are celebrating our 175th year as a faith community, so to have achieved this recognition now is perfect timing.”

Some of the programs Waquoit Church has implemented over the past 10 years include solar panels, energy-efficient appliances, windows, and doors; installation of LED lights throughout parish hall and the church. The church also started a bulk buying group with the goal of creating zero waste with typical grocery store packaging. Recently, the church partnered with Faith Communities Environmental Network as a sponsor of the Energy Café where people learn about energy saving efforts for their homes. The church also has a pollinator garden, and celebrates Earth Day and other creation days through the year.

“Some of the changes are obvious – solar panels, energy-efficient buildings, awnings, but the most important thing is that we raised our consciousness,” said Lyn Schad, Go Green team lead at the church. “Work needs to be done to save the earth, God’s creation. Our congregation did that. We did that. We put actions to our feelings and words. This is just the beginning.”

Schad has been challenging the congreation to look at everything they do through the lens of environmental justice. “I think that if we look at everything through the lens of righting our world, a lot of the other problems will benefit from that as well.”

Lyn Schad, Linda DeYoung, Rev. Jan Smith-Rushton, and Joan Valle – all champions of the church’s environmental efforts – will be receiving the award on behalf of the church. The public is invited to celebrate with the church this Sunday, Feb. 5 at the 10 am service.  A reception in the parish hall follows.

Any organization interested in learning more about the Waquoit Church programs and activities related to environmental justice, may contact Rev. Fields at 339-927-8972.