We Care for God’s Creation
From the very beginning, St. Nicholas Church has been a green congregation. Long before we acquired our church property or constructed our first church building, we felt strongly called to care for God’s creation. This theology of creation care has found its way into both our congregational practices and our construction and land management methods.
Green Congregational Practices
The following are just a few of the ways we have tried to be good stewards of God’s creation in our congregational practices.
- Highway Clean Up Campaigns. Long before we had a building of our own in which to worship, we began organizing quarterly highway clean-ups in our neighborhood.
- Organizational and Member Recycling. From our beginnings we actively participated in business recycling as an organization, and encouraged our members to recycle.
- Reusable Grocery Bags. Several years ago we began making reusable grocery bags available to our parishioners.
- Eco-Friendly Communication and Liturgical Approaches. Over time, we have tried to find ways of conserving waste paper in our operations. This has included greater use of digital communications, reusable worship bulletins, and other ways to lower our printing output. Lately, we have even begun to experiment with using Q-Codes to allow the green techno-geeks in our congregation to download bulletins and other materials onto their iPads and smart phones.
Green Construction and Land Management Methods
It should come as no surprise, then, that once we finally acquired our property and began planning our campus, creating the conceptual design for our eventual three-building church structure, and drawing up the plans for the first of these buildings our current multipurpose worship-fellowship center – that we would incorporate green/sustainable methods wherever feasible and practical.
The following are just a few of the ways St. Nicholas Church has is an intentionally green parish:
- Energy-Efficient Building Orientation. Early in the design process we conducted a sun-transit study to determine the most energy-efficient orientation of the building
- Green building materials. We used green construction materials in many areas of the building. One example is prominently displayed in out bathrooms, where countertops use an imitation green marble made of recycled materials (i.e., both literally and figuratively green).
- Double-paned, insulating glass. To reduce our heating and cooling footprint, we used hi-insulating glass in both our windows and our doors.
- Green Lighting. The use of CFC lighting in the building itself and LED lighting in our parking lot greatly reduces our carbon footprint.
- High-efficiency airflow design. The open design of our great room reduces energy use for heating and cooling.
- High-efficiency HVAC and other equipment/appliances. We installed high-efficiency equipment and appliances wherever feasible.
- Bio-Active Septic Technology. Employing new bioactive septic technology allowed us to greatly reduce the footprint of our septic system, while.
- Rain Garden Based Storm Water Management. Our three rain gardens combine to handle our storm water runoff in a much more eco-friendly way that traditional systems.
- Rain Chain Roof Water Management. We have incorporated rain chains as a eco-friendly alternative to downspouts for managing the runoff from the roof of our building.
- Afforestation Project. We are doing our bit for healthy atmosphere be planting 800 trees in two protected forest areas, one of which will be known as the Upper West Woods and Great East Woods.