Our Mission Projects
With enthusiasm and joy, the Mission Projects "Welcoming the Stranger” and the "Green Accelerator Project” (GAP) were approved by the Congregation on March 11. See the full text of the Congregational Decision here.
In May more than 40 Rock Springers gathered to join kick-off meetings for each project, sharing their hopes and visions and putting hands in the air to help take us from inception to impact. Congregation-wide activities began in July and planning is ongoing! Join in, and email Welcome the Stranger POCs Kathy Hale (HaleKatherine@comcast.net) and Wayne Limberg (email@example.com) or Green Accelerator POCs Jerry Hartz (firstname.lastname@example.org) and Craig Cheney (email@example.com).
Mission Projects at Work
Intergenerational Picnic, and Soccer Game, Sunday, July 22, 2018
Refugee families and other Rock Springers came together for a picnic on July 22 at Chinquapin Park, Alexandria to launch our “Welcoming the Stranger” (WtS) Mission Project outreach to help refugees supported by Catholic Charities Migration and Refugee Services resettle in Northern Virginia. The day included an intergenerational picnic, soccer games, and information sessions.
Sign Up to Work With Our Partner Catholic Charities
As we begin our partnership with Catholic Charities, we are also working to sign up as many Rock Springers as potential volunteers as possible. Signing up does not commit you to a particular activity, and while many of our efforts do not require that you be registered, some do (like drivers or ESOL instructors or conversation partners).
Sign up to volunteer through the ccda.net site. 1) Search by Program, click through to “Migration and Refugee Services – Arlington” box; 2) then choose “Driver” or “Special Events Volunteer;” 3) Proceed with the pages for signup and 4) on the first page where you can create your personal account, there is a box laballed ‘Why Volunteer.’ Simply type into that box that you are affiliated with Rock Spring Church in Arlington.
Looking ahead, planning for our Welcoming the Stranger efforts continue to deepen. Look for opportunities to get involved over the coming months. Maybe you might contribute to a “tool drive” to help provision refugees seeking jobs as mechanics or handymen. Maybe you could be an English language conversation partner or teach English as a Second Language (ESOL). Maybe you would greet newly arriving refugees at the airport. Maybe you have advice to offer new arrivals trying to find employment or reestablish themselves in their profession. We would love your help with these and other activities. If you’d like to get involved, please contact Wayne Limberg (firstname.lastname@example.org) or Kathy Hale (email@example.com).
“Autumn Solstice” Cleanup & Picnic
Rock Springers of all ages kicked off our GAP effort and gathered in Glencarlyn Park September 23 for a picnic and cleanup of Four Mile Run and the park, led by our partner EcoAction Arlington.
Plastic Free Challenge!
Rock Springers banded together in August and September for a nine-week plastics challenge with Eco Action Arlington to help reduce our plastic footprint and protect our waterways and wildlife! The Plastic Free Challenge included ideas and updates through e-mail and social media.
Green Energy Savings Effort – What you can do!
There are easy steps all of us can take now at almost no additional cost such as: purchasing 100% green energy; walking, biking and using metro; and replacing lights with LED bulbs and turning them off when they aren’t needed. There are interim steps that have higher upfront costs but yield great long-term savings such as: choosing an electric car over a gasoline-powered vehicle; increasing attic insulation to R60 and installing a radiant aluminum barrier; installing e-windows. Finally, there are large investments that can be made, such as solar panels, that have high upfront costs but allow you to control your own source of energy.
Start following these steps toward a greener lifestyle!
- First, discover your current baseline for energy usage and cost during the past year as a first step toward finding energy savings.
- Next, conduct an energy audit of your household.
- Then set a goal for energy savings that you can reasonably achieve in the coming year. It may be $200 that can be made from small improvements like weather stripping or LEDs, or it could be as much as $2,000 if you buy an electric vehicle.
- At the end of the year, calculate how much energy savings you achieved and consider contributing your savings to solar lighting for rural villagers and local environmental projects.
to bring low-cost dollar solar-powered units to homes in developing countries that currently rely on kerosene lanterns, which cause lung disease and burns in children. SVP helps rural households choose clean energy over dirty fossil fuels from the grid that exacerbate climate change. In conjunction with what you can do at home (see above “Green Energy Savings Effort” ) we are asking congregation members to purchase 100% green energy (wind, solar, biomass) from their utility, and to reduce their carbon footprint with attic insulation, LED bulbs, energy efficient appliances, and electric or hybrid vehicles. Going green not only saves the planet, it saves money. At the end of the year, we are looking for congregation members to donate their energy savings to micro lending proposals by the Solar Village Project, thereby creating a virtuous cycle of reducing energy impact at home while creating a green energy future abroad—helping close the “gap” between the two.
Energy Master’s Program
Become an Energy Master! This program trains volunteers in energy efficiency and water conservation through an intensive seven session program. Once trained, Energy Masters help low-income residents to reduce their water and energy use, save money on their utility bills, and improve the comfort of their homes; and help create a more sustainable community by reducing carbon emissions through energy and water conservation improvements. To apply or for more information, visit EcoAction Arlington (EAA), https://www.ecoactionarlington.org/, and select Community Programs/Energy Masters. Questions? Elenor Hodges, EAA, 703-228-6427, or Laura Martin, 703-538-4886
Volunteer With Eco Action Arlington
Help clean out streams, eliminate invasive plant species, help with rain barrel workshops and sales and support Arlington’s tree canopy by volunteering with EcoAction Arlington (https://www.ecoactionarlington.org/ ).
Cell Phone/Small Electronic Recycling Drop Off
Drop your old cell phones and other small electronics off in the special box in the Saegmuller Room. They will be wiped of data and stripped of valuable components before being safely recycled in a Certified Facility. Income from the project is returned to the Arlington Rotary Education Foundation to help sponsor Arlington students seeking higher education. POC’S: Hugh Barton and Steve Silcox.
Get Your Own Home Energy Guide
Home Energy guides are available here and in hard copy in the Saegmueller Room and at both services and via email to congregation, along with Susan Peters’ spreadsheet for tracking energy use.