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.
GAP Working Group
Welcome the Stranger Working Group
Solar Village Project http://solarvillageproject.org
EcoAction Arlington (EAA) http://www.ecoactionarlington.org
Catholic Charities: http://www.ccda.net/
Christ Church Alexandria: http://www.historicchristchurch.org
Mission Project: Welcoming the Stranger
Christ Church Alexandria:
Help facilitate the resettlement of refugees locally by reducing housing uncertainty and by supporting and augmenting other transition services related to employment, education, and transportation.
* Volunteer with Lunch and Learn
“Lunch and Learn” works with Catholic Charities and Christ Church in Alexandria to help Afghan refugee women. It augments on-going English language programs with essential life skills assistance. Twice a month following English lessons at Christ Church Rock Springers host a lunch that features speakers on topics ranging from using the library and transit systems to setting up a bank account. Our volunteers help with set up, lunch, and clean-up.
* Join a Circle of Care
Working with Christ Church, you can be a part of Circles of Care, who step in to help individual refugee families with time-bound, specific urgent needs.
* Help with our Diaper Drive
Our refugee friends are in urgent need of diapers. Look for drop off boxes at church.
* Volunteer with Catholic Charities
Volunteers help refugees in a variety of areas, including job application and interviewing, interpretation and translation. There is also an acute need for elder companions, English conversation partners (especially for women), as well as drivers.
Sign up through the ccda.net site:
1) Search by Program, and then “Migration and Refugee Services – Arlington”
2) Then choose “Driver” or “Special Events Volunteer”
3) Proceed with the pages for signup
4) As you create your personal account, there is a box labeled ‘Why Volunteer.’ Type into that box that you are affiliated with Rock Spring Church in Arlington.
Signing up does not commit you to a particular activity, and some of our efforts require that you be registered (like drivers or ESOL instructors/conversation partners).
* Your Ideas Welcome
Maybe you could run a “tool drive” to help refugees as mechanics or handymen. Or maybe you can help a refugee family make their home more energy efficient. Maybe you have professional advice for new arrivals reestablishing themselves in their profession in the U.S. Give us your ideas!
Mission Project: GO GREEN WITH THE GREEN ACCELERATOR PROJECT (GAP)
Help reverse climate change, reduce energy use AND bring life-saving solar light to rural villages. The steps below both save the planet and save you money.
* Save Energy at Home
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. First, see how much you currently spend on energy and transportation (spreadsheet).
* Conduct a home energy audit.
Set Your Goal for your annual energy savings: maybe $200 in savings from weather stripping or LEDs, or $2,000 if you buy an electric vehicle. See the GAP Home Energy Guide (also in the Saegmuller Room) for more ideas. Watch How Much You Save and consider contributing your savings to solar lighting for rural villages through Solar Village Project (SVP) or to local projects through EcoAction Arlington.
* Save Energy At Home Checklist
- Attend a Rock Spring Energy Fair
- Complete an energy audit of your home
- Purchase 100% green energy
- Walk, bike and use metro more
- Replace lights with LED bulbs
- Choose an electric car
- Increase attic insulation to R60
- Install an attic aluminum barrier
- Install energy efficient windows
- Install solar panels
* Become a Green Volunteer with EcoAction Arlington
- Help clean up streams and pull invasive plants
- Help with rain barrel workshops
- Grow Arlington’s tree canopy
- Join Rock Spring’s next “All Hands on Deck” eco-clean up event
* Become an Energy Master to help low-income residents reduce their water and energy use
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.
* Recycle old electronic products in collection in Saegmuller Room
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.
* Volunteer and Save a Life through Solar Village Project
We are also partnering with the Solar Village Project (http://solarvillageproject.org/ ) 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.
Click on these links to learn more! http://www.ucc.org/reversing_climate_change_and_saving_money and https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=25m1EQmDbH0&feature=youtu.be
* For only $50 you can help a rural village family switch from hazardous kerosene lights to free, sustainable and clean solar energy.
* You can also help SVP install solar-powered water filtration systems.
* Join a Rock Spring trip to install and train villagers in using solar energy. The next trip is to Puerto Rico in May 2019.