Most congregations don’t engage in creation care to seek recognition. But getting recognized does put a spotlight on your efforts.
Using Energy Prudently congregations commit themselves to the challenging but attainable goals of reducing fossil fuel consumption where they worship and where they live, and host others in learning to do so as well.
When your congregation meets the goals of UEP Congregations, you are eligible to become one of our UEP Acclaimed Congregations, receiving statewide H-IPL recognition, pride of place in our publicity and on our website, and the opportunity to offer your stories and successes for the benefit of others.
Apply for UEP Acclaimed status by filling out this application. Download, save, fill in, and send by email attachment to firstname.lastname@example.org. Please provide narratives, photos, news articles, or case studies related to your congregation’s work in green ministry and energy reduction. For guidance in fulfilling the commitments or documenting your efforts, please contact us.
When you become a UEP Acclaimed Congregation, with your permission we will list your congregation’s name and website on our website, along with the name of a contact person from your congregation, so that others in your area who wish to learn from your example may do so.
Meet Our First Five UEP Acclaimed Congregations:
The Unitarian Universalist Church of Bloomington
(pictured at right receiving their award)
Your congregation may wish to seek other certifications as well:
The EPA’s Energy Star program likewise offers your congregation the opportunity to earn the Energy Star for your worship building—the same star that is found on an increasing number of energy efficient products. Here you can find ten reasons to pursue Energy Star certification. The Energy Star website for congregations offers an action workbook for congregations as well as many more tools and resources, and describes how your congregation can earn the Energy Star as these congregations have by earning an Energy Star score of 75 or higher in Energy Stewards.
Interfaith Power & Light Cool Congregations
Our parent organization Interfaith Power & Light offers certification as a Cool Congregation for groups that have reduced their energy use by 10% to 40%. You can read about the certification here, and apply here.
In addition, IPL offers five $1000 prizes every year in the Cool Congregations Challenge, one in each of the following categories:
Cool Congregations Planner -- Energy Saver -- Renewable Role Model
Sacred Grounds Steward -- Community Inspiration
To learn more, go here. And read about our own St. Peter's United Church of Christ in Carmel, who was awarded the Sacred Grounds Steward prize for 2014, and other stories.
Our sister organization GreenFaith, based in New Jersey, reaches faiths across the U.S. with its own certification program, a two-year environmental leadership program for houses of worship. They provide resources, coaching, support, and networking opportunities to help congregations do holistic environmental planning. To learn more about their program and how to become involved, go here.
Some faith groups and denominations have their own congregation-based environmental certification programs and resources, including the following. Go to their websites or contact a denominational official to learn more:
- Presbyterian Church (USA) Earth Care Congregations
- Unitarian Universalists Green Sanctuary Program
- Disciples of Christ Green Chalice Program
- Muslim Green Ramadan
- Jewish Coalition on the Environment and Jewish Life (COEJL) and Aytzim Ecological Judaism for sustainable Israel
- Evangelical Lutheran Church in America Lutherans Restoring Creation
- United Church of Christ Creation Justice Churches
- Mennonite Creation Care Shades of Green Congregations
If you are aware of other denominational programs that should be listed, please let us know.