Lutherans Go Green

RSS By: Metropolitan New York Synod

Eco-friendly congregational ideas from our synod's Environmental Stewardship Committee

The experience of the People's Climate March

Dec 11, 2014

Happy to be on our way to the People’s Climate March, our excitement skyrocketed as we arrived at the Poughkeepsie train station for our trip to NYC. Young people, middle age and elderly people all crowded the train with numerous signs and musical instruments. You could feel the excitement in the train car as singers from Clearwater entered and the car rocked to ‘this land is made for you and me.'


As we made our way through NYC on our way to the gathering area, the excitement continued as we saw many people with signs. We knew this was going to be a big event. Arriving at the faith-based gathering area, it was wonderful to see people from many, many different faiths (and non-faiths) all concerned with the same thing, climate justice for the world.


While waiting to actually march, we connected with new friends who had the same concerns about where the climate is headed and shared our thoughts. Though we had to wait a long time to actually march, knowing it was because the groups marching before us were so large heightened our anticipation.


When we finally entered the march singing ‘We are Marching in the Light of God,’ and saw that many more were waiting to follow us, it all come together that this was truly a momentous event. Seeing all the concerned people lining the streets as we walked just added to this feeling. As we walked west on 42nd Street and saw the mainsail of the Sloop Clearwater sailing the Hudson we knew we had done the right thing by participating in the People’s Climate March.


Sandra Owen

Redeemer Lutheran Church, Kingston


Energy audits lead to big savings

Jan 26, 2012

By Gerard Falco


Did your church sign up for a free energy audit during the annual Synod Assembly last spring? If so, your congregation was entered into the Environmental Stewardship Committee’s contest to win $1,000 to be used toward energy improvements in your church following the free energy audit. Fordham Evangelical Lutheran Church in the Bronx signed up for the audit and was the lucky winner.


The free energy audits are part of a small business energy efficiency program being conducted by Con Edison in conjunction with its partner Willdan. Under the program, Con Ed will not only pay for the free Willdan energy audit but will also contribute up to 70% of any improvements suggested within the audit. 


The energy audit performed at Fordham concluded that the church could save $2,660 per year in electrical costs simply by upgrading many of the church’s older lighting fixtures. While the equipment and labor costs would normally have cost more than $7,000, Con Edison contributed approximately $5,000 under the program! With the additional $1,000 the congregation won in the Synod Assembly contest, Fordham only had to contribute about $1,000 of its own funds to complete the project.


Most of the energy savings at Fordham came from removing older light fixtures, including a large number of tube style fluorescents, and replacing them with similar but more energy-efficient fixtures. The large majority of these fixtures (35 in all) were located in the church's main meeting room. The subsidized energy upgrade will have a pay-back period of less than a year. From that point forward Fordham can expect to save $2,600 in energy costs year after year while eliminating a significant amount of carbon being placed in the atmosphere.


The Con Edison Small Business program covers facilities located in the five boroughs and Westchester, Rockland and Orange Counties as well.  At present, it is not known how long the program will extend, so sign up now for a free audit and your church can become eligible for up to 70% savings on upgrades. Visit to get started.