Atonement's most active environmental ministry at present is one of advocacy, education, and partnership. We are a founding congregation of the GreenFaith Bergen Circle, a diverse, multi-faith group of about twelve congregations/traditions working together to advocate on behalf of, and share resources for the stewardship of the environment. We educate ourselves regarding local issues of environmental concerns, justice, and racism. We partner with other groups in New Jersey to protect vulnerable communities and all our citizens and species from pollution and environmental degradation. We help organize and participate in meetings with elected officials, vigils, petitions, and other actions on behalf of God's Creation. As faith communities, we agree that strengthening our spiritual connection to God, Earth and each other is essential to remain centered and empowered for this work.
Vestry Environmental Chair is Denise Pierce, who works alongside previous Vestry chairpersons Carol Schults and Birgitta Karlen.
Beginning in 2002, Atonement created the position of “Vestry Chair for Environmental Ministries,” and ever since Atonement has made a commitment to environmental concern, education and justice…for our church’s buildings & grounds, our members’ homes and the larger community. This takes place throughout the year, but especially during our Creation Season in the fall and again in the spring during our Easter/Earth Day season. We strive to bring into sharper focus how the beauty and power of nature reveals God’s presence and provision, and our call to be faithful stewards of Earth in our everyday lives and in the larger community, seeking justice for Earth and all people and creatures. Join us this year as we continue our journey to becoming a even greener Congregation!
Since 2001 Atonement has continued its long-time relationship with GreenFaith, and in 2013 entered its Water Conservation Pilot Program (“Water Shield”). This effort was led by Robert Mikesh, 14, for his Confirmation project, and mentored by then Vestry Environmental Chair Lynne Wiley and members of Atonement’s Environmental Team. Due to their efforts, Atonement was awarded the Water Shield — the FIRST congregation of any tradition in New Jersey to receive this recognition of our water conservation efforts. Both the church as a whole and individual members pledge to conserve water in specific ways.
On the Fourth Sunday in Lent each year, we renew our Water Conservation Vows in worship.
The Church Garden is restored & improved through an Eagle Scout Project:
Malcolm LeClair chose the restoration and improvement of Atonement’s garden as his Eagle Scout project in 2013. Through the fall Malcolm, along with family members, fellow scouts and members of our congregation, worked on the garden. It was completed in November and dedicated in Spring 2014. The Church Garden (created as a Children’s Garden as an Eagle Scout project in memory of Ray Donlon, by his son Cían Donlon), has been a place where our young people stay connected to the earth by planting, harvesting and maintaining a garden plot. There are separate plots for perennials, flowers and herbs – and sometimes vegetables.
Donations to the Environmental Fund help maintain this garden and provide for seeds, tools and educational programs.
Household Hazardous Waste Collections – Hazardous waste collections are undertaken by the Bergen County Utilities Authority. For more information go to: www.bcua.org
Walton Clark, Birgitta Karlén, Carol Schults, Chair, Carol Petrovich, Lorraine Sorvino, The Rev. Lynne Bleich Weber. Join us! If you have ideas or questions, or want to get involved please contact by going to “Contact Us” on this website!