Local climate solutions powered by faith communities.


Volunteer Spotlight: Cindy Speas's Remarkable Journey in Environmental Advocacy and Leadership

Cindy Speas is a dedicated force for environmental advocacy and community engagement. Serving as the FACS Tree Canopy Lead for many years, she is not only a founding member of Lewinsville Faith in Action but also a trained Climate Reality Leader since 2019. She participated in the Countywide Energy and Climate Action Plan (CECAP) working group and the Community Advisory Group of Resilient Fairfax. In 2021, Cindy's passion for trees and the environment was officially recognized when she was appointed to the At-Large seat on the Fairfax County Tree Commission, where she currently serves as Chair. Her dedication doesn't stop there; she completed the Fairfax Master Naturalist training in 2022, removes invasives with Plant NOVA Trees, Friends of Holmes Run, and the Fairfax Invasive Management Area Program, supports Quiet Clean NOVA and the Fairfax Parks Coalition, and passionately blogs about trees for Plant NOVA Natives. Cindy's tireless efforts demonstrate her steadfast commitment to positive environmental change in our community.


We're Hiring!

Faith Alliance for Climate Solutions (FACS) seeks a dynamic Community Engagement Manager who shares our passion for local climate action and climate justice. FACS was recently awarded a U.S. Dept. of Energy Buildings Up Award to support our work with congregations in Northern Virginia to lower the carbon footprints of their facilities. The Community Engagement Manager cultivates and manages relationships with faith communities throughout the region under the Buildings UP program. This position will report to FACS’ Executive Director. Read more about the roles and responsibilities of this position here.

To apply, please submit your resume and cover letter with the subject line “Community Engagement Manager” to executivedirector@faithforclimate.org


FACS Partners with Plant NOVA Natives and Audubon At Home

FACS is excited to announce a new collaboration with Plant NOVA Natives and Audubon At Home (AAH). This partnership will empower faith communities to conduct comprehensive assessments of their grounds through the AAH program. By offering on-site visits and tailored recommendations, we’re taking a significant step towards creating wildlife-friendly and habitat-enhanced environments. To request a site visit, click here

To learn more, join our Tree of Life Community meetings, held every third Thursday of the month. Our next meeting is Thursday, February 15, from 3:00 to 4:00 p.m. EST via Zoom.


Sharing Our Energy Journeys

Last October, FACS received the Department of Energy's Buildings UP award to assist faith communities enhance the energy efficiency of their buildings. This not only benefits the environment but also translates into substantial cost savings for congregations. Since then, FACS has begun working with more than 75 faith communities. Many of them have started tracking their energy use, conducting energy audits and implementing weatherization and energy upgrades recommended by the audits. FACS has also hosted webinars on energy benchmarking, energy audits, solar energy, HVACs and heat pumps. Additionally, we've presented financing strategies to address the dilemma of how to fund these upgrades.  

Join us on Tuesday, February 27, from 7:00 to 8:30 pm EST via Zoom for our next webinar, Sharing Our Energy Journeys. We'll showcase how faith communities have successfully reduced energy consumption and increased their use of renewable energy sources. Register below. For those faith communities eager to join this transformative effort, please contact Eric Goplerud at facsericg@gmail.com.


Let's Focus on Biodiversity

This month's Nature Corner delves into the interconnectedness of the climate crisis, the threat to biodiversity, and the significance of taking action.



Be sure to visit our online calendar to see when Hub monthly meetings happen, what FACS events are on the horizon, and what community events are being planned by other groups.

City of Alexandria Hub Updates

The Alexandria hub will be meeting individually with City Council and School Board members in February 2024 to discuss climate priorities in the budget and Alexandria City Public Schools' environmental sustainability. Hub members will also be following the proposed arena discussions to advocate for sustainability and equity and ask that the City uphold its climate action commitments in whatever final decision is made on the arena location. The Alexandria hub meets on the first Wednesday of the month at 7 pm. Join us at our next meeting on Wednesday, February 7 at 7 pm to find out how you and your congregation can get involved.

Arlington County Hub Updates

In January, an Arlington Hub participant shared her feelings about what drives her climate action, from the perspective of a young adult. She shared her concerns about having to live with the impacts of climate change, its unequal impacts on those who have done the least to cause it, and the damage climate change is doing to biodiversity. Climate concerns also motivate her peers to vote. 

Continuing our congregational climate work series, we had a robust conversation about our own congregational actions, using someone's work with the local Unitarian Church as a model. Key factors discussed included: a good volunteer group, strong clergy, and staff support and using an established framework. Our Hub advocates weighed in on the County's upcoming purchase of transit buses, making clear that we expect investments in electric to fuel the next generation of buses. The next hub meeting is on Wednesday, February 7 at 7 pm.

Fairfax County Hub Updates

We held a lively in-person hub meeting on Sunday, January 21 to welcome Chris Topoleski, our new FACS Executive Director. Additionally, Eric Goplerud described the Buildings UP Award work. We also reviewed our advocacy talking points for this winter, as the County budget season ramps up. What IS advocacy? It’s taking researched and thoughtful ideas to our Supervisors and School Board members, for discussion and input. How can our leadership know what we want? We have to tell them! Advocacy isn’t scary to do; it’s part of being a citizen. Advocacy is also friendly conversations in your community. If you are concerned about climate change, your neighbors may be, too. Help them by talking about it, and about solutions. Read how this hub is putting Faith into Action.

Please note that our January Hub Update contained an outdated link to the Fairfax County Budget Process Timeline. Here is the correct link.

Loudoun Hub Updates

Eric Goplerud and Jean Wright will be meeting with the Capital Community Church to discuss the Buildings UP program. We are writing letters to our state assembly representatives asking their support for bills related to data center siting and more.

Central Valley Hub Updates

We are working with area churches to develop activities such as a climate-focused fast for Lent and a Good Friday climate lament. For the first time, we will have a climate and creation care station as part of the ecumenical Good Friday walk in Harrisonburg. We are in the initial stages of developing an initiative to fund energy efficiency and solar installations for faith communities. We will coordinate this with GiveSolar, a local nonprofit that has funded similar projects for Habitat houses and area nonprofits.

Northern Valley Hub Updates

Bethel Lutheran Church has signed a contract to install solar panels at our congregation! We are using MTV Solar. 

Join a Local Advocacy Hub!

Stay connected with local news, meeting reminders, advocacy opportunities and action alerts, community wins, and more!

FACS' Monthly Sustainability Tip

One of the most effective ways to reduce your energy usage is to limit the use of electricity to heat or cool our homes. During colder months, consider setting your thermostat to 68˚. You could even purchase a smart or programmable thermostat! 

Inspired to give beyond time and talent? Donate today and support FACS' work.


Faith Alliance for Climate Solutions
PO Box 2012  | Reston, Virginia 20195
703-239-3748 | info@faithforclimate.org

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