Local climate solutions powered by faith communities.


Welcome Executive Director, Christopher Topoleski!

The Faith Alliance for Climate Solutions welcomes Christopher Topoleski as our new Executive Director! Chris is a devoted member of the Unitarian Universalist Church of Reston and is set to elevate FACS' climate solutions initiatives. 

Chris brings a wealth of experience to FACS after previously serving as the Legislative Director for the National Indian Education Association. Before championing Native communities, Chris led federal legislative affairs and regulatory affairs at the American Society of Health-Systems Pharmacists—the largest association of pharmacy professionals in the country. 

Chris's impressive background in fundraising, alliance development, and unwavering commitment to diversity and inclusion make him the right leader for FACS. Learn more about him here. Get ready for an exciting era as Chris Topoleski guides us toward a future that's greener for all communities.


Cultivating Change in Faith Communities - Join Our Tree of Life Community Meeting

Join our January Tree of Life Community meeting for a deep dive into sustainable practices in faith communities! Discover, discuss, and share insights on preserving, restoring, and expanding natural systems on the grounds of faith communities. We meet the third Thursday of every month. At our meeting on Thursday, January 18 from 3:00 - 4:00 p.m. EST via Zoom, we'll explore the secrets to establishing and sustaining a green team at YOUR congregation.


Why is my sanctuary so cold?

Join us Tuesday, January 16, from 7:00 to 8:30 pm EST via Zoom for an informative session on HVACS, heat pumps, and financing. This webinar will feature industry trailblazers Scott Donelson, President of Home Energy Medics, and Alison Derevensky, Enterprise Associate with BlocPower. These experts will share their insights on building energy efficiency and renewable energy project management and financing. We'll also hear from congregation green leads that have gone through HVAC and heat pump upgrades successfully. 


Community Spotlight: Temple Rodef Shalom’s Environmental Community Stewardship

Temple Rodef Shalom (TRS), located in Falls Church, Virginia, is a community pursuing environmental advancements. Last fall, their LandCare Team enhanced the sustainability of Fairfax County land by partnering with Fairfax ReLeaf for a major invasive plant removal and tree seedling planting. TRS families volunteered for this project and transformed into environmental community stewards. To manage invasive plants and vines on their grounds, TRS hired a contractor and plans to extend efforts to an adjacent Fairfax County park. During past High Holidays, TRS’s environmental stewards also engaged in Reverse Tashlich and pulled out litter from a local stream. 

TRS actively embraces workforce development by educating landscapers on best practices with guidance from their LandCare committee chair who is certified in sustainable landscaping. Their dedication to climate solutions extends beyond the grounds as evidenced by their installation of solar panels and ongoing efforts to boost building efficiency. Temple Rodef Shalom stands as an example of blending faith, community, and environmental stewardship.



With the start of a new year we hope you are in rhythm with nature and have the opportunity to slow down and look into ways to recharge. Enjoy 2019 poet laureate Joy Harjo's poem Remember, and reflect on all connections and the need to holistically engage in working towards identifying, establishing, and supporting climate solutions. Read Joy Harjo's poem here, and consider using it for reflection and intention setting for the new year.



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

Focus on Schools, City Budget, & Congregations to kick off 2024 - Over the next few months, we are continuing advocacy for greener Alexandria City Public Schools (ACPS) and City budget resources to continue the City's strong climate action initiatives, especially those that help the most vulnerable Alexandrians. In December, we met with a candidate in the School Board special election and supported green buildings in the adopted ACPS Capital Improvement Program. Our hub will also continue to engage congregations regarding the FACS Faith Communities Program. 

The hub will return to holding our monthly meetings on the first Wednesday of the month at 7pm. We'll meet this Wednesday, Jan 3 at 7:00-8:00pm via Zoom to give updates on how you can get involved to make a difference in Alexandria and in your congregation this winter.

Arlington County Hub Updates

In December the Arlington Hub continued with our discussions about what various faith communities are doing to address climate change. We're looking into what they're doing 'on campus' as well as via social justice. We had a fabulous guest, Ms Paz Artaza-Regan who runs the Creation Care Teams for the Catholic Climate Covenant. She shared the mission - "to inspire and mobilize the U.S. Catholic community to care for creation and achieve climate justice through the lens of integral ecology" - and how the programs are implemented. She provided some great models that will help shape our Hub work. The next Hub meeting will be on Wednesday, January 3 at 7:00 pm.

Fairfax County Hub Updates

Come meet our new Executive Director, Chris Topoleski, on January 21, at 3:30 pm at the Centerville Regional Library Conference room. Learn more about him here. Bring your enthusiasm, questions, and willingness. Chris brings his experience with advocacy, working with diverse groups, and a passion for social equity solutions to our work. We’ll celebrate the progress of 2023, and learn about the priorities for 2024. Light refreshments provided. 

The Fairfax County Budget process is underway, and here’s the schedule of hearings. Our advocacy teams will meet with our Supervisors in-person in February and March, and attend the Board’s public hearings April 11-13. We also would like advocates to watch their own area’s Town Halls on Channel 16. Only Mason District has an in-person budget town hall this year. That makes our in-person outreach vital! If you’d like to be part of the fun, contact Kris Rosenthal. Read how this hub is putting Faith into Action.

Loudoun Hub Updates

Jean Wright spoke virtually before the Prince William County Board of Supervisers (BOS) meeting on December 13, 6:30 pm, asking them to vote "no" on rezoning of over 2000 acres for the Digital Gateway. Unfortunately, the input from hundreds of environmental and climate speakers did not prevail. Next steps will be determined. We wrote letters to the Loudoun BOS asking them to vote in favor of the Zoning Ordinance Rewrite, a process that took four years. That passed. It contains zoning protections for the environment and there are new requirements for data centers. 

Central Valley Hub Updates

Our Central Shenandoah Valley hub is a member organization of Valley Interfaith Action (VIA). This past month we have been focusing lots of our energy to help VIA persuade the Rockingham County Board of Supervisors to approve on-demand public transit in Rockingham County. A state 'demonstration grant' would cover 80% of the $1 million program costs for the first year. We are also engaging area corporations and businesses to help raise $200,000 as a local match. Our local Sentara Hospital has contributed $50,000 to the project. 


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

FACS' Monthly Sustainability Tip

As we welcome in the new year, reflect on what sustainability tips you learned in 2023. What tips were successful for you? What tips might you leave behind? Give thought and consider the ways you can incorporate aspects of a sustainable lifestyle this new year.

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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