Local climate solutions powered by faith communities.


FACS Triumphs as Phase 1 Winner of DOE’s Buildings Upgrade Prize!

We’ve got some electrifying news to share! The U.S. Department of Energy Building Technologies Office has notified FACS that we’re a winner of the groundbreaking Buildings Upgrade Prize (Buildings UP). FACS will receive a cash award and access to expert technical assistance to develop and test ways to help faith communities to improve the energy efficiency of congregations’ buildings. As one of only 45 teams nationwide chosen as Phase 1 winners, our ideas of working with congregations to cut their energy bills and greenhouse gas emissions were recognized. Stay tuned for more updates. The future is electric, and FACS is at the heart of the transformation!


Thank you, Eric!

This past September, Dr. Eric Goplerud took a bow after 12 extraordinary years at the helm of the Faith Alliance for Climate Solutions. Under his visionary leadership, FACS soared uniting supporters from 200 congregations across Northern Virginia and beyond.

Eric championed energy efficiency, conservation, and resilience, with a focus on uplifting disadvantaged communities. He’s lent his expertise to climate and health advisory roles, leaving an indelible mark on local governments and organizations. He fearlessly stood before various levels of government, pushing for a brighter, more sustainable future.

Even as Eric passed the baton as board chair, his commitment to FACS remained unwavering as he stepped into an interim role leading the Buildings Up program until a new executive director arrives.

We are grateful for Eric’s dedication, passion, and leadership. You can watch Eric's insights on what fuels FACS' success here.


Are you our next Executive Director? 

Faith Alliance for Climate Solutions (FACS) seeks an Executive Director who shares our passion for local climate action and climate justice. The Executive Director leads our growing organization, manages staff, volunteers, and the budget. Also, the Executive Director cultivates relations with elected leaders, faith communities, funders, and our active Board of Directors.

Apply before Friday, November 10, 2023 with a cover letter and resume to the Executive Director Hiring Committee at executivedirector@faithforclimate.org. Read more about the roles and responsibilities of this position here.


FACS Volunteer Spotlight: Suzanne Olijar

Suzanne Olijar's unwavering dedication to combating food waste and promoting composting serves as a model for environmental advocacy. In March 2023, Suzanne, along with the Fairfax FACS Fairfax County Public Schools (FCPS) Team, introduced the Care to Share Toolkit to Superintendent Michelle Reid. The toolkit focuses on recovering acceptable foods in FCPS cafeterias, and redistributing this food to students and community members facing food insecurity. FCPS has shared the toolkit on its Get2Green website.  

Suzanne advocates for changes in Virginia's strict composting laws. She is working to expand opportunities for community-based composting, including at local churches and schools. She's built upon her own home composting methods to provide hands-on knowledge. Suzanne welcomes opportunities to share her knowledge with others at community events.

Want to become more involved in climate advocacy? Join a FACS advocacy team or email us at info@faithforclimate.org.


Tree of Life Community

A group of us are meeting to learn, discuss, and exchange information and ideas about preserving, restoring, and expanding natural systems on the grounds of faith communities. We'll focus on planting native trees and plants, establishing community gardens, removing invasive species to save native trees, composting, and implementing sustainable landscaping and lawn care techniques. Our next meeting is Thursday, November 16 from 3:00 - 4:00 p.m. EST via Zoom. 


FACS Achieves Remarkable Milestones

In Arlington County, our partnership with community leaders transformed land usage, ushered in green spaces, and curbed urban sprawl. Alexandria created the Office of Climate Action, thanks to FACS' unwavering advocacy. Meanwhile, in Loudoun County, our passionate activists played a crucial role in gaining approval for a County Environmental and Energy Strategy Plan. 

But that's not all – FACS continues to grow, with new hubs in the Northern Shenandoah and Central Shenandoah Valley!

Your support has been the driving force behind these achievements! Please join us in the 2024 NOVA TO ZERO Individual Giving Campaign – together, we can make an even greater impact.


Farewell to Andrea McGimsey

We want to thank Andrea McGimsey for her two years of service as Executive Director of FACS. Her creativity led to our on-going Solar Sanctuaries, Tree of Life, and Creation Care Kitchen programs. These initiatives helped many congregations to begin thinking about reducing energy waste and tending to their living grounds.

Andrea reached far, out into the Shenandoah Valley, and into underserved communities. We will continue and expand the work already in place.  During her tenure, FACS benefited from her deep conviction and commitment for environmental justice and climate solutions.

We wish Andrea well in her next adventures.


Nature Corner 

Pope Francis published the "Laudate Deum", an apostolic exhortation on October 4, 2023. He emphasized about his earlier call for urgent action to tackle climate change, while highlighting a failing global response to the crisis. Read here to learn more about Pope Francis and his call for us to care for our planet. 



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

Alexandria Climate Action 101 Wednesday, November 29, 7:00 p.m. via Zoom 

Not sure how decisions get made and where advocates can plug in to help? Attend our primer on climate change policy and advocacy in Alexandria. We'll give you the background on City of Alexandria climate change issues, players, policies, and opportunities to help, so you feel up to speed and ready to engage. Includes Q&A.

The Alexandria Hub continues to work on many fronts, our newest focus area is on the Alexandria City Public Schools and their climate and sustainability efforts district-wide and in the classroom.

Arlington County Hub Updates

In October, the FACS Arlington Hub focused discussion on specific actions we'll be pursuing together to advance climate justice initiatives and supporting congregational action. We'll soon launch a congregational outreach team, creating a reference document, cataloguing congregational actions, and crafting some communications materials that will help us make the case for climate actions to our faith networks. Also, with other community advocacy partners, we kicked off a project with some Arlington High School students to help them with specific climate and sustainability projects. Our next FACS Hub meeting will be on Wednesday, November 1 at 7:00 p.m. on Zoom. 

Fairfax County Hub Updates

Rachel Domer, Program Manager for Technical and Engineering Education, and several enthusiastic staff shared their work with us at our Hub meeting. Did you know that FCPS has an innovative hands-on tech program at Edison High School? Students get a jump start on careers, such as being an electrician. (We’re going to need lots of those for all the heat pumps that are coming!) At least 17 schools have earned the highest honor, a Green Flag award from the Eco-Schools Program of the National Wildlife Federation. Climate and Environmental education is developing widely and deeply in Fairfax, from Kindergarten through high school. Get2Green school programs are providing outdoor education, with hands on experiences such as planting pollinator gardens. Read here how this hub is putting Faith Into Action.

Loudoun Hub Updates

The Loudoun Hub is pleased to share that the UU Congregation of Sterling has become part of the FACS network of congregations. We invite other Loudoun County congregations to join with us in reducing GHGs in faith-based organizations. The Hub is building relationships with elected officials at the local, state and the national level. 70% of internet activities go through Loudoun County data centers, and we are focusing attention on their use of electricity and water resources, who will pay for the Dominion infrastructure required for these resources, and siting issues.

Central Valley Hub Updates

We are supporting Valley Interfaith Action in their campaign to bring door to door demand-response public transportation to Rockingham County. An initial step was to have the Rockingham County Board of Supervisors agree to support a feasibility study conducted by the Virginia Department of Rail and Public Transit. Part of the feasibility study is a transit study public survey  We are encouraging local faith communities and climate action groups to have their members and friends fill out the survey--especially people with transportation challenges. It's encouraging to have come this far in our fight for public transit in our county.

Our October steering committee meeting was on the 23rd. Among the things we're working on is having various faith communities report on their climate actions on this website. The goal is to applaud creative actions and inspire each other.


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

With the holidays coming up be thinking ahead on how to limit your environmental impact. Whether it be carpooling to visit family or eating local produce, there are opportunities to have a sustainable celebration.

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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