St. John Neumann Catholic Community Award Presentation

St. John Neumann Church in Reston, Virginia, was recently honored by the Faith Alliance for Climate Solutions (FACS) with the first-ever Sustainability Champion Award in the “Congregation” category. The award recognized outstanding efforts of individual congregations “to advocate, host events, spread awareness, and be stewards of the environment.” FACS is a regional, nonpartisan group in Northern Virginia that works with congregations of all faiths to sound an ethical and spiritual call to protect the earth and its inhabitants.  St. John Neumann's Care for Our Common Home Ministry has been collaborating with FACS for the last two years. Members of the ministry were on hand and honored to receive the award at FACS’s recent sustainability showcase. 

2015-2016 Accomplishments to Celebrate:

  • Officially launched SJN’s Care for Our Common Home ministry
  • Presented a 6-week JustFaith climate change module 
  • Held a 3-session parish-wide discussion of Laudato Si’ upon its publication
  •  Received a Cool Congregation certification from Interfaith Power and Light for demonstrating energy savings 
  • Celebrated the Feast of St. Francis with a parish event including songs, prayers, presentations, and discussions
  • Coordinated an Advent Fair Trade Bazaar with an array of eco-friendly products from indigenous artists

2017 Accomplishments to Celebrate:

  • Sponsored a showing of the documentary film Bag-It, exposing the detrimental effects of plastic bags and other plastic products 
  • Hosted a Family Night of activities to help families with elementary school students learn how to reduce their carbon footprint 
  • Celebrated the Season of Creation Held a nature prayer walk to honor the World Day of Prayer for Creation 
  • Organized a nature photo contest for our middle and high school students 
  • Welcomed Fr. Jacek Orzechowski, OFM, who presented Lord, I Want to See: Viewing the World Through God’s Eyes, emphasizing how care for the poor is connected to care for creation 
  • Held several bird walks to appreciate God’s presence in nature 
  • Facilitated an Eagle Scout Project to build a pollinator garden on parish grounds Sponsored a 7-week discussion series using Fr. Dan Horan’s Understanding Laudato Si’ videos as our guide 
  • Sponsored a presentation on eco-friendly natural burials as an alternative to traditional burials