Today’s news:

Church shines greener light

The Brooklyn Paper

A Fort Greene religious leader wants to put the green back in “God’s green earth,” beginning with his own house of worship.

David Dyson, pastor of the Lafayette Avenue Presbyterian Church, wants to transform his 147-year-old building into a fluorescent-lit environmental beacon for the community.

The reason, said Dyson, is an intrinsically moral one.

“We are now completely convinced that human beings have made a mess of the earth, that when the seas rise and the crops fail, the first people who will get hurt are the poor,” said Dyson.

“We see this as a moral issue. This is not a tree-hugger issue. This is not a hippie, Earth Day issue. This is an issue of human stewardship and global survival, and that goes to the core of our faith.”

Dyson’s ends are certainly high-minded, but his means are entirely mundane.

The church will start engaging in so-called “extreme recycling,” which, it should be noted, is not a new adventure sport.

Rather, it’s Dyson’s term for the fastidious business of making sure that every shred of cardboard makes it into the recycling container.

The good reverend is also conducting an “energy audit,” meaning that workers are canvassing the Romanesque church — which he said “leaks like a sieve” — looking for holes that might be exhaling heat during the winter.

And he’s partnering with the community, sending representatives to seminars, and planning a showing this fall of the omnipresent Al Gore film, “An Inconvenient Truth.”

Dyson is hardly the borough’s only God-fearing environmentalist.

Evangelical Christians have lately been finding common ground with their more mainstream Christian brethren, according to Dyson. And both the Presbyterian and Reform Jewish movements have been encouraging their local leaders to make their houses of worship more environmentally sound.

Park Slope’s Union Temple joined the campaign last year by not only replacing their 100-watt incandescent bulbs with 25-watt compact fluorescents, but also selling the energy-saving bulbs to congregants at a dramatically reduced price.

In that case, Rabbi Linda Goodman said she was also answering to a higher authority.

God? No, Gore.

Dyson preaches every Sunday at Lafayette Avenue Presbyterian Church (Lafayette Avenue at South Oxford and Fulton streets) at 11 am. For information, call (718) 625-7515.

Pin It
Print this story Permalink

Reader Feedback

Enter your comment below

By submitting this comment, you agree to the following terms:

You agree that you, and not or its affiliates, are fully responsible for the content that you post. You agree not to post any abusive, obscene, vulgar, slanderous, hateful, threatening or sexually-oriented material or any material that may violate applicable law; doing so may lead to the removal of your post and to your being permanently banned from posting to the site. You grant to the royalty-free, irrevocable, perpetual and fully sublicensable license to use, reproduce, modify, adapt, publish, translate, create derivative works from, distribute, perform and display such content in whole or in part world-wide and to incorporate it in other works in any form, media or technology now known or later developed.

First name
Last name
Your neighborhood
Email address
Daytime phone

Your letter must be signed and include all of the information requested above. (Only your name and neighborhood are published with the letter.) Letters should be as brief as possible; while they may discuss any topic of interest to our readers, priority will be given to letters that relate to stories covered by The Brooklyn Paper.

Letters will be edited at the sole discretion of the editor, may be published in whole or part in any media, and upon publication become the property of The Brooklyn Paper. The earlier in the week you send your letter, the better.