Church shines greener light

The Brooklyn Paper
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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.

Updated 4:29 pm, July 9, 2018
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