Green Candles: A Fox Valley Interfaith Earth Fair

March 28, 2014 by  
Filed under Solar Energy Tips

By Jasmine Young
For Sun-Times Media

March 27, 2014 3:26PM

Green Candles, a new Fox Valley Interfaith Earth Fair, takes place April 26 in St. Charles. | Submitted

If you go

What: Green Candles: A Fox Valley Interfaith Earth Fair

When: 12:30 to 4:30 p.m. April 26

Where: St. John Neumann, 2900 E. Main St.,
St. Charles

Web: spiritualgreen

Updated: March 28, 2014 1:17PM

Mary Alice Masonick, from the Unitarian Universalist Church of Elgin, has had a love for nature since she was young.

“Over time I’ve become aware of issues that were harming the earth, air, water and biodiversity,” Masonick said. “I’m an RN by career, and I wanted to nurse the earth as a volunteer steward in Kane County.”

As one of the organizers of Green Candles: A Fox Valley Interfaith Earth Fair, she wants to share that message.

“We all care about the planet we live on and are concerned with the health of the earth,” Masonick said. “We believe that people of faith should be inspired to take care of earth, not just in our homes, but in our places of worship and communities.”

The Fox Valley Spiritual Green Connection and St. John Neumann Catholic Church’s Green team have collaborated on the fair in honor of Earth Day on April 26.

Masonick has worked with many others to bring the speakers together and prepare for the fair from 12:30 to 4:30 p.m. at St. John Neumann, 2900 E. Main St., St. Charles.

The keynote speaker will be Brian Sauder, the incoming executive director of Faith in Place.

“Faith in Place is a Chicago-area coalition of places of worships from all faiths, and the focus is earth care, how we can better take care of our earth,” Masonick said. “We also have a system of presentations called pecha kucha and 30-minute breakout sessions.”

Pecha kucha is “a simple presentation format where you show 20 images, each for 20 seconds,” according to As the images or presentation slides advance, the speaker continues to speak.

Other presenters and speakers include Lisa Albrecht of the Illinois Solar Energy Association, Jim Kleinwachter of the The Conservation Foundation, Monica N. Jenkins from the Climate Reality Project, and Patricia Hill, author of “Design your Natural Midwest Garden.”

“We are opening this fair to every faith group to come and learn how they can make their places of worship greener and how to start a green team,” Masonick said.

The main mission of the fair is to inform participants of the role they can play in caring for the environment.

“We want to engage our faith groups in earth care and encourage people to take action on an individual level and community level to do what they can to protect the earth,” Masonick said.

She says there will be tips for taking action in everyday lives, too.

“I also became aware of actions we can take in our families, homes, communities and at our jobs,” Masonick said. “Things we can do to lessen our impact on the planet. I just feel inspired to take some of those actions, speak out and become a leader to raise awareness and encourage people to act.”

The free fair includes a Green Candle Kids Club.

“In order to help the generations to come have a decent life on this planet, we need to take account of our options now and change our lifestyles in order to save the quality of life,” Masonick said.

“I really believe that climate change is the biggest threat to people and the planet. It’s a very serious situation.”

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