Stewards of the Bay:                                      An Affirmation for Eco-JusticeChurches for the Chesapeake—Water ...
Stewards of the bay              n                                                                                        ...
Stewards of the bay                n                                                                                      ...
Activity Tracking Form: Water                                                                                             ...
Activity Tracking Form: Water                                                                                             ...
Stewards of the bay               n                                                                                       ...
Stewards of the bay              n                                                                                        ...
Activity Tracking Form: Energy                                                                                            ...
Activity Tracking Form: Energy                                                                                            ...
Activity Tracking Form: Energy                                                                                            ...
Stewards of the bay                  n                                                                                    ...
Stewards of the bay              n                                                                                        ...
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Stewards of the Bay: An Affirmation for Eco-Justice

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Stewards of the Bay: An Affirmation for Eco-Justice

  1. 1. Stewards of the Bay: An Affirmation for Eco-JusticeChurches for the Chesapeake—Water Action ToolkitNational CounciL of Curche s USAEc o-J ustice Working group
  2. 2. Stewards of the bay n 1Healing and Defending God’s CreationGod created the Earth and all that is in it and declared it good. Learning and TeachingGod’s Creation in the Bay is marked by wondrous complex- We will seek opportunities for ourselves and our children toity, interdependence, and beauty. Human beings are called learn more about the wonders of Creation, the threats posedby God to the task of stewardship—taking care of the Earth by human beings to the survival of Creation and the possibili-respectfully for its own sake and so that present and future ties of our participating in God’s redemption and justice.generations may live on it and enjoy its fruits. The gifts of Cre-ation and the responsibility of stewardship were given to all of Worshiphumanity, so that all might have enough. No one should have In worship, we will celebrate God’s grace and glory in Cre-more than is needed while others go without so that God’s ation and will declare that God calls us to participate in thejustice can prevail. redemption of the world by cherishing, protecting, and restor- Yet, despite our call for stewardship of Creation, God’s ing Creation.Earth has not been well cared for. In our human pride andbrokenness, we have all sinned and fallen short of the glory Lifestyleof God. We pollute God’s water, air, and land with poisons Our individual and congregational lifestyles will respect andwhich hurt people and all Creation. Many species of animals cherish Creation. We will form habits of consuming, conserv-and plants are endangered by the behavior of human beings. ing, and sharing that serve to protect and restore God’s envi-Some have even become extinct. ronment. We also do not share the fruits of Creation justly. Somepeople live in luxury, taking more than they need, while oth- Community, National and Globalers live in poverty. But because God, through the life, death, Involvementand resurrection of Jesus Christ, reconciles humanity and all In our community, the nation and the world, our congrega-of Creation to God, we are able to heal ourselves and God’s tion will witness to and participate in God’s redemption ofEarth. We are able to become new creations. Creation by supporting public efforts and policies that sup- God calls on the Church to participate in the redemption of port vulnerable people and protect and restore the degradedindividuals, all of humanity, and Creation. Therefore, minis- Earth.tries of environmental stewardship and environmental justice Each year we will review our previous year’s work on eco-are significant in the mission of our congregations and judi- justice and consider other ways we can participate in God’scatories. Our congregation affirms the importance of healing redemption of Creation.and defending Creation in our mission. We promise to becomeengaged in or to continue our engagement in this ministry toheal God’s great Creation.Signed by the pastor:S I G N A T U R E DATESigned by an officer of the congregation:S I G N A T U R E DATE(Please keep this in the official minutes of the governing body of your congregation.)
  3. 3. Stewards of the bay n 2Stewards of the Bay: Steps of AffirmationWater StewardshipCongratulations to your congregation for affirming the WorshipEco-justice principles and for making a commitment to • Express thankfulness and concern for God’slive as Stewards of the Bay. Your congregation can begin Creation in the worship life of the congregation byto take steps that will reflect this commitment. Use incorporating the themes of water and eco-justicethis resource to help you determine where to begin into prayers, liturgy, children’s sermons, andand to keep track of the progress you are mak- A good first hymns in weekly services.ing. Below is a sample of some of the activities step is to form • Conduct at least two worship services eachyour congregation can commit to as you strive a Creation Care year focused on themes of God’s Creation.to answer God’s call to stewardship. You can Group dedicated Many congregations choose to hold specialchoose to do any or all of the actions listed in to the water stewardship services on Earth Day Sunday in the springthis form and the energy stewardship form. of God’s Creation and and St. Francis Day in the fall.You can also use this form as a template meet regularly. Membership • Provide at least one opportunityfor tracking other stewardship activities of the group should include each year for congregants to worshiplike recycling. motivated members with God outdoors. For example, hold a diverse interests including streamside service to reflect on water asLearning and Teaching finances, mission, building a symbol of Creation and resurrection• Offer at least one water or eco-justice and grounds, worship, and renewal. themed class each year for adults and and Christian children (See Sacred Waters: pg 24 of the education. Lifestyle: Action Stewards of the Bay Toolkit). • Conserve water by fixing leaks• Host a sustainable potluck dinner each year to be followed • Harvest rainwater with rain barrels by a program about stewardship of the Chesapeake Bay or • Develop and implement a storm water management plan local eco-justice issues. Invite a speaker to talk about the for the church grounds impacts of pollution on the Bay’s fisheries and how these • Seek out a partnership with a local watershed group impacts affect not only the integrity of God’s Creation, • Reduce pesticide use on the grounds through Integrated but the watermen communities that depend on healthy Pest Management practices or organic gardening in order fisheries for their livelihoods to decrease the amount of pollutants in stormwater• Put on an annual intergenerational event to connect • Use non-toxic products such as soaps and detergents to members to each other and to God’s Creation. For avoid contributing additional stormwater pollutants in the example hike along a stream or go canoeing. Bay• Arrange one briefing every year or two to our governing • Invest in low-flow toilets and or waterless urinals that board or session to educate them on the call to care for conserve water and keep excess nitrogen out of the water Creation in the Chesapeake Bay and how the congregation cycle, so that it doesn’t end up in the Chesapeake Bay or is fulfilling this call. its tributaries where it can lead to algal blooms
  4. 4. Activity Tracking Form: Water Stewards of the bay n 3 Learning and Teaching Making Progress* Results Who: When: Offer an eco-justice or water themed adult When: Highlights: education class (see the curriculum) Needs: Who: When: Offer an eco-justice, Creation care, or water When: Highlights: themed children’s education class Needs: Host a sustainable potluck dinner, with local and Who: When: organic foods: Include eco-justice programming, When: Highlights: such as , inviting a speaker to talk about the im- pacts of pollution on the Bay’s fisheries and the Needs: watermen communities that depend on healthy fisheries for their livelihoods Intergenerational event to connect members to Who: When: God, each other, and Creation such as hiking When: Highlights: along a stream or canoeing (include your own ideas below) Needs: ________________________________ _________________________________ Who: When: Other When: Highlights: Needs: Worship Making Progress* Results Express thankfulness and concern for God’s Who: When: Creation in the worship life of the congregation When: Highlights: by incorporating the themes of water and eco- justice into weekly services. Needs: Who: When: Conduct two worship services with a Creation When: Highlights: care theme Needs: Who: When: Other When: Highlights: Needs:*Who = point person for project; When = date by which the event/action has happened. (The point person responsible for setting dates and meeting deadlines) andNeeds = people, funding, etc. that point person needs to complete project. Eco-Tip Water (to be included in your church bulletin or newsletter) Lawns demand water, which is becoming increasingly scarce in many places. In addition, much of the $8.4 billion we spend annually on our lawns goes to douse them with fertilizers and pesticides that find their way into streams and rivers. Find ways to reduce the amount of lawn on your property. Flower beds and shrubberies especially when planted with native species are ecologically superior to lawns and much less costly to maintain, in terms of dollar cost as well as cost to God’s Earth. Better still, you could grow fruit and vegetables that would enhance the diet of your family and friends. Submitted by Maryland Presbyterian Church, Towson, Maryland.
  5. 5. Activity Tracking Form: Water Stewards of the bay n 4 Action Making Progress* Results Who: When: Install low-flow devices and/or waterless urinals When: Highlights: Needs: Use Integrated Pest Management or organic Who: When: gardening techniques (Try to avoid chemical When: Highlights: based pesticides and herbicides) (Stewards of the Bay pg 13) Needs: Who: When: Reach out to a local watershed group When: Highlights: Needs: Who: When: Install rain barrels When: Highlights: Needs: Who: When: Install rain garden When: Highlights: Needs: Who: When: Install green roof When: Highlights: Needs: Who: When: Install permeable pavement When: Highlights: Needs: Who: When: Other When: Highlights: Needs: Community, National Making Progress* Results and Global Involvement Write one letter to your state or federal Mem- Who: When: ber of Congress and senators, or to your local When: Highlights: elected officials telling them what you are doing for your community and the Bay. Needs: Who: When: Participate in or organize a Bay Cleanup Day When: Highlights: Needs: Who: When: Other When: Highlights: Needs:*Who = point person for project; When = date by which the event/action has happened. (The point person responsible for setting dates and meeting deadlines) andNeeds = people, funding, etc. that point person needs to complete project.
  6. 6. Stewards of the bay n 5Sample reporting sheet for your Governing Lifestyle/Action:Board, and NCC • We reached out to (local watershed group) who came to our church on (date) and helped us to envision a workableMajor Accomplishments: stormwater management plan for our congregation. They suggested _____________________________________.Learning and Teaching:• A group of ______ adults participated in the Sacred • We did ____________________________ on _______ Waters five-week adult Christian education course. In reflecting on the course participants observed: • We did ____________________________ on _______A _____________________________________________ • We are currently raising money for __________________B _____________________________________________ _______________________________________________C _____________________________________________ • In addition, we have installed low-flow devices on all sinks • Because of these actions our congregation was featured in• In July a group of ______ youth and adults enjoyed each the local newspaper. (see attached clipping) other’s fellowship on a ______ trip on the ______ River• This Thanksgiving our congregation celebrated with a sustainable potluck. Members provided mostly locally- harvested / organic dishes. The meal was followed by a presentation from Maryland Department of Natural Eco Tip: Water and Energy Resources teaching us about the things we can do in our Doing the Laundry is an energy intensive chore homes to prevent polluted runoff in to the streams and and harmful chemicals found in many detergents waterways. can have a negative impact on the Bay. Take these simple steps to make each load moreWorship: energy efficient and Creation friendly.• Since _____ our congregation has included prayers for • Wash your clothes with cold water. It takes less God’s Creation into our regular worship services. Our energy to heat up water, so the less you use, bulletin also contains tips on how to conserve water and the better. reduce energy in your home, helping members to practice • Use Biodegradable laundry detergent and avoid stewardship everyday of the week. (see attached bulletin) bleach whenever possible• This Earth Day we celebrated using the National Council • Line dry your clothes. Utilize free solar and of Churches Earth Day Sunday resource, Sacred Spaces and wind power to dry your clothes. You can bright- an Abundant Life: worship spaces as stewardship and as a en and disinfect your whites without bleach by congregation reaffirmed our calling to stewardship of the hanging them in direct sunlight. bay and the entirety of God’s Creation. (See the attached Earth Day Sermon by Rev. _______________________)
  7. 7. Stewards of the bay n 6Stewards of the Bay: Steps of AffirmationEnergy StewardshipCongratulations to your congregation for affirming the Eco- Worshipjustice principles and for making a commitment to live • Express thankfulness and concern for God’sas Stewards of the Bay. Your congregation can begin Creation in the worship life of the congregation byto take steps that will reflect this commitment. Use incorporating the themes of water and eco-justicethis resource to help you determine where to begin into prayers, liturgy, children’s sermons, andand to keep track of the progress you are mak- hymns in weekly services.ing. Below is a sample of some of the activities A good first • Conduct at least two worship services eachyour congregation can commit to as you strive step is to form a year focused on themes of God’s Creation andto answer God’s call to stewardship. You can Creation Care Group our calling, as people of faith to stewardship.choose to do any or all of the actions listed in dedicated to the Many congregations choose to hold specialthis form and the water stewardship form. stewardship of God’s services on Earth Day Sunday in theYou can also use this form as a template Creation and meet regularly. spring and St. Francis Day in the fall.for tracking other stewardship activities Membership of the group • Provide at least one opportunity eachlike recycling. should include motivated year for congregants to worship God members with diverse interests outdoors.Learning and Teaching including finances, mission,• Offer at least one eco-justice themed building and grounds, worship, Lifestyle: Action class each year for adults and children and Christian education. • Calculate our carbon footprint (See Sacred Waters: pg 24 of the Stewards • Get an energy audit and implement the of the Bay Toolkit). auditor’s suggestions• Host a sustainable potluck dinner each year to • et short and long term goals for energy reduction and S be followed by a program about stewardship of the create a budget and seek out funding for our energy Chesapeake Bay or local eco-justice issues. Invite a reduction efforts speaker to talk about the impacts of air pollution on the • Investigate the sources of energy to heat and light the Chesapeake Bay and its tributaries. Discuss ways to reduce congregation and the impacts these sources have on energy use at home and at church. Creation and local communities around the energy• Put on an annual intergenerational event to connect facilities members to each other and to God’s Creation. For • Install CFLs, LED exit signs and Occupancy Sensors example hike along a stream or go canoeing. • Continue to seek out ways to improve energy efficiency• Arrange one briefing every year or two to our governing and reduce our impact on the Bay, such as, installing board or session to educate them on the call to care for energy efficient lighting technologies, making all new Creation in the Chesapeake Bay and how our congregation appliances energy efficient, investing in clean energy is fulfilling this call. technologies like wind solar and geothermal, and supporting the use of clean energy in Maryland
  8. 8. Activity Tracking Form: Energy Stewards of the bay n 7 Learning and Teaching Making Progress* Results Who: When: Offer an Eco-Justice themed adult education When: Highlights: class Needs: Who: When: Offer an eco-justice/ Creation care themed When: Highlights: children’s education class Needs: Host a sustainable potluck dinner: Include eco- Who: When: justice programming such as Inviting a speaker When: Highlights: to talk about the impacts of air pollution on the Chesapeake Bay and its tributaries and Needs: discussing ways to reduce energy use at home and at church Intergenerational event to connect members to Who: When: God, each other, and Creation such as hiking When: Highlights: along a stream or canoeing (include your own ideas below) Needs: ________________________________ _________________________________ Who: When: Other When: Highlights: Needs: Worship Making Progress* Results Express thankfulness and concern for God’s Who: When: Creation in the worship life of the congregation When: Highlights: by incorporating the themes of water and eco-justice into weekly services. Needs: Who: When: Conduct two worship services with a Creation When: Highlights: care theme Needs: Who: When: Other When: Highlights: Needs:*Who = point person for project; When = date by which the event/action has happened. (The point person responsible for setting dates and meeting deadlines) andNeeds = people, funding, etc. that point person needs to complete project. Eco Tip: Energy (to be included in your church bulletin or newsletter) Lighting accounts for around 20 percent of the electricity consumed in the United States. Turning lights off when they are not needed is a low-cost technique that reduces energy consumption and saves money, and avoids the negative impacts on God’s Creation of producing electricity. Submitted by Maryland Presbyterian Church, Towson, Maryland
  9. 9. Activity Tracking Form: Energy Stewards of the bay n 8 Lifestyle : Action Estimated Cost Savings Making Progress* Results Who: When: Calculate your Carbon Footprint N/A When: Highlights: Needs: Who: When: Utility cost current month: _______ Energy audit and implementation Cost for this month pervious year: _______ When: Highlights: Difference: _________ Needs: Who: When: Utility cost current month: _______ Install Occupancy Sensors Cost for this month pervious year: _______ When: Highlights: Difference: _________ Needs: Who: When: Utility cost current month: _______ Weatherize the Buildings Cost for this month pervious year: _______ When: Highlights: Difference: _________ Needs: Who: When: Utility cost current month: _______ Install energy efficient lighting: CFLs Cost for this month pervious year: _______ When: Highlights: and LEDs Difference: _________ Needs: Who: When: Commit to making all new appliance N/A When: Highlights: purchases energy efficient Needs: Who: When: Make a fundraising plan for clean N/A When: Highlights: power Needs: Who: When: Utility cost current month: ____ Install solar panels, wind turbines, or Cost for this month pervious year: ____ When: Highlights: other forms of clean power Difference: _________ Needs: Who: When: Utility cost current month: ____ Invest in clean energy for MD Cost for this month pervious year: ____ When: Highlights: Difference: _________ Needs: Utility cost current month: ____ Who: When: Cost for this month pervious year: ____ Other When: Highlights: Difference: _________ Needs:*Who = point person for project; When = date by which the event/action has happened. (The point person responsible for setting dates and meeting deadlines) andNeeds = people, funding, etc. that point person needs to complete project.
  10. 10. Activity Tracking Form: Energy Stewards of the bay n 9 Community, National Making Progress* Results and Global Involvement Write one letter to your state or federal member Who: When: of Congress and senators, or to your local When: Highlights: elected officials telling them what you are doing for your community and the Bay. Needs: Who: When: Do a CFL drive for a low income community When: Highlights: Needs: Who: When: Other When: Highlights: Needs:*Who = point person for project; When = date by which the event/action has happened. (The point person responsible for setting dates and meeting deadlines) andneeds = people, funding, etc. that point person needs to complete project EcoTip: Energy Heat and cool your home efficiently. As much as half of the energy we use in our homes is used for heating and cooling. In fact, the average single family home emits nearly 13,000 pounds of carbon dioxide in the process of heating and cooling, costing over $600 each year. Carbon dioxide is a green house gas and a major factor contributing to climate change. By making minor adjustments to our thermostats, most of us can significantly reduce our individual carbon emissions while remaining comfortable. Adjusting the thermostat by just three degrees (down in the winter and up in the summer) can prevent the emission of close to 1,100 pounds of CO2 each year! Heating and cooling efficiently will also reduce your energy costs too. In fact, for every degree you raise the thermostat in the summer, and lower it in the winter, you’ll save 3-5% of your cooling costs. Follow these tips to heat and cool your home efficiently. 1. nspect your filter. You should check your filter every month during heavy use and replace it when needed I (at least every three months). Maintaining a clean filter can save 350 pounds of carbon annually. 2. lean your unit annually. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions. C 3. et a tune up. Having a specialist tune up and clean the coils for your central air system every 3 years G can result in energy savings of 10 - 20 percent. For more information go to www.energystar.gov/index. cfm?c=heat_cool.pr_hvac” Energy Star webpage. 4. nstall a programmable thermostat. This device will help you to regulate the temperature of your home. I Using in properly can help you save close to $180 annually. 5. Turn it off. In the summer, turn your A.C. unit off when you are away from home for more than one hour. For more information check out the NCC Carbon Reduction Campaign for individuals at www.nccecojustice.org/carbonreduction
  11. 11. Stewards of the bay n 10Sample reporting Sheet for your Governing • This Earth Day we celebrated using the National CouncilBoard and the National Council of of Churches Earth Day Sunday resource, Sacred SpacesChurches and an Abundant Life: Worship Spaces as Stewardship. As a congregation, we reaffirmed our calling to stewardshipMajor Accomplishments: of the Bay and the entirety of God’s Creation. (See the attached Earth Day Sermon by Rev. ________________)Learning and Teaching:• A group of ______ adults participated in the Sacred Lifestyle/Action: Waters five-week adult Christian education course. In • Our church began with a carbon footprint of _________. reflecting on the course participants observed: On (date) we got an energy audit from (auditor) whoA _____________________________________________ suggested that we ______________________________.B _____________________________________________ • We did ____________________________ on _______C _____________________________________________ • We did ____________________________ on _______• In July a group of ______ youth and adults enjoyed each • We are currently raising money for __________________ other’s fellowship on a _____ trip down the ______ River _______________________________________________• This Thanksgiving our congregation celebrated with a sustainable potluck. Members provided mostly locally- • In addition, we have replaced all incandescent bulbs with harvested / organic dishes. The meal was followed by a compact fluorescent light bulbs (CFLs). presentation from __________teaching us about the • Now our carbon footprint is ______ and our utility bills connections between climate change and poverty. have decreased ________dollars compared to this month last year.Worship: • Because of these actions our congregation was featured in• Since _________ our congregation has included prayers the local newspaper. (see attached clipping) for God’s Creation into our regular worship services. Our bulletin also contains tips on how to conserve water and reduce energy in the home, helping members to practice stewardship every day of the week. (see attached bulletin) Energy Stewardship as Financial Stewardship Most congregations can cut energy costs by up to 30 percent by taking low-cost measures and invest- ing strategically in efficient equipment, facility upgrades and maintenance.1 Maryland residents can also practice stewardship of Creation and their finances by taking low cost measures to reduce energy consumption. Individuals can save over $150 in annual utility costs simply by replacing their incandes- cent light bulbs with compact fluorescent light bulbs (CFL) and installing low flow shower heads.2 1 “ Congregations: An Overview of Energy Use and Energy Efficiency Opportunities.” Energy Star for Congregations. 12/3/2009 HYPER- LINK “http://www.energystar.gov/congregations”www.energystar.gov/congregations 2 “ EmPower Maryland.” Energy Facts and Programs. Maryland Energy Administration 12/9/2009. http://energy.maryland.gov/facts/ empower/index.asp
  12. 12. Stewards of the bay n 11Sample Newsletter Article Sample Press Release{Church name} to become a Stewards of the Bay Caring for Creation, {Church Name} is {ProjectCongregation your church is doing} in an Effort to BecomeWe are blessed to live in a region with a unique and precious “Stewards of the Bay”ecosystem, the Chesapeake Bay. Unfortunately, we have not {City, State, DATE }—In an effort to lessen the congrega-always been good stewards of this great gift. But now, {church tion’s impacts on the Chesapeake Bay and improve the healthname} is beginning to change that. As a congregation, we are of the watershed and their community, members of {Churchcommitted to living lifestyles dedicated to stewardship, rec- name} installed {your church’s stormwater management proj-ognizing that every decision we make has an impact on God’s ect} on the church grounds, limiting rainwater runoff fromCreation and our neighbors. This is particularly true of the the roof and parking lots.energy we consume, which results in air and water pollution {Quote from member who participated in the project.}and contributes to global climate change. The church signed an Affirmation for Eco-Justice, becom- For these reasons, {Church Name and committees involved} ing a Stewards of the Bay congregation through a programdecided to join the National Council of Churches Stewards of of the National Council of Churches Eco-Justice Program.the Bay Program. As part of this program, we will answer God’s By signing the affirmation, members of {Church name}havecall to care for Creation through education, worship, lifestyle/ made a commitment to healing and defending God’s Creationaction, and community involvement. Our first step will be to through learning and teaching, worship, lifestyle/action, andlook at how our congregation uses energy and water in the community, national, and global involvement.church facilities, which have an impact on the health of the According to the pastor, Rev. {your pastor’s name}, {quoteChesapeake Bay In addition, in the coming weeks, our Sunday from your pastor about why you are doing these projects}school classes and worship services will reflect upon our inter- {Day of project}’s {event} was just one of many projects theaction with God’s Creation. To help congregants take action at church has planned. According to {member organizing thehome look for eco-tips to be included in weekly bulletins. stewardship events} {quote about future projects}. Though these activities may seem small, they will plant the Volunteers from {Church Name} will be working sideseeds for our future work as a Stewards of the Bay congre- by side at {church name} on {date of upcoming project} togation. Through these programs we will explore simple and {Upcoming project} to help restore the health of the Chesa-affordable ways that we can reduce our energy use, saving the peake Bay and {local tributary}.congregation money, and reduce rainwater runoff improving Contact {contact person for your congregation} at {contactthe health of the Bay. Please join us by seeking out ways to be email and/or phone} to find out more about Creation carebetter stewards of God’s Creation in your home. Together let efforts at {Church name}.us respond to God’s call to be Stewards of the Bay, and worktoward realizing the vision God gave the prophet Ezekiel,“Wherever the river goes, every living creature that swarms willlive, and there will be very many fish, once the rivers reach there.[The water] will become fresh; and everything will live where theriver goes.” (Ezekiel 47: 8-9). EcoTip: Energy and Water (to be included in your church bulletin or newsletter) Help save water and prevent climate change pollu- • aves 3 cubic yards of landfill space (methane gas source) S tion by buying recycled paper products. Recycling • aves 7,000 gallons of fresh water S and buying recycled content products can put a dent • eeps 60 pounds of pollution out of the air K in the production of green-house gasses and save • aves 4,000 kilowatt hours of energy S the trees that absorb them. In Fact, the production • aves 17 trees from being cut S of just one ton of recycled paper lightens the load on the planet in many profound and exciting ways. Submitted by Maryland Presbyterian Church, Every Ton of Recycled paper used: Towson, Maryland

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