More ideas and explicit details may be found in the Greening Congregations Handbook. However, brief descriptions of areas of greening on the path to becoming a Greening Congregation are found below.
Worship & Liturgy
Worship is the center of our lives as people grounded in a common faith. Exploring worship as a means of communicating our values by celebrating and honoring creation provides opportunity to grow closer to our creator.
Creation care can be woven into many elements of worship, such as:
- Caring for All Creation—Earth Ministry’s creation honoring worship service resources
As people of faith, we have a desire to grow in relationship with our creator educating ourselves, our children, and our neighbors.
Within education programs, you can help others explore connections between their faith and God’s broader creation. Work to add environmental stewardship into:
- Adult and youth classes
- Field trips and retreats
- Book clubs using resources such as Earth Ministry’s Food and Faith, Simpler Living, Compassionate Life, or Money & Faith
- Printed or Visual Communications— eco-section in church newsletter or website
Building and Grounds
Growing in appreciation for the sacredness of God’s creation, we are led to be good stewards of our places of worship. Congregational buildings and grounds are great places to be examples of good stewards. A few areas to start include:
- Transportation—Carless Sundays (bicycling, bus, carpool)
- Food Sustainability—Shade Grown coffee, local foods
- Recycling and Composting
- Energy Conservation and Green Power
- Water Conservation and Care
- Landscaping and grounds care
- Reducing and eliminating toxics
- Green building and remodeling
As a congregation begins to engage in stewardship, activities may go beyond the church walls and into the community.
Many activities in the church can be advertised to the greater community. It helps the congregation gain more support and also brings congregational life to neighbors outside the church. Events could include:
- Hands-on conservation projects: habitat restoration, community clean ups, electronic recycling events, etc
- Host community events—movie showings, guest speakers, etc.
- Nature hikes and other field trips
- Encourage congregation members to engage with the local community in advocating for creation care
Once you have begun to foster creation awareness and care in your congregation, the next step is to enter the realm of faithful advocacy.
As people of faith, we have the opportunity to uplift the moral voice for wise and equitable policy solutions at a local, state, and national level. Putting your faith into action can include:
- Hosting forums to explain and discuss current environmental issues
- Contacting elected officials through emails, letter writing, calls, attending a lobby day
or an in-district meeting
- Distribute and collecting comment cards or signatures
- Speaking out for creation care at public hearings
- Attending advocacy events with Earth Ministry/WAIPL in Olympia
- Updating faith statements or strategic plans