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:
- Services and songs
- Caring for All Creation Modules—Earth Ministry’s creation honoring worship services
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 classes
- Youth classes
- Field trips, 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:
- Habitat conservation/restoration projects
- Environmental advocacy
- Host community events—movie showings, guest speaker
Denominational, Ecumenical, and Interfaith Partnerships
Once you have begun to foster creation awareness and care in your congregation, you may want to consider ways to impact broader religious structures.
As people of faith, we have many similarities and have greater strength when joined together. Uniting with those outside our own congregation can include: