Create a "Green Team"

Green Team

"Our mission is to live as a faith community in covenant with God and with each other, as stewards of creation, using natural resources responsibly and helping others to do the same."

What more can we do, as people of faith, to take care of God's earth? How about creating a Green Team or Creation Care group within your church or faith community?

Members of Edgehill United Methodist Church (Nashville, TN) felt the call to do more after studying the book Serve God, Save the Planet by Matthew Sleeth. They were moved to accept his invitation to re-imagine the way we live, both individually and as a faith community. They created a mission statement and began to work on reducing the carbon footprint of the church. The team developed a strategy to green the church's facility/buildings, activities, and working groups. (Church dinners now use dishes and plates that can be washed. The UMW group bought enough green cloth napkins to serve most gatherings. The Green Team collects dead batteries from church members and makes sure the batteries are disposed of safely.)

Here are some Green Team tips and activities:

  • Educate your congregation or faith community about the issues. Share reading/movie lists and make yourselves available for teaching others through Sunday school programs or one-on-one conversations.
  • Have a "green presence" at church functions.
  • Share tips in your church newsletter or email about how to live as stewards of God's creation.
  • Reach out to the community by participating in your local Earth Day celebration or teaching others about starting their own Green Team.

Here are a few tips that the Edgehill UMC Green Team shared with the congregation:

  1. Say a little prayer every time you flip on the lights, "Thank you for this energy. May it serve me in good stewardship."
  2. Keep a reusable coffee cup in your car to take inside when you stop for coffee.
  3. Embrace the idea of Sabbath one day each week. Don't drive (unless it's to worship!). Don't shop. Leave your cell phone and computer off all day. Eat simple meals that don't require cooking. Take a walk. Read. Visit neighbors and relish relationships. Find the sacred in the ordinary and give thanks for life and creation. Sabbath rest does the Earth and our souls great good.

For more resources, visit The Green Congregation Program.

James harnish

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