The Green Congregation Program:
Action Plan (Short Version)
The goal is to make a difference 1) by transforming attitudes and commitments, and 2) by embracing concrete actions that reduce human ecological impact on the earth and contribute to justice for people affected by environmental degradation. Choose projects likely to succeed, institutionalize them, and then add new projects.
Transformation through Worship: "Let all creation praise God!"
- For four Sundays in September, observe a four week Season of Creation as part of the church year with liturgies, sermons, and scripture focusing on our relationship with nature.
- Observe Earth Day Sunday in April. (For resources visit the NCC eco-justice webpages)
- Have a Blessing of the Animals.
- Incorporate earth-keeping confessions, intercessory prayers, hymns, and sermons into weekly worship throughout the year. Resources!
- Appoint your sanctuary with care for creation banners, greenery, and art.
Transformation through Education: "Know your tradition and your world."
- Study your denomination's social statement on the environment.
- Read the "Earth Charter."
- Offer classes/forums to study biblical, theological, and ethics resources in the Christian faith for eco-justice ministry.
- Offer classes/forums with local experts on environmental issues and resources.
- Hold a retreat in a natural setting for a cluster of churches in your area.
Transformation through the Buildings and Grounds: "The church as an alternative community."
- Do a comprehensive environmental audit of the property and develop a plan to green the building and grounds.
- Retrofit church lighting.
- Develop a recycling program.
- Reduce paper use and excessive waste.
- Utilize the grounds as a community garden and/or prairie.
Transformation through Dscipleship at Home and Work: "Love your neighbor and care for creation."
- Encourage members to do an environmental audit of their homes and/or work places.
- Provide an opportunity for members to make a "Covenant with Creation" listing their eco-justice practices and disciplines.
- Offer a study/support group using any of these simple living resources.
Transformation through Public Ministry and Advocacy: "The church exists to serve the world."
- Notify members with periodic action alerts about local, regional, and national environmental issues.
- Do a hands-on project in your local area: e.g. restore a habitat, clean up trash, plant trees, and protest pollution.
- Seek ways to maintain the projects and programs over the long term.