Strategies to Promote Care for Creation in Your Congregation
One key way to give your congregation an identity as a congregation that cares for creation is to keep it before the congregation.
1. Think about the different media to promote your identity. Experts say that if you want to get the message across, do it in seven different media. Here are some: bulletins, newsletters, e-mails, announcements/talks in worship, bulletin boards, phone calls, word of mouth, banners, church sign, displays, and local newspapers.
2. Make use of the resources to put informative materials before the congregation on why we care and what to do. See the list of Bible Verses, eco-tips, brief articles on Environmental Stewardship, and excerpts from your social statements. These can be placed regularly in church bulletins of newsletters. All these are available on line at Web of Creation.
3. Put up a sign outside identifying your congregation as a green congregation or a creation-care center. Incorporate care for creation into your mission statement and include the mission statement in the weekly bulletin.
4. Put a care for creation display in the narthex where people enter and leave the church. Rotate the content.
5. Engage the congregation in a challenge: How many CFL lights can the congregation as a whole replace in their homes? Keep a rising chart of numbers in the church entrance. Announce how much burning coal and emissions have been prevented. Or ask members to sign onto a covenant with creation.
6. Use the seasons of the year to engage the congregations in study or practices. For example, engage members in a carbon fast in the Lenten season or agree to connect with nature in the spring time of the Easter season.
7. Choose a project on church property that brings the care for creation commitment before the community.
8. Use the action plan in the Training Manual of the Green Congregation Program to plan programs that engage the congregation in caring for creation in worship, education, property maintenance, home and work, and public witness.
9. Sign up to get recognition as a Green Congregation in the Green Congregation Program. Have the governing board and whole congregation adopt the statement of Green Congregations and develop and action plan. Receive a certificate honoring your efforts.
Be consistent and stay the course. Eventually, you will be able to change the ethos of the congregation so that care for creation becomes an integral and natural part of your identity and mission.