6 Steps for Getting Started in Your House of Worship
The following 6 steps are some of the easiest and most effective ways to get your efforts off the ground. Follow them in the order described, and you’ll see the enthusiasm, energy and successes build quickly.
1. Form a Green Team.
Forming a Green Team is a critical first step; green teams help to keep your institution’s environmental efforts strong, focused and continually moving forward. For tips about creating a strong Green Team, see the free guidelines for building an effective green team.
2. Show a religious-environmental film.
Showing a video or film is a great way to give your community an inside glimpse into environmental problems – and the good work that is being done in response to them. We recommend Renewal, which contains 8 stories about environmental efforts in diverse faith communities throughout the United States – and which features GreenFaith. Renewal and a study guide are available for $15.
3. Publish eco-tips in your newsletter or worship bulletin.
Providing easy-to-understand eco-tips in your newsletter or worship bulletin is a great way to help your members recognize environmental stewardship as a religious responsibility, and take steps in their homes to reduce their environmental footprint. GreenFaith provides 2 years of free eco-tips.
4. Save energy in your own facility.
Most congregations can significantly reduce their energy use and save money through several easy and no-cost energy conservation steps. These efforts will not only produce immediate environmental benefits, but the savings that result will inspire and excite the entire congregation. See the 12 priority steps for energy conservation that are outlined on GreenFaith’s website. Be sure to publicize the environmental and financial success of your efforts in your newsletter, on your website, and through press releases to the local media.
5. Conduct an educational series.
A religious-environmental educational series can build awareness and help you identify interested leaders for your Green Team. SPLENDOR – GreenFaith’s 3-session series on faith and creation—educates participants about the religious/spiritual basis for environmental work, the effects of our consumption, and environmental justice. Order a free download of SPLENDOR.
6. Preach a ‘green’ sermon.
A great way to kick off your efforts is through a sermon focused on creation - whether it’s offered by your ordained leader or by a guest. This sends a clear message to members that environmental stewardship is a religious value. The worship resources on GreenFaith’s website provide references to sacred texts, as well as guidelines for developing an eco-themed service.
GreenFaith offers a host of additional resources to help religious institutions become environmental leaders. For more information, visit GreenFaith’s Resource Center.