Home A Natural Step - Issue #106

A Natural Step - Issue #106

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First United Methodist Church of Corvallis, Oregon, takes seriously its role of forming disciples for the transformation of the world. It has become known in the community as a church that cares about real life issues affecting the region and the world. The church's deep commitment to earth care is a prime example that speaks to people in and beyond church about ways that faith produces actions of love and justice.

Believing that God has a deep and abiding love for the whole creation, some of the actions that the church has taken include

  • creating a community garden and labyrinth.
  • purchasing renewable energy credits for its electrical usage
  • doing energy audits of the church and upgrading fixtures and equipment to modern high efficiency options.
  • using renewable options for carpeting.
  • referencing Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) standards for construction and renovations.
  • composting and recycling used items.
  • using biologically safe products and products made with renewable and recycled resources.
  • using products made by companies that operate with high standards that allow people to meet their basic needs fairly and efficiently in sustainable ways.
  • forming spiritual growth groups focused on key topics of earth care.
  • engaging in tree planting efforts.
  • purchasing food from local farmers.

In addition to implementing these practices at the church, the local team also inspires members of the congregations to do the same at home and in the wider community.

Some Questions for Discussion

  • What does your church want to be known for, and how is that demonstrated in the everyday actions of the congregation?
  • What opportunities does your congregation provide for people to reflect upon Scripture in the context of daily life decisions?
  • In what ways is your congregation a faithful steward of God's creation?

Kevin Witt is the former Director of Camp and Retreat Ministries at the Discipleship Ministries.

In 2007 church leaders throughout The United Methodist Church in the U.S. were invited to identify churches that demonstrated the vision of discipleship described in the twelfth chapter of Romans. Over 200 churches were surveyed or visited. Issue #106. © 2011 Discipleship Ministries. All rights reserved. Permission is granted to copy this page for use in United Methodist congregations.