An effective leader will help the congregation engage in ongoing creation care, advocacy, and appreciation as an important dimension of Christian discipleship and stewardship.
Spiritual Gifts and Qualifications Helpful for the Job
- This leader benefits from having one or more of these spiritual gifts: servanthood, teaching, exhortation (encouragement), giving, leadership, compassion, wisdom, healing, helping, and administration.
- This leader should have an active, growing faith and show evidence of passion for creation care and renewal.
- The leader shows interest in learning about and working with people in other churches and the community.
- Useful skills for this position are the ability to listen to and communicate with people of all ages, the ability to work with people of all ages, and skills for researching issues and developing programs and events.
- This person should be persuasive, but not offensive in promoting new habits for sustaining the planet.
Responsibilities of the Position
- This leader will coordinate the planning and implementation of congregational and community action to care for the Earth and renew resources.
- The leader will help the congregation understand theological and biblical foundations for environmental awareness and Christian responsibility for Earth stewardship.
- The leader will work with others to provide opportunities for people in the congregation and community to learn about issues and actions that have an impact on the health and future of the planet.
- This leader will plan and lead the congregation in celebration of the annual Earth Day, Arbor Day, and/or other efforts for local and community environmental awareness.
- This leader will link with organizations, people, and resources in and beyond the congregation that are concerned with environmental issues.
- Learn about community groups, events, and programs to increase your knowledge and to involve others in your congregation with environmental issues and Earth advocacy. Seek to identify gaps where your congregation can lead the way in making a positive difference.
- Talk with and learn from people in your congregation, in the community, and in other congregations who have interest in and knowledge of engaging the faith community in environmental issues.
- Soon after you are elected, ask a group of interested people to help you plan. Share the ministry with others by delegating projects to people in the church or community who have a passion for this work. Many congregations have discovered that school-age children have a passion and energy to lead recycling and other Earth-care efforts.
People and Agencies That Can Help
- Your pastor, people in your congregation, the community, and other congregations who share your interest. Be alert to community groups committed to Earth advocacy. Keep informed of issues in this fast- developing area.
- General Board of Church and Society, 202-488-5600; umc-gbcs.org.
- InfoServ, the information service for the church, provides current information about United Methodist resources, programs, and staff services. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org; Website: infoserv.umc.org.
Web and Print Resources
- The Book of Discipline of The United Methodist Church, 2016 (Nashville: The United Methodist Publishing House, 2016)
- Care of Creation: Christian Voices on God, Humanity, and the Environment by Joseph Coleson (Wesleyan Publishing House, 2010)
- Creation Justice Ministries, www.creationjustice.org
- Earth Day Sunday, www.creationjustice.org/earth-day-sunday-in-your-church.html
- Earth Gospel: A Guide to Prayer for God’s Creation by Sam Hamilton-Poore (Upper Room Books, 2008)
- Earth Ministry Website, http://earthministry.org
- Eco-Justice Ministries Website, www.eco-justice.org
- Evangelical Environmental Network, http://www.creationcare.org
- General Board of Church and Society, umc-gbcs.org
- God’s Renewed Creation: A Call to Hope and Action (Downloadable pdf available from www.cokesbury.com)
- Green Church Resources available from Cokesbury include studies, project ideas, and books
- Interpreter, www.interpretermagazine.org
- Our Father’s World: Mobilizing the Church to Care for Creation by Edward R. Brown (Intervarsity Press, 2008)
- Fnd out what congregations and church groups are doing by searching "earth, environment" at http://umc.org.