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The Green Team - Issue #83

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In many churches, the word stewardship is used most frequently when talking about the yearly financial campaign. The Belmont United Methodist Church Green Team in Nashville, Tennessee, understands that stewardship is much broader than how we use financial resources. The team describes itself as "a group of individuals taking action within the church to actively stimulate change within the congregation and community to reduce our carbon footprint and take a more positive role in stewardship of the environment."

Green Team members developed a website to encourage the congregation and community to reduce their carbon footprint, to share encouraging stories, and to connect environmental issues to Christian stewardship. Throughout the year, the team sponsors forums on topics such as "Gardening in God's Creation" and "Faith and Food" that are designed to help people put their faith into action.

This year, the Green Team is encouraging the congregation to participate in the "Ten Commitments," suggestions developed by a neighboring congregation to remind people of the many ways to become better steward' of God’s creation. The ten commitments include:

  1. Reduce my carbon footprint by 10% this year.
  2. Volunteer to work 10 hours in environmental stewardship.
  3. Plant 10 trees or have 10 trees planted.
  4. Compost kitchen scraps and yard waste.
  5. Eat 10 meals a month that contain locally grown food.
  6. Change 10 incandescent bulbs to compact fluorescent bulbs.
  7. Read a book on environmental stewardship.
  8. Talk with 10 people about the importance of caring for creation.
  9. Cancel 10 unwanted mail-order catalogs.
  10. Make a list of 10 new ways to reduce, reuse, or recycle.

Some Questions for Discussion

  • How does your congregation help people connect world issues to faithful action in their daily lives?

  • Are there people in your congregation who have passion around a particular area of community or global transformation? How can the church nurture that passion so that it results in action?

  • What commitments are members of your congregation willing to make to be more faithful stewards of the environment?

Betsy Schwarzentraub is the Director of Stewardship at the Discipleship Ministries. She can be reached at [email protected]. You can read more about the Belmont UMC Green Team at www.belmontgreenteam.org.

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 #83. © 2011 Discipleship Ministries. All rights reserved. Permission is granted to copy this page for use in United Methodist congregations.

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