Trinity UMC Green Team Report

TRACKING ONE GREEN TEAM’S NINE MONTH ADVENTURE

Trinity United Methodist Church, Racine, WI

 

Our Methodist congregation began our journey one September with a rally day welcoming all students back, and inviting the youth group to create a skit showing the newly created canvas bags our congregation had created and encouraging people to buy and use them.  An artist from the congregation had created a special picture that had been printed on the bags, along with the name of our church, and we had laid in a supply of 50 bags.   The youth group created a memorable event – and the first group of bags sold out the Sunday they presented the skit.

    The October tracks were created by our pastor, who designated that month the “Season of Creation” and she presented talks each Sunday that focused on some aspect of how we could care for God’s creation, with the last Sunday supplying paper and ideas so that each person could create a personal covenant with God as to how they would personally take some steps to reduce their carbon footprint.

      In November, the focus was on different gifts of creation we were grateful for.  We had a cornucopia in the foyer and people added pictures of aspects of creation they were grateful for.

      In December, we celebrated the “Season of Light” and children each received a CFB to take home and exchange, people were encouraged to change many bulbs at home, LEDs were just beginning to be sold, and people were encouraged to get those for Christmas lights, and a special donation was taken for a fund to help the church change the church lights to energy efficient ones.

       January saw the church still focusing on light.

      The February focus was “Save Energy, Save Money” and each week post-it pads were passed out at the beginning of the main service and people were encouraged to write down the actions they/ their family had taken to reduce their use of energy and to put these post-its up on a display board in the foyer after the service.  The first Sunday of the month, a list of suggestions put out by the local energy supplier was given to each person.  Someone from the Green Team took the notes after people had put them up and other people had come to read them and discuss what they were doing, and recorded them for the church secretary, who put them in the next week’s Sunday bulletin.  A person from the Green Team made an announcement each week to call people’s attention to the list and to encourage people to keep adding their reports on more post-it notes.  That continued  each Sunday that month.

      In March, people were asked to write down their ideas for toxic-free cleaning ideas.  Again, these were shared with the congregation via the newsletter.  We collected many good ideas using vinegar, baking soda and borax.

      In April, Earth Day was our focus, and we had a display in the foyer of many ways people could care for creation, and ways to get involved, from local environmental groups to political action with lists of politicians people could contact. We had a special guest present the Sunday service honoring Native American traditions honoring the earth.  We also started a discussion group from the congregation and Green Team members using the Northwest Earth Institute material on “Voluntary Simplicity”

    May brought a focus on Green gardening – information and non-toxic ideas for weed control, and getting people signed up to care for a big garden on church property, and requests to the trustees to use less pesticides on the large grassy area.

      June focused more on non-toxic yard care and a special Sunday encouraged people to come to church using less energy, i.e.– walking, biking, car-pooling, public transportation.

     July and Aug. had information in bulletins about various ways to use less gas when driving and a comparison of energy use with car, bus, train, airplane travel.

     And so, we completed one calendar year.  Some of the team members moved on – to the Worship committee and to the Board of Trustees, where they continued to work for Caring for Creation in their new roles.

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