Trinity UMC "Green Tracks" Report

GREEN  TRACKS: TRINITY  United Methodist Church

March 2004 to December 2006

 

HISTORY - The 9:30a.m. adult class read a book on the environment by Wilson, and as a follow-up, voted to ask Dr. David Rhoads to come and talk about his work with five ELCA Lutheran churches in Racine - and how to form  green teams, to all the adult Sunday school classes that meet at 9:30a.m.

Pastor Linda Vance – a very enthusiastic supporter of the environment, invited Dr. Rhoads to conduct the 10:45 a.m. service. The enthusiastic response to these two presentations by Dr. Rhoads helped build momentum to create a Green Team at Trinity UMC.

 

These are some of the activities that have occurred:

BUILDING

  • A building audit of the electrical systems occurred, a report was issued and the trustees have: replaced 300 lights in the ambulatory with CFBs; re-wired places from 1 to 2 circuits; replaced 100 ballasts (100 to go)
  • Changed all exits lights to LED ( Incentives for making the changes suggested in the audit by John Ruffalo of We Energies comes to $877.00. The trustees are currently conducting a campaign to raise the funds for the rest of the ballasts.)
  • The church has been caulked and sealed
  • Green cleaning products are used

 

GROUNDS

  • The garden was expanded
  • Pesticides no longer used east of the church building

 

KITCHEN

  • A new energy star smaller dish washer purchased
  • A new energy star freezer replaced an old one
  • Ceramic dishes used for coffee hour and meals
  • Fair trade coffee used

 

WORSHIP

  • For two years, now, the pastor has taken the month of October to focus all the services on a “Season of Creation”
  • This fall, the 30-day booklet of daily disciplines was made available to everyone in the congregation;  the previous year, the congregation had a covenant in the bulletin on the last Sunday of the month that each person was encouraged to sign and follow  (ideas to implement at home and in their daily life)
  • Children were given an CFB on one Sunday as part of the    children’s lesson
  • Communion is sometimes observed using the process of dipping the bread in the wine – and discussions are going on to switch to glass communion cups
  • Earth day was observed this year in April – had a focus on Native American spirituality and an eco-fair was held after the services in the foyer.  Stations: sold fair trade coffee and chocolate; provided  information about current legislation ;  displayed  “green” cleaning

products; provided information about how to save energy in private homes.

People were encouraged to come to church using less energy than they regularly did –(car pooling, walking, biking)

  • Baskets are provided for people to recycle bulletins

   

OTHER

  • A collection of used cell phones was recycled          
  • An artist member of the congregation designed a logo for use on canvas bags, and the youth group sold the bags for a fund raiser – and introduced them to the congregation with an original skit
  • seven people met for seven weeks to work through the Voluntary Simplicity curriculum
  • In February, 2007, the 9:30 adult class of about 12 people

will begin working through Voluntary Simplicity, and

others who were in the first class will be encouraged to start a home group and invite neighbors to join them and work through Voluntary Simplicity

  • Articles about the activities of the team and ideas for individuals to take into personal lives have appeared in the newsletter
  • A space for a bulletin board and a rack for books people would like to recycle has been established
  • A member of the green team regularly collects paper materials and other trash and takes it to a site downtown for collection
  • Members of the Green team wrote down personal visions for Trinity for the next year – and then for five years and shared them with each other
  • Members of the Green team have met with the coalition of 6 other churches in Racine as they have met through out these years.
  • Members of the green team have attended 2 meetings with the Energy Stewards group.
  • Two Green Team members met with the Trustees to communicate information from the Energy Stewards group on some more financial incentives they are making available.

 

SOME  POSSIBLE NEXT STEPS:

  • members of the team will study the latest updated version of Dr. Rhoads’ Training Manual and come up with a mission statement which will involve looking at the structure of the church and just how the Green Team fits into that

 

 

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