Resources for Congregations
At IEN, "network" is in our name! Our goal is to support creation care in local congregations by connecting you to the most helpful religious and environmental resources available. Feel free to contact any of the following organizations directly, or email email@example.com for an introduction.
Resources from Organizations in Southeastern Wisconsin
Resources from National Organizations
- African Methodist Episcopal Church (AME)
- American Baptist Churches USA (ABCUSA)
- Baha'i (The U.S. Baha’i Office of Public Affairs)
- Disciples of Christ
- The Episcopal Church
- Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA)
- Islamic Society of North America (ISNA)
- Orthodox Church in America
- Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.)
- Roman Catholic Church
- Unitarian Universalist Assosiation
- The United Church of Christ (UCC)
- United Methodist Church (UMC)
Education – Curriculum Guides and Films
Suggested Earth Stewardship Activities
- https://ecochallenge.org/hello/ Northwest Earth Institute
- Wellness activities or vegetarian cooking classes using local foods
- Celebrate Earth Day every year with ideas listed on the IEN website
Waste reduction initiatives:
Connecting with nature:
- Start a community garden or do container gardening with youth
- Volunteer with environmental organizations and nature centers e.g. Friends of the Hank Aaron Trail, Milwaukee RIVERKEEPER, Victory Garden Initiative, and the Urban Ecology Center.
- Participate in Earth Day cleanup activities with Keep Greater Milwaukee Beautiful or similar organizations.
- Visit nature centers and farmers’ markets; hold congregation events in parks
Earth Day Celebration
Many congregations today support Earth Day during a worship service in the month of April. For example, each year at Lake Park Lutheran Church Pastor David Dragseth requests that church members send a photo of an outdoor scene they experienced in the past year, and then he incorporates these photos into a
power point presentation. This is shown during a service along with live music before the sermon. One year he added poetry readings recited by church members.
Listed below are some additional suggestions for celebrating Earth Day:
- Incorporate earth-themed prayer, poetry and songs into worship. As a resource check http://interfaithpowerandlight.org/clergy-corner/prayers-poetry-and-other-worship-resources/
- Use earth care for a theme in sermons. Check http://www.eco-justice.org/3layers.asp for sermon ideas.
- Begin to publish eco-tips in your congregation newsletter. A good resource is http://greenfaith.org/getting-started.
- Encourage congregation members to assess their home energy use. Refer them to www.energystar.gov (Click on “Home Improvement).
- Plan to collect cell phones and athletic shoes. Bring them to Keep Greater Milwaukee Beautiful (www.kgmb.org). Check the website for regulations on athletic shoes.
- Distribute a pamphlet about sustainability. Check “Tools and Resources” at http://www.greeningsacredspaces.net for a copy of the “Green Guide for Faith Communities.”
- Plan an outdoor nature experience for children and families. Check www.sharingnature.com or www.webofcreation.org (education).
- Encourage and facilitate youth participation in annual Wisconsin Interfaith Earth Month Poster Contest. Go to http://wisconsinipl.org/interfaithearthmonth.htm.
- Ask members (where feasible) to use earth-friendly transportation – walk, ride a bike, take public transportation, share a ride. Provide bus schedules as part of your publicity.
- For your coffee hour or for a special lunch that day serve food that is grown or made locally.
The first Earth Day celebration took place on April 22, 1970. Senator Gaylord Nelson of Wisconsin felt that politicians were ignoring environmental degradation and urged nationwide demonstrations that day to create awareness of this problem. Earth Day was a huge success, and later that year the Environmental Protection Agency was formed to improve air and water quality in the United States.
Starting Your Own Team
Establishing a Green Team or Earth Stewardship Team
Here are a few websites with some great tips on how to start your own team!
Here are websites addressing food, faith and our environment.
Recycling in Congregations
Help keep 1.69 million tons of materials out of Wisconsin landfills annually.
- If possible, use different colored recycling and garbage containers, which are available at hardware stores. Label one container “GARBAGE ONLY”. Identify items accepted by your community for recycling and list them on the recycling container.
- Place the containers side by side (never alone) in the following areas:
- Community rooms where people gather
- Outside meeting rooms
- In offices
- Empty the containers regularly.
- Call to find out if your municipality picks up recycling from congregation buildings or if you must contract with a private firm.
- Collect recyclables such as athletic shoes, compact fluorescent bulbs or rechargeable and lithium batteries. Contact Keep Greater Milwaukee Beautiful for more information. (www.kgmb.org 414-272-5462)
"Local Organizations for Congregational Connections in Southeastern Wisconsin"
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