See new Green Congregation resourcesIn a very short time, it will be the first Sunday in Advent and the beginning of a new church year. We’ll soon be hearing “Joy to the World,” and singing about “fields and floods, rock, hill and plains” repeating the sounding joy. Yet, given the news out of the Global Climate Summit in Glasgow, Nature doesn’t have much reason to sing.
God’s Creation, our Earth, is groaning. Our climate is changing, spawning extreme weather events: Raging fires, torrential rains, and flooding, harming livelihoods across the globe and forcing changes in the way we live. This month world governmental leaders met at COP26 in Glasgow to agree on steps countries need to take to mitigate the effects of climate change. However, we know that whatever they decide, it will not be enough. We all need to do our part!
So, in this season of Advent, how can we as people of faith respond? The SNEUCC Environmental Ministry Team has updated and expanded the Green Congregation Challenge, a comprehensive program that churches can follow regardless of prior environmental justice experience. The Green Congregation Challenge is a step-by-step approach that helps churches take small, but consequential, actions towards protecting God’s Creation. We believe we are at a tipping point in the climate crisis when the witness of people of faith is vital.
Attached you will find resources to share with your congregation – a tri-fold brochure that introduces the Challenge, a bulletin insert and handout of options for all four levels of the Challenge. You can also find links to resources and much more information about the program at sneucc.org/green-congregation-challenge.
Members of the Environmental Ministries Team and other climate leaders are also available to support your engagement with this Challenge. Contact the Reverend Emma Brewer-Wallin, Minister of Environmental and Economic Justice at firstname.lastname@example.org to explore how we can help you mobilize your church to become a climate champion.
It starts now – in this sacred season when we celebrate that the Word comes to dwell among us. It is not just heaven that sings, because the Gospel reminds us, it is through the Word that all things come into being. Nature too has a place in the choir.
The SNEUCC Environmental Ministries Team
Options for GCC Levels
Ready to go? Sign your team up here!
Vicky A. Guest
The Rev. Victoria Alford Guest is co-chair of the SNEUCC Environmental Ministries Team and former pastor of the First Congregational Church in Natick, MA.