Green Congregation Testimony: First Congregational Guilford (CT)

Green Congregation Testimony: First Congregational Guilford (CT)

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The SNEUCC Environmental Ministry Team invites 21 congregations to commit to the Green Congregation Challenge - having an initial conversation or taking a first step by the end of '21. Congregations that pledge their intention will be offered periodic support from EMT members and staff. Join us today - sign up here!

Read about The First Congregational Church of Guilford, Connecticut, a Level Three Green Congregation of the SNEUCC:


Five years ago, when we started our Environmental Ministry Team (EMT), we partnered with the Interreligious Eco-Justice Network (IREJN) - the only interreligious, non-profit organization in CT focused on environmental advocacy and justice, climate change and other environmental topics.

Our team wanted to start an organic garden on church property to decrease the amount of lawn to mow and to donate produce to local foods banks and families in need. IREJN Board member Letty Naigles, a UCONN professor, came to speak to us about how to start a garden. Our EMT, plus other church and family members, built wooden raised beds, planted, and harvested, and twice we’ve enlarged the garden by one-third and fenced it to keep the rabbits out. We have a compost system created by one of our EMT members which provides our “fertilizer”, and rain barrels for watering. Each summer, the garden provides close to 200 pounds of produce for the Guilford Food Bank, the Branford Dining Room/Soup Kitchen and the non-profit Teen Challenge in New Haven.

Two years ago, several church members added a pollinator garden so our 96-by-60-foot garden now shows off its myriad colors of vegetables AND flowers. The EMT assembled a Meatless Mondays Cookbook, full of information about vegetables we grow and delicious recipes, and distributed it free to our church family. From time to time, we have lunches or dinners in the garden and bring the church school youth in to plant or harvest. Our church Sexton is happy about less lawn to mow, we gather together to weed, plant and harvest, and the best part of the garden is all the fellowship and friendship the garden has spawned among people, many who barely knew each other when we started.

Author

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Nancy Leckerling

Nancy Leckerling is a member of the SNEUCC Environmental Ministry Team and of the First Congregational Church of Guilford (CT) EMT.

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