“Creation Care” is more than just “being green.” Integrating a lens of eco-justice is not only critical in order to be church in the world, it brings joy to your community. Please share this introduction video with those in your congregation who want to know how and why this ministry can be a life-giving asset, not just another thing for the “to-do” list. Then, utilize our kit (periodically updated) to select what next steps your congregation can take. Don’t forget to sign a Covenant so we can keep you connected!
This is recorded in May of 2020 as we realized that in-person workshops were not going to be feasible for a while. The follow-up information continued to ripple out throughout the year as we met monthly via Connection Calls (listen in here).
Members of LCI gather on the steps of the California Capitol to join California Interfaith Power and Light’s Lobby Day. They advocated for passage of SB 350, which aims to increase California’s renewable energy mix to 50 percent and doubles the energy efficiency of existing buildings.
Church invites all to its ‘green graduation’ celebration
It’s a little early for graduation season, but Lutheran Church of the Incarnation is celebrating its own commencement of sorts.
Last year, LCI successfully completed the GreenFaith Certification Program, earning official recognition for its work to care for God’s creation. LCI is only the second Lutheran congregation nationally to earn this recognition, and one of only two faith communities in California.
The GreenFaith organization maintains the program that urges faith communities to step up their efforts to integrate sustainability into their ministries and operations. They provide support, resources and a clear road map to achieve the distinction as a sustainable sanctuary. GreenFaith’s independent verification of accomplishments ensures that the certification is meaningful.
LCI believes that environmental stewardship is a moral responsibility. But the church doesn’t just preach about it, it is a common thread throughout all of its ministries and activities.
LCI’s final report to GreenFaith chronicled 139 distinct activities over the two years of the program, in the categories of spirit, environmental justice, action, education and communications.
Church members see themselves as the hands who do God’s work, so they are working to reduce their environmental footprint.
For example, the use of sustainable materials, water-conserving landscapes and energy-efficient lighting, heating, cooling and appliances helped them to expand the LCI facility at 1701 Russell Blvd. in West Davis, while cutting the energy that would have been used after the expansion by 15 percent and minimizing use of resources.
After the renovation, LCI was honored to receive an award for Energy Efficiency from California Interfaith Power and Light recognizing its achievements.
LCI’s worship service also reflect this theme with liturgical art, music and prayer that inspire caring for creation, as well as frequent sermons that call parishioners to approach God’s gifts with a sense of reverence and stewardship.
The child, youth and adult education programs include experiential learning about sustainability. For example, the children planted an organic vegetable garden, and served the harvested food at a lecture on “Food and Faith.”
The Southeastern Synod decided to enlist a caring for creation “task force” at their 2013 Synod Assembly and since then a small band of powerful people across several states have gained momentum. After meeting as a small group several times to set goals and evaluate personal assets, the team embarked on a two day retreat in March 2014 to brainstorm and educate themselves on the tools and challenges of this ministry.
In 2016 their assembly passed a memorial to go to the Churchwide assembly asking for more investments in cleaner energy. Reaching out and sharing their resources at the South Carolina Synod Assembly, this team is passionate about sharing significance of the vocation of being a good steward to their brothers and sisters in Christ.
Most recently the team sent fifteen members in February 2018 to LutherRanch in Tallapoosa Georgia as a part of a regional retreat and training session. Since then churches in the synod have signed congregational covenants, stepped up their involvement in the EPA’s Energy Star Portfolio and created new green teams.
Find an Affiliate/Partner near you that can build bridges in your community.
Please feel free to contact any of these LRC liaisons for more information about the work they are doing! For other ways to learn from and share with Lutheran creation care ministries in all their forms—like our Connection Calls—visit our connections page.