4. Education ideas

Education: 1 point per hour, up to 4 points per level

The following ideas were gathered from a survey of 200 congregations.


Used in more than one place:

· An Inconvenient Truth was used in 15 congregations.[1]

· Renewal was used in 4 congregations.[2]

· Who Killed the Electric Car was used in 3 congregations.[3]

· The End of Suburbia: used in 2 congregations.[4]

Used in one place:

· Fighting Goliath

· Covenant

· Too Hot Not to Handle

· We also created our own movie called Caring for Creation

· The film, Fresh which is about where food comes from

· Rapa Nui: Easter Island

· WALL-E with young families

· Union of Concerned Scientists film on creation & science

· Keeping The Earth

· Video Stewards of the Earth

· Alabama Stewardship of Creation Video

· Ready Kilowatt

· Greening the Gheto: Keynote speech by Majora Carter at Trinity Institute


Used in more than one place:

· Animal, Vegetable, Miracle was used in 2 congregations.[5]

· The Omnivore's Dilemma was also used in 2 congregations.[6]

Used in one place

· Love God Heal Earth

· The Sacred Cosmos

· Series entitled "Is God Green?" and several individual services.

· FLOW, For Love of Water

· Latest Trinity Institute series

· Green Bible

· MDGs were discussed, including #7. (Millennium development goals, goal 7 is environmental sustainability.)

· The Great Work by Thomas Berry

· The Long Emergency

· Future of Food

· Low Carbon Diet - A 30 Day Program to Lose 5,000 pounds by David Gershon

· Last child in the Woods, Louv

· Hot, Flat and Crowded

· Collapse, by Jared Diamond

· Theology of Creation with environmental group

· Catechism of Creation

· Rain Gardens and Water Shed

· Everything Must Change by Brian McLaren

· The New Dream,

· The Third Wave of Environmentalism with Van Jones,

· Oil and Caribou Trail in Alaska, new book on importance of native plants

A course following a study guide or curriculum

Used in more than one place:

· Natural Steps Framework (2)[7]

· Just Matters, a part of the Just Faith curriculum (2)[8]

Used in one place:

· Earth Ministries' Greening Congregations

· Guide produced by Hennepin County and Alliance for Sustainability designed for congregations

· Creation Care by Christianity Today, **starting 6-27-09** - the first

· Adult and youth confirmation courses covering the stewardship of the resources God has entrusted to us and the proper care of them.

· To Serve Christ in all Creation

· Course on water shed, rain gardens, etc.

· Thomas Berry's "The Great Work"

· An Exploration of Genesis & Its Relationship to Views of Creation

· YesMagazine.org articles from the Food for Everyone issue

· Curriculum which goes to ALA Video above

· Made up our own

· An eight week weekday night course on the biblical foundations of environmental stewardship taught by a congregant who is a professor

· Eradicating Global Poverty: A Christian Study Guide on the Millennium Development Goals

· Creation Care Bible study.

One or more adult forums with a speaker

Presentations in more than one congregation:

· Alliance for Sustainability (3)[9]

· Interfaith Power and Light (5)[10]

· Will Steeger (4)[11]

· Congregations Caring for Creation (4)[12]

Presented in one congregation:

· Nature Conservancy

· The Commons

· In the Heart of the Beast Theater

· Gary Brever, an organic farmer from Alexandria came and spoke to us about his CSA

· CSA farmers

· Century College & U of M

· St. Thomas chemistry teacher on environment and water

· Our own Social Justice Committee on our congregation's response to environmental challenges

· Energy efficiency

· Fruit growers

· Our local water reclamation district

· Faith in Place

· New Bedford (MA) Sustainability Committee

· AZ Ecumenical Commission Environmental Committee

· AZ State University Institute of Sustainability

· Xcel Windsource

· Bob Janssen on birds and climate change

· Rebecca Lundberg on energy phantom loads

· Nancy Victorin-Vangerud on spirt-earth connection

· Marie Smith on eating lower on the food chain

· The Klamath and Modoc Native people regarding dam removal and salmon health

· Three sessions: Loving God, Living Green -- 1) in Springfield, 2) in the Ozarks, 3) in the world.

· Barbara Lucks, Springfield Public Works

· David Haenke, Ozark Area Community Congress

· Inno Onwueme, MO State University

· From the diocese and who is a notable and respected figure in the public world as well.

· Diocese of Nebraska Green Sprouts

· Environmental Resource Committee

· Jack Nelson Pallmeyer

· Lee Frelich, etc.

· Minnesota non profit environmental group

· The Kansas River keeper and

· Speaker from Kansas U. on wind power

· A relocalization expert spoke on that movement.

· Christian and Jewish theologians

· Earth scientists

· Solar technicians

· Green homes

· Transportation

· Water

· Justice

· Congregations Concerned for Creation

· Natural Step Framework--Terry Gips

· A member of the parish who works for an environmental group in MN

· Water quality

· Charles Fletcher, who leads an environmental advocacy organization. He gave a sermon one Sun. at Grace Church, Providence, RI

· Vermont Law School

· Midwest institute for environmental spirituality

· Solar light for Africa

· Illinois legistature

· Episcopal Church

· Speakers from Duke U


· Center for Energy and the Environment

· A private outfit devoted to homemade detergents and cleaning solutions

· Speaker trained by Al Gore's organization

· Consumer Supported Agriculture speaker on local food, a speaker who trained with Al Gore and gave background and ideas for limiting energy use, a landscape planner presenting a sustainable church grounds plan

· City Water Utility

· Expert on greening of religion

· Environment Group from the Parish did a Series on the Environment

· "Greening of Zion" initiative.

· The Rev. Dr. Paul Nancarrow presented on creation spirituality

· Community Supported Agriculture

· Emergency Foodshelf Network

· How to be good caretakers of our camp property.

· Our own congregation we had a discussion of living more mindfully about the environment and energy

· Our own Simpler Living ministry

· Justice Commission

· Seminarian speaker, outreach program as well.

· Cong. member who works for a utility company, reflecting on energy conservation and environmental impact.

· We have a monthly speaker addressing issues related to environmental activism

· Panel of congregation members involved in conservation issues

· Jon Stein on Reduce Reuse Recycle from Containerexperts.com regarding recycling plastics #1-6

· Martha Brand (MCEA)

· Mike Jacobs, local farmer

· State Rep. Jeremy Kalin

· Dan Trockman (teacher)

· I spoke on environmental ethics...I am a member of Sierra Club and WWF, and SOS, and the Nature Conservancy

· ASU Sustainability Institute

· AZ Ecumenical Commission Environmental Committee

· No groups, lay teachers did the speaking about Environmental Stewardship subject matter

· Rector led a few, followed by Minnesota Episcopal Environmental Stewardship Commission member

· Greenfaith

· Diocese of North Carolina's Environmental Committee

· Urban farming

· Ways to limit our carbon footprint

· Eating locally

· Gardening with native plants

· Bee Morehead, Director of Texas Impact

· Speaker from the church's environmental committee

· Local environmental action group

· Diocesan committee

· MN Council of Churches - Lynne Holman on Chemicals & the Church

· Tom Harris - Lightbulbs

· Kilowatt Ours, Jeff Berrie

· DNR, lay-person

· Cycling advocacy

· MN Center for Environmental Advocacy

· Land Stewardship

· Women's International League for Peace and Freedom Arts Committee on water issues

· Neighborhood council on garbage collection

· Ongoing announcements in the bulletin and newsletters;

Other [educational] Programs

· We have spent the last year studying water quality issues, resulting in landscaping plan and grant from city and county to plant rain gardens, prairie grounds, etc.

· We speak of stewardship of our environment often with our children (we have a Christian School). This does not take place as a "unit" but naturally finds its way into classroom discussion and hands on activities.

· This year our Wed evening Lenten services had puppet shows on being good steward of the environment.

· We have built a community garden that is located on our church and will begin teaching about sustainable gardening techniques, rain barrels, etc.

· Forum on a Green Economy

· Stewardship of Creation pledge sent to all parishioners

· Regular informational notices in parish newsletter

· Bulletin inserts focused on care of our water resources

· A "Green Day" with exhibits and information

· We also started a program in which church members are encouraged to donate trees, bushes, etc. in memory of loved ones who have died or in thankgiving for the birth of a child or other life events. The plants are placed on the church grounds. The first donations were announced on Earth Day Sunday.

· A teacher from a local school led the youth group in an environmental program during the Sunday school hour.

· Our school curriculum includes a focus on the environment. We have taken steps to manage our own energy use in keeping with environmental standards. The Catholic Bishop's document "Stewardship - A Disciple's Response" calls all Catholics and all Catholic Communities, to be good Stewards of all resources and includes a focus on the environment. That is the basis of the work of our Pastoral Stewardship Council.

· I designed a 12-week adult ed program on sustainability which turned into a gardening project on the church lawn, composting, and food storage to bring fresh, local, organic produce to food pantry.

· 350.org bell-ringing in Dec. 2008

· Lay leaders lead talks on environmentalism and changes we have made at church and we can all make in our homes.

· Encouraging signing up for the energy challenge.

· We recently held a workshop to help other parishes in our diocese form green teams.

· One day retreat on nature, spirituality, theology, earth stewardship

· Ethical Eating potluck

· Sermons sensitive to ecological health of people and planet and our stewardship.

· Mass in the Grass - outdoor service

· Rogation Day

· Beating the Bounds

· Environment column in monthly newsletter

· We end each Church year with a Lessons and Carols format Eucharist dubbed "Creation Sunday."

· We held a 5 week course on sustainable agriculture, responsible buying and eating of food, etc.

· Fire safety

· We currently are doing an 8-week sermon series on creation and care of God's creation based on the Apostles' Creed.

· We push a weekly cycle tour from here, and encourage people to cycle to church. Also education on our new eco-friendly HVAC system.

· Justice and Peace Coalition has reminded parish members to be more conscious of the economical and creative ways in which energy can be used and/or preserved.

· A continual process of offering materials to the congregation through E-News, News of the Week, Sermons, & monthly Newsletter

· We have provided resources for individuals at a booth in our narthex

· We have a program called "Greening Grace", and a person dedicated to be chair of that activity,

· Sponsored a "Green Day" fair

· Minifair with local nonprofit outdoor water and green space conservation groups, recycling organization, local city water dept. with focus on water conservation groups and a birdhouse making project for the children.

· The past Environmental Stewardship Sunday's focus was on the ONE campaign with a special emphasis on environmental sustainability.

· An environmental fair each year,

· We also have a Sustainability Fair near the end of the year which focuses on social justice (fair trade), waste reduction (especially at the holidays), and reducing our consumerism.

· We have just started our new Simpler Living ministry which is dedicated to living more simply and sustainably.

· Purchase books and videos for the church library that deal with protecting and healing God's creation. (Links to books and other resources can be found on the MEESC Website at

· http://www.env-steward.com/readlist.htm)

· Use materials from Episcopalians for Global Reconciliation that focus on Millennium Development Goal 7 (Ensure Environmental Sustainability).

· Hold a church-wide vacation Bible School for all ages using the theme of celebrating God's world. Invite members of the community to join with your congregation in the program.

· Visit a neighborhood of your area where there is a high level of contamination. Find out who lives near the contamination and what affects it has on those who live close by. Join in efforts to end the contamination

· Regularly hold church school classes outside whenever possible. Discover ways that you can learn from nature.

· Offer a workshop for gardeners on composting, organic gardening, and indigenous plants. Teach about using alternatives to pesticides and artificial fertilizers in the garden.

· Take a field trip. Tour your town’s garbage dump, water supply, sewage treatment plant, recycling center, and power plant. Learn more about what happens to the waste your community produces. Prepare questions to ask the guides who show you around. Follow up on the tours by writing a report for your church newsletter or your community newspaper to share the information you have gained.

· Choose a book or article from the resources and study it together as part of an adult education class. Ask people from your congregation representing diverse points of view to form a panel that responds to the book.

· Sponsor a contest design for a poster, T-shirt, button, or bumper sticker with an environmental theme.

· Take high school students or college students on a four-day backpacking trip. As you spend time in the wilderness together, study the Exodus story emphasizing the Israelites' dependence on God during their journey. Pray together the Psalms that speak of the wonder and awe of God's creation.

Copyright notice

[1] Davis Guggenheim, An Inconvenient Truth, 2006.

[2] Marty Ostrow and Terry Kay Rockefeller, Renewal: Stories from America's Religious-Environmental Movement., Film (Fine Cut Products, LLC, 2008).

[3] Who Killed the Electric Car? (Sony Pictures, 2006).

[4] Gregory Greene, The End of Suburbia: Oil Depletion and the Collapse of the American Dream (The Electric Wallpaper, 2004).

[5] Barbara Kingsolver, Camille Kingsolver, and Steven L. Hopp, Animal, Vegetable, Miracle (HarperCollins, 2008).

[6] Michael Pollan, The Omnivore's Dilemma (Penguin Group, 2006).

[7] “The Natural Step,” http://www.naturalstep.org/ (accessed 2/14/2010).

[8] “JustFaith Ministries, Programs, JustMatters,” http://www.justfaith.org/programs/justmatters.html (accessed 2/11/2010).

[9] “Alliance for Sustainability,” http://allianceforsustainability.net/ (accessed 2/11/2010).

[10] “Interfaith Power & Light | A Religious Response to Global Warming,” http://interfaithpowerandlight.org/ (accessed 2/11/2010).

[11] “Will Steger Foundation - Home,” http://www.willstegerfoundation.org/ (accessed 2/14/2010).

[12] “Congregations Caring for Creation --,” http://www.c3mn.net/ (accessed 2/14/2010).