The Minnesota Episcopal Environmental
Stewardship Commission (MEESC) created the Green Congregations
program as a way to recognize and encourage Episcopal congregations
in their creation care efforts. Multiple resources and list of
ideas have already been published. But sometimes it helps people
to have clear targets, specific steps they can take to meet those
goals, and recognition for meeting them. Although we should
care for creation just because it's the right thing to do, in
reality all of us are more likely to follow through when we've
made specific commitments. People and congregations also enjoy
the sense of accomplishment that comes from being recognized for
The program is an opportunity
for congregations, not a requirement. Participating congregations
will be asked to contribute $35.00 per year to MEESC, to help
keep the program going
Description of the Program
Each participating congregation
will form a green team, create a plan to reduce its carbon footprint
and other negative environmental impacts, and take steps to nurture
creation on its own property. Part of the plan will include steps
to be taken by individual members at their homes or workplaces.
The congregation will chose from a list of possible creation care
activities, each of which has been assigned a point value. The
local green team may identify actions besides those listed and
agree with their MEESC contact person on point values for them.
The congregation will be recognized
by certificate, and encouraged to celebrate, when it has earned
points as follows
- Spring Green 30 points
- Bright Green 60 points
- Evergreen 90 points. (Also recognized with a handmade decorative
Each congregation is asked to
"pay it forward" by helping another congregation.
The program is designed to be
flexible, while still specific enough to give direction and yield
concrete results. Creation care activities undertaken prior to
officially joining in the program may be counted toward the Spring
While fixed ratios are not required,
activities should be spread across various areas of congregational
- Specifically for children
- Worship / Preaching
- Programs and Support
- Buildings and Grounds
- Community involvement
- Commitments by members to take action in their homes.
(Members commit in writing to take specific steps they select
Congregational Buy In
Participating congregations are
asked to sign a covenant with MEESC by official action of the
vestry or Bishop's Committee. It is preferred that a separate
green team be created in the congregation. In smaller congregations,
however, this work may be folded into the work of a related committee
or even the vestry itself.
Each congregation will appoint
a liaison, who will meet with a member of MEESC at least once
a year to report on the congregation's activities. The liaison's
report should also be made part of the Annual Report of the Congregation.
Completion of each award will
be confirmed, where possible, with a visit to the congregation
by a member of MEESC. The visit is intended to be supportive and
encouraging. It will also help MEESC learn and improve the program.
If your congregation is interested in participating in this program,
please download the Program
Covenant and contact MEESC to arrange for a contact person
to meet with you and your Vestry or Bishop's Committee.
a PDF version of the above (includes Activities and Point