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Eco-Sustainability Task Force

Promoting resources and training for church green teams 

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Q: Why does my church need to organize an environmental movement?

A. To save the planet.

God’s creation has taken quite a beating in modern history. We see the effects of human misuse of God’s gifts with the increase in wildfires, floods, and harmful algal blooms.  Eco-justice is a bottom-up movement. When everyone acts with concern for our eco-system, we can slow the pace of climate change. 

Q. Where do we start?

A. With low hanging fruit. 

In general, a quick audit of your church’s practices of “reduce, reuse, recycle, refuse, rot” will provide simple projects and get you noticed by church members.  Then go deeper to learn more, i.e. how to keep garbage out of your recycling. Teach the congregation what you know about this first area and find like-minded folks to expand your team. Lead your team in a fun task, like picking up roadside trash, and your ministry will no longer be a “should” but a “this is who we are.”  Formally become a green team at the next Charge/Church Conference. 

Q. Is it necessary to have a green team?

A. Yes. 

For long term changes to your church’s environmental practices, you need a team! Faith-in-Place, a non-profit empowering people of faith in Illinois and beyond, promotes and teaches “boots on the ground” organizing through green teams as a necessity to keep momentum in the movement. These teams can and should be spiritually based, affirming of home projects as well as strategizing for larger projects at the church.  Don’t hide this work under a bushel; share it outside of the church too. 

Q. Does the church’s pastor need to be involved?

A. Yes.

There’s rich material in Scripture on environmental stewardship to emphasize from the pulpit. When your pastor knows that you are looking for these sermons, they’ll find a way to invest in your work area. Creation Care Sundays are another good way to get the whole congregation involved. These need to be planned well in advance and have lots of participation. 

Q. What support can the United Methodist Church give us?

A.  Our Eco-Sustainability Task Force can guide you. 

The Task Force is networking the congregations in the Annual Conference to inspire one another to use the green team method.  Start with our website You will find a list of eight areas to build your creation care ministry. Then stay in touch with us through our Facebook site Eco-Sustainability Network, where posts are made regularly which can be shared with your congregation. 

Since we are also in ministry with the Global Ministries Creation Care Network, Faith in Place, the Interfaith Green Network of Oak Park, Creation Justice Ministries, and Chicagoland Christians United for the Care of Creation, we will let you know what’s happening out there. All of the training events are virtual right now. Take advantage of the times to get good information.


"People already care about the climate. The trick is getting them to realize it."  ~Katharine Hayhoe

Leadership and Credits

  • Co-Chairs of the Eco-Sustainability Task Force: Dick Alton and Nancy Blade
  • Committee Members: Beth Galbreath, Phyllis Tholin, Victoria Biel, Tim Eberhart, Bill Koehl, Clayton Daughenbaugh 
  • Logo created by Uva Gsedl
Greensummit 2020 Javier Castillo 14

Green Summit 2020 Photo by Javier Castillo

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