A vision for a greener church…
By Jessica Morthorpe
It’s Sunday morning so I drag myself out of bed and ride my bike over to my local church. As I enter the solar panels on the roof glint in the sun and I can see a rainwater tank peeking around the side. I am greeted by a smiling face and handed a news-sheet printed on recycled paper. I flick to the environmental tips and events section and scan the offerings. Then I move to a table to place some native flowers and a box of fruit from my garden on it for distribution. Next I grab a cup of Fairtrade coffee and sit in the sun to enjoy the building’s passive heating. In worship we sing thanks to God for the wonders of creation and, as it is September and we are doing the Sustainable September, we have an interesting sermon about the need to follow Biblical practices and values in our lives in order to reduce our environmental impact. When we share communion it is with tasty, fresh, home-made bread baked with organic flour and environmentally friendly grape juice. The gentle light of beeswax candles and sunlight illuminate the scene.
In our prayers for others our weekly endangered species prayer is for the endangered frogs we had a talk about at the youth meeting on Friday. We also thank God for the way he has blessed and added to our church through our environmental work. After the service I pack up my copy of the Green Bible and join the communal lunch. Fresh, local, vegetarian food and produce from our church community garden abounds and is shared with the homeless. After the meal I quickly make a couple of arrangements for the clothes, book and tool swap next week. Then I meet up with the church green group and we head out to an area of local bushland for a working bee. Our Christian Environmental Action group is going quite well, with our church teams and local conservation groups making quite a difference around the city by dedicating a few hours per week. It is a testament to the way the church has now taken leadership in the environmental arena.
Ok, so I’m dreaming. Yet I have not mentioned anything that is not possible, nor anything that could not, in theory, be started today. The church could, and I think should, become a leader in the future development of the environmental movement. Our faith calls us to nothing less.