Last September, St. Andrews United Methodist Church in Garner was one of the first churches in the NC Conference to be certified as a Green Church.
The members of St. Andrews completed the Green Church Initiative, a program offered by the Conference creation care committee to help churches become better stewards of God’s creation.
Generally, we think of creation care and environmental stewardship in terms of physical actions that can be taken, such as recycling, planting pollinator gardens, and using clean energy. These things are indeed important, and are included in the Green Church Initiative, but let us not forget that Jesus invites us into a deeper, loving relationship with God and our neighbors, and this involves more than completing a checklist of tasks.
St. Andrews’ Creation Ministry Chair, Randy Senzig, shares about one of his favorite creation care ministries, Walking in Grace:
“Walking in Grace is a beautiful tool to help people relax their physical bodies, clear their minds of all the worldly noises and distraction, and listen in silent solitude. Many are often disconnected from the natural world. Walking in Grace helps them to reconnect with nature, see the beauty of all life, and join the interconnectivity of all life while waiting silently for God. If we feel His presence or see a sign or an answer to prayer, we may in Thomas Berry’s words have a moment of grace. A moment that requires action or it may be lost. Our model is Christ. He moved from the city noise to less distractions in wilderness, the garden, the mountain, where he was alone to pray and listen for the words from God, his Father.”
According to Randy, participating in Walking in Grace is having a profound impact on the Church, helping people not only connect to God in ways they never have before, but also share their faith with others.
“One participant told us that the time together helps her see life relationships and the unfolding of life’s mysteries. One spoke of hiding her faith and not sharing for fear but with this warm and friendly community she wants to share her faith with others. She didn’t feel this way in the building.”
We are proud of the work that St. Andrews UMC has done to physically, mentally and spiritually redeem, renew and remake God’s creation to better reflect God’s Kingdom.
Interested in becoming a Green Church? Follow this link to register your church for the Green Church Initiative.
And don’t forget, we are offering a Green Church Training on March 10 at 7:00, via Zoom. This training is open to everyone and free of charge. Just fill out the form below.