Resources may include the monthly newsletter, website, and Creation Justice Tips from the United Methodist Creation Justice Movement (umcreationjustice.org) and the attached listing of examples from “What Churches Are Doing” in addition to others from the general church.
Mentors may choose to use the SMARTIE planning tool below in addition to their own skills and tools.
What Churches Are Doing
This listing is to encourage green teams with ideas of what a church can do, to give the group a starting point. It is not exhaustive. The gifts and graces of the team members and the local context, needs, and opportunities will be the ultimate inspiration for what they can do.
The resolution identifies four areas for action led by a green team:
Worship—celebrating God’s grace, glory, and beauty in creation and connecting creation care and justice to the scriptural call to love God and neighbor
Education—opportunities held within and for the congregation and/or community, related to some aspect of creation care and justice
Practices—positive changes in the church’s life and/or to the church building or grounds
Advocacy—speaking up for change in systems that perpetuate injustice and harm to creation and communities either locally, regionally, nationally, or globally
Some of these examples incorporate more than one of the four areas.
This example relates to the resolution itself. Below is an additional example of how one church used this SMARTIE Goals worksheet in their planning.
|Specific||Be as precise as possible. The resolution calls for the formation or strengthening of a green team in each church.|
|Measurable||What of it can you quantify? Did the team form? Did the team provide at least one action in each of the three areas: Education, Practice, Advocacy?|
|Attainable||Is it possible? With the creativity of the local team, plus the attached compilation of what other churches are doing, identifying and carrying out some level of action is possible.|
|Relevant||Is it closely tied to your mission? Even the simplest action (“low hanging fruit”) is important for educating, inspiring, and empowering people to care and do something to make a better world and to take additional steps.|
|Time-limited||Put a date on it! Each church is to report annually so that stories can be shared and celebrated at the annual conference to generate enthusiasm and more action.|
|Inclusive||Is anyone left out? The team may or may not include children and youth, but the team can be intentional about choosing actions that educate and empower the next generation.|
|Equitable||Are the actions and consequences just? As the team plans, they will want to ask this question to assure that they are not unwittingly perpetuating or inflicting injustice.|
SMART Goals have been around for several years, and sometimes other words are used, for example Strategic, Ambitious, Realistic. You are free to use whatever wording fits your situation. SMARTIE goals, adding Inclusive and Equitable to the planning, is an exciting move forward! For more information: https://www.managementcenter.org/resources/smart-to-smartie-embeded-inclusion-equity-goals/
This example comes from a local church’s planning for starting a new Green Team.
|Specific||Be as precise as possible. To create a green team at our church and start off with an action that raises awareness and generates excitement for creation care|
|Measurable||What of it can you quantify? At least 3 persons committed to forming a team At least 1 event/action planned|
|Attainable||Is it a goal that can be reached? The congregation has 250 members; many have planning skills.|
|Relevant||Is it closely tied to your mission? The overarching mission is to help the congregation see that creation care/justice is tied to our faith and a calling that all can respond to. A leadership team is necessary.|
|Time-limited||Put a date on it! Form a green team ASAP. Make Earth Day Sunday the kickoff event.|
|Inclusive||Is anyone left out? Issue the invitation to be part of the green team to the whole congregation. Make a specific effort to find ways youth can participate.|
|Equitable||Are the actions and consequences just? That question will need to be part of our planning for each action.|
RESULTS: Eleven people from Central UMC in Albuquerque, NM, responded to the invitation from Dodie Hawkins, who spoke at a “mission moment” during worship. On Earth Day Sunday the new Green Team members were commissioned and blessed during the service. As people left the sanctuary, Green Team members gave out reusable shopping bags as a visible reminder of the church’s commitment to creation care and a way for everyone to be good stewards in their daily life.