Meet regularly. Typically, local groups or their steering committees meet monthly to plan events, share ideas, and tend to organizational business.
- Support congregational efforts to take action. Members whose congregations have established earth care ministries can share their experiences with those just starting, and provide community for individuals from congregations where earth care has not yet gained traction.
- Plan multi-congregation actions. In some communities, several congregations start a program at the same time, such as the Task of the Month or worship building energy conservation measures. This can create a sense of camaraderie (and friendly competition) among congregations; it can also enable organizers to reduce workload by sharing announcements, newsletter articles, etc.
- Hold informational events for the public. Film showings, panel discussions, guest speakers, and how-to demonstrations are all great ways to inform and engage people.
- Use the local media and invite them to events. Press releases and op-ed pieces about events and actions raise awareness about the issues, the existence of your group, and the connections between faith and earth stewardship.
- Connect with Hoosier IPL and other regional affiliate groups around the state to share ideas, ask questions, and be encouraged/inspired through shared newsletters and minutes and through statewide events such as conferences and retreats.
- Inspire additional interfaith cooperation on points of common interest (ie.g., homelessness, hunger, anti-racism, etc.).
- Host H-IPL workshops. H-IPL offers workshops on starting and strengthening Green Ministries, using the Task of the Month Program, Using Energy Prudently, Climate Boot Camp (speaking out with authority as faith leaders), Advocacy, and Creation Care Leadership. Additional topics are available by request.
“When HIPL gave me the push I needed to contact other congregations, I found that a lot of others just needed a push, too. We now have a new, but strong, group of congregations meeting together on a regular basis and forming their own green teams. There’s still a lot of work to do, but there are a lot of people interesting in taking part. It’s the right time (and past time) for people of faith to engage in caring for Creation.
“The damage to our environment is huge, and making the needed changes is a big job. We need more than individual people lowering their carbon footprints. We need more than a few congregations starting ‘green teams.’ We need community-wide networks working together and helping each other green our faith buildings, educate our members and engage our larger society.” - Jennifer Rice-Snow, Muncie
“Caring for God’s good creation, tending the garden with God, has long been important to me, especially after taking an environmental ethics class at Christian Theological Seminary. However, I did my little part and my spiel but didn’t really make much impact. I wanted to do more. I also sense a very clear call from God to reach out to others of different faiths and enjoy the full diversity of people that God has created. Working with those of other faiths on a common urgent project, draws me closer to them and to God. I feel more whole, more nearly human created in the image of God.” – Rev. Carrie Jo Miller, First Presbyterian Church, Muncie
“Earth Care provides a framework that allows us to focus on and make progress toward our most noble aspirations. It is that caring community of people around us that enables and encourages us to take on tasks we would never do alone. With its focus on the impacts of climate, Earth Care provides a way for congregations to refocus on this central role.
“Reflecting on our efforts at Trinity Church, where we have recently established a Creation Care Committee, I find that the committee provides some of that critical glue that holds a congregation together and allows it to grow. Working on reducing energy use provides a natural mechanism for sharing of love among members of our congregation. Those who can help those who can’t. To be specific, members of the Creation Care Committee now have something to offer to others in the congregation, namely strategies for making their lives more energy conserving and at the same time less costly. Lots of bonding happens.” - Dr. Ben Brabson, Trinity Episcopal Church, Bloomington
“Many people, myself included, find it easiest to get meaning for life from a faith-based perspective. And that meaning involves having a healthy, creative, long-term relationship with all things in the environment within which we live. When that environment is threatened, as it clearly is right now by greenhouse gas increases in the atmosphere, I feel a need to join other people of faith—as well as my scientist friends—in working to minimize the future damage to living things on this earth.” – Dr. Al Ruesink, Earth Care Bloomington