GreenFaith and the Presbyterian Church (USA) environment department have announced a collaboration called the GreenFaith Certification Program.
The programme offers an opportunity to enhance and expand the environmental work of Presbyterian congregations and to build on the PC(USA) Earth Care Congregations initiative.
It will introduce people to interfaith approaches to caring for the earth and connecting them to other houses of worship.
Churches will benefit from resources, one-on-one coaching and interfaith links, which will reduce operating expenses, attract new members and renew energy around environmental programming.
The GreenFaith Certification Program requires participating churches to ‘green’ their buildings and grounds, develop relationships with environmental justice advocacy organisations and interfaith partners, and to integrate creation care into education and worship.
“Whether churches are just getting started, or have done environmental work for years, the GreenFaith Certification Program will help them take their efforts to the next level,” said Rebecca Barnes-Davies, associate for Environmental Ministries with the PC(USA).
Upon completing the programme, churches will be certified as GreenFaith Sanctuaries.
GreenFaith is offering a free hour-long webinar for interested church leaders on Monday 25 February 2013 at 8pm EST.
The first Presbyterian churches will be welcomed into the programme in May. GreenFaith is underwriting 50 per cent of the tuition of 10 PC(USA) congregations from Maryland/Washington DC, North Carolina and Minnesota.
When churches begin the programme, they audit their facilities and programmes using templates from GreenFaith and create an action plan. They ‘green’ their facilities by saving energy and water, using non-toxic cleaning and maintenance practices, increasing recycling and offering healthy, sustainable food. They conduct environmentally themed worship services and education for children, teens and adults. They advocate for a healthier environment for vulnerable communities. They also engage in interfaith work and share their progress with the media.
“Environmental ministry is vital for a healthy world and a vibrant faith community,” Kennealy said. “We look forward to working with PC(USA) to help Presbyterian churches become strong ‘green’ leaders.”
* Recordings will also be available. To learn more and to register for a live webinar or the recording, visit: http://greenfaith.org/programs/denominational-partnerships/presbyterian-...