Results from the Climate Justice Ministries Task Force Local Church Survey
May 18, 2023 | by Sharon Delgado
We had 35 people return our survey representing 32 local churches. Of those 15 were completed by active clergy, 9 by retired clergy and 11 by laity. A huge thank you to all of you!
Of the 32 churches, six have green teams, and a further 21 people expressed a possible or definite interest in establishing a green team.
We asked what resources would be helpful with multiple answers being allowed among the nine suggested options. Answers from the 35 respondents were across the spectrum, with the greatest numbers asking for “Ways to help your church to net zero emissions.”
In the comments section, it was noted that practical help and support for churches adding solar panels and EV charging stations would be useful, including help with the names of contractors that churches have used and had positive experiences with and how folks have financed these projects. We will be partnering with California Interfaith Power & Light to offer some of this practical help to local churches in both California and Nevada.
We asked respondents to describe what creation care and climate justice work was being done in their local church. The responses included both small and large actions, many of which were described by more than one church.
- Solar panels installed (six churches)
- Heat pump installation
- Window replacement
- Water-saving toilets replacement
- LED lighting
- Better thermostats and programming for conservation
- Water-filling stations
- Church setup as a Resiliency Hub where the community can gather if power goes out
- Bike rack installation
- Switched to drought-resistant landscaping
- Reduced water usage
- Community garden
- Organic garden
- Growing food for local food bank
- Urban farm & micro bakery
- Full time staff position of a “Cultivator for a Sustainable Future”
Church Events & Meetings:
- No disposable products for potlucks
- Compostable ware for church events
- Using Fair Trade coffee
- Using green products
- No paper bulletin on Sundays
- Electronic communication as much as possible
- Members who bring forward climate change for discussion
- Church council discusses how to be more environmentally responsible
- Information about climate change and how to respond in church newsletter
Advocacy and Education
- Petition signing
- Encourage members of our community to write to their senators and representatives
- Annual seed swap
- Earth Day events
- Activities during Interfaith Power & Light’s Faith Climate Action Week
- Film viewing parties
- Small group studies
- Creation care and justice sermons
- An attentiveness to the intersections between isms so work that focuses on racism, heterosexism, or other biases also acknowledges climate issues.
In the next conference year, the Climate Justice Ministries Task Force will be expanding our web presence as we respond to these survey results and gradually add more resources and provide connections to other faith-based climate groups doing similar work. We will also offer opportunities for you to share some of your stories to inspire the work of others.
Did you miss completing this survey? We would love to hear from more of you. You can still complete it at https://forms.gle/APsoX3d8jLv3UYme9
You can find additional Climate Justice Ministries information on the conference website at: https://www.cnumc.org/committee/4252101
and you can sign up for our monthly newsletter and other updates via MailChimp at this link http://eepurl.com/h9d85f
to email Climate Justice Ministries.
Rev. Sharon Elizabeth Delgado is a retired elder and serves as chair of the Climate Justice committee within the Advocacy and Justice Mission Focus Area.