Lee’s Summit Christian Church is Committed to Earth-care.

Creation-care is a big part of the ministry at Lee’s Summit Christian Church. While their Green Team has only been in place for about two years, the ministry’s commitment to taking care of the planet goes back at least 15-years. The message starts at the pulpit where the importance of being good stewards for God’s creation is intertwined into many sermons. The message is then carried into practice in ways both large and small.

For years now, church social events have utilized real dishes rather than disposable ones. With a seed grant from Eden Renewal, the church recently undertook a replacement of old lighting fixtures with new, more energy efficient ones. As appliances are replaced, the church is choosing more energy efficient alternatives as well. The most recent project has been the installation of a community garden.

Spots in the weekly bulletin, announcements from the platform during Sunday services, and an emailed newsletter to church members keeps the congregation up to date about the green team’s efforts as well as to share helpful tips everyone can use in their personal lives to lead more sustainable lives. In this way, the message that is spoken from the pulpit is acted on in the church and then taken into members’ homes to create an even bigger impact.

Green Team Leader Charlotte Skeens uses a great tool to plan the team’s calendar. Every month has a theme based on one of the following ideas: Reduce, Reuse, Recycle, and Rejoice. This pattern is repeated three times a year and events, activities, and helpful ideas follow the month’s theme. It helps her and the green team to plan the year and reinforces some very important ideas everyone should remember about reducing their impact on the planet.

Sometimes one project will create an impact in many areas of the church. For example, in keeping with one month’s theme of Reuse, the church held a shoe drive to support the organization Soles4Souls. During the drive, the church collected over 500 pairs of new and used shoes. The drive not only put all those shoes back into circulation for people who needed them, it also taught a great lesson about reusing our material possessions and was a great community building exercise for the congregation.

One of the more recent efforts of the green team has centered on taking the creation-care message to the children in the congregation. The church has a preschool where an Earth-care themed mural has been painted on one wall. Charlotte has helped the kids to start a composting area and the little ones at the school are learning how to separate their leftovers from lunch into recyclables and compostable items for the worms to eat. The kids spread the message beyond the building when they take fliers home to their parents telling them what they are learning at school about the need to take care of the planet.

Charlotte went through the Green Team Training program two years ago and says,

I can’t say enough about the support Carol and the Sustainable Sanctuary Coalition has given me.

Lee’s Summit Christian Church is a wonderful example we can all learn from in taking our message of Earth-care into our congregations and, through them, into the world.