“The earth is the LORD’s and all that is in it.” (Psalm 24:1)
Caring for God’s creation, the common air, water, and earth that nourishes all of God’s creatures, is central to our mission as a congregation.
Formed in 2013, FMC’s Green Team is a voluntary working group within the congregation and helps guide the the church’s efforts toward environmental stewardship and environmental justice.
The Green Team has shepherded several initiatives to conserve energy and resources:
– Use of non-disposable dishware and utensils
– Two energy audits (2013 and 2020)
– A rain barrel to collect rain water
– 2014, FMC installed a 9.44 kW photovoltaic solar array on the roof of our church. View our energy production here.
– Ongoing participation in lobby days organized by Faith in Place to advocate for environmental and climate justice.
– FMC also has a compost bin on its property, donated by one of the initial Green Team members.
FMC embraces the principle of environmental justice as an extension of Christ’s call to love others. What is environmental justice? According to Robert Bullard, “It’s the principle that all people are entitled to equal environmental protection regardless of race, color or national origin. It’s the right to live and work and play in a clean environment.” (Guardian, December 20, 2018)
Delegates to the First National People of Color Environmental Leadership Summit held on October 24-27, 1991 adopted a defining document of 17 principles of Environmental Justice, which can be read online.
FMC has partnered with Faith in Place, an environmental non-profit based in Illinois, in working toward Environmental Justice:
– FMC signed an Anti-Racist Pledge for Houses of Worship developed by Faith in Place and is developing action steps.
– The Green Team organized FMC’s participation in the Faith in Place Summit on Covid, Climate, and Racism.
– As a follow-up to the Faith in Place summit, the Green Team is working to promote the eco-ambassor youth leadership program offered by Faith in Place.
FMC’s property contains a Peace Garden, which began as a collaboration between the church and its nearby neighbor, the Central Illinois Mosque and Islamic Center. Read more about the garden and our friendship.
Over the years, perennials native to the area have become incorporated into the garden to reduce water usage and provide food and shelter for pollinators such as butterflies and bees.
In addition to helping with the Peace Garden, the Green Team also partners with the Randolph Street Community Garden and Sola Gratia Farm, a community-based farm that produces locally-grown, high-quality produce and helps people who are food insecure. The Green Team is also taking part in the collaborative Solidarity Gardens C-U project to reduce food insecurity in Champaign-Urbana.
Each September, FMC joins others in our global Christian family to renew our relationship with the Creator and all creation. We use resources from The Season of Creation. The Green Team helps to coordinate these efforts to celebrate, pray, and take action on behalf of our common home.
Interested in more information about creation care? The Green Team has compiled a list of Recommended Books.
These websites are also recommended: