Congregations Caring for Creation
Church furnace room in Clinton, MN- ECONAR GeoSource Geothermal Heat Pump
Today I received a Lenten e-mail update from the Evangelical Lutheran Church of America (ELCA) on Climate Justice: Climate Change and Economics. The article talks about what churches can do to reduce carbon footprints, save energy, etc...
I have zero (0) bragging rights- but am deeply proud to belong to (having stumbled upon) a congregation that, without fanfare, happens to be one of the most environmentally progressive churches I know of. It's in Clinton, Minnesota on the South Dakota border- population 401.
I first fell in love with this church for a small thing- a 2 inch by 5 inch laminated note on the church kitchen refrigerator door. It said:
"It is a Trinity Church policy that NO plastic foam products can be used at church functions. Effective July 11, 1989."
Years before others began calling for an end to styrofoam, this church simply outlawed it. Now granted, it may have been passed by a church council "man" who didn't have to wash the ceramic coffee cups (I washed my first coffee cups yesterday in fact). But, for the two years we've been enjoying the smell, taste and companionship of Trinity Lutheran church coffee and no "Lutheran Brotherhood" styrofoam cups have graced our tables.
What's more, I stumbled upon the row of Geothermal heat pumps in the basement-- installed 10+ years ago when oil was about $8 per barrel and no one was thinking energy conservation. Leadership, foresight, and long term environmental and financial stewardship all tucked away together in a church basement furnace room out on the prairie.
It seems to me a quiet practicality and stewarding of resources that, in fact, make life more pleasant. As a part of creation myself, I appreciate drinking coffee from a real cup on Sunday mornings. Talk about congregations for creation.