Churches/Green Teams

Manuals and Guides for Congregations

Find a range of resources for making creation care an integral part of all aspects of your congregation's life and ministry.

Your congregation can help generate an eco-justice reformation! Join in the celebrations surrounding the 500th Anniversary of the Reformation in 2017! On this page find a presenter from the speakers bureau, worship and educational resources, learn about events and initiatives across the Lutheran church, and let us know about your plans.

Your Congregation Can Sign the Paris Pledge!

Take the Paris Pledge, as an individual or as a congregation, and commit to reducing your carbon pollution. Together, we can make a real difference. Interfaith Power & Light will provide you with helpful resources and tools so you can reach your goals. 

Special Programs for Congregations

Energy Stewards Initiative (ESI) is a two-year LRC program for congregations and camps to reduce your energy use with an online platform, webinars, and action plan.
Lutherans Restoring Creation-GreenFaith Certification Program. A two-year well-organized program to green your congregation.  Watch a Webinar.

Creation Care in Each Area of Church Life

Planning Ahead

Find ideas and resources for worship, activities and programs for specific seasons and holidays here. 
Season of Creation: A powerful set of liturgical, theological, and study tools for fostering creation care in worship life. 

  Other denominations: What website resources are available for                                                 environmental ministry in other denominations

Creation Care Churches In the News

(The Lutheran, August 2014.) The church seasons of Advent, Epiphany, Lent and Easter help us trace the life of Jesus. Pentecost draws us into the life of the Spirit. So why not also take four Sundays in the year for a special focus on God as creator? [Read More]  
Church Rain Gardens Help Control Flooding, Improve Watershed Quality (The Lutheran, September 2014)  In the concrete jungle, an hour-long downpour can cause an all-day headache: flooded basements, backed-up sewers, and  lakes and rivers inundated with untreated wastewater and pollutants. St. Paul Lutheran Church, Jersey City, N.J., knows this problem well. [Read More]

Lutheran Church of Hope (West Des Moines, IA) and the Evangelical Lutheran Church in North Germany (Rostock, Meklenberg, Germany) were recently named number 18 and number 38, respectively, on's list of 40 religious groups practicing creation care with wind turbines. 

Gaithersburg Church Gets Educational Wildlife Habitat (Good Shepherd Lutheran Church, Gaithersburg, MD), April 17, 2013.

"Welcoming Winged Guests" (Gloria Dei Lutheran, Duluth MN) in The Lutheran
"Environmentalists Tout Church's Energy Efficiency" (First English Lutheran, Columbus OH)

"Tracking Our Carbon Footprint" (First English Lutheran, Columbus OH) in Living Lutheran. How a participant in LRC's Energy Stewards Initiative is cutting its energy costs while caring for creation.

Congregation Stories

Congratulations to Bethel Lutheran: FIRST Energy Star Certified Church in Missouri!
Bethel Lutheran Church

 As a participating congregation in the Lutherans Restoring Creation Energy Steward Initiative, they began to measure their energy use since 2010 in ENERGY STAR Portfolio Manager, a free online tool that allows buildings to benchmark their energy use. Volunteers with U.S. Green Building Council – Missouri Gateway Chapter verified Bethel Lutheran’s ENERGY STAR application in 2016 after years of fine tuning what needed to be altered in their facility. Led by licensed architect Linda Daniel, volunteers confirmed that Bethel Lutheran’s energy and building data was correct and that the building meets EPA’s Indoor Environmental Quality and Thermal Comfort standards. Linda stated “As a volunteer, it is exciting to work with building owners as their facility begins to perform better, their energy costs go down, and they reduce their carbon footprint. It was an honor to work with this congregation. Bethel Lutheran has diligently worked over several years to earn this certification, and it’s my understanding that they intend to continue working to reduce their energy use.”   [READ MORE

St. Andrew's Environmental Stewardship Team: Nine Years Old, and Still Going Strong!

The Environmental Stewardship Team (EST) at St. Andrew’s Lutheran Church in Mahtomedi, MN (a congregation of some 6,000 people on a campus of three sizable buildings) was founded nine years ago.  

The group has co-sponsored a wind generator on a co-campus with a high school, converted the congregation's buildings to all LED lighting, and holds an annual “Caring for Creation Weekend”.


Edmonds Lutheran Church Is Going Solar!

Edmonds Lutheran Church (ELC) installed a solar photovoltaic system to generate renewable energy for their facility in mid-February 2016.

The system was in part donated by A&R Solar, who has been working with the church for more than a year to make this vision a reality.

 "Donating a system is our way of saying 'thanks' and giving back to a community that supported us, while also raising awareness to the fact that solar works in western Washington," says Dave Kozin of A&R Solar.  [Read More]

First Lutheran in Decorah Signs Paris Pledge

First Lutheran in Decorah signed the Paris Pledge, joining other congregations across the nation to reduce our carbon pollution by 50% by 2030 and to be carbon neutral by 2050. They have already achieved the 50% reduction goal and they are determined to be carbon neutral by 2050.  [Read More]

Earth Stewardship Leads to Solar Project

by Lisa Therrell, from Eastern Washington-Idaho Synod News in The Lutheran, January 2015

One year ago a small group from Faith Lutheran Church in Leavenworth, Wash., met around a kitchen table.They had just read EcoMind: Changing the Way We Think, To Create the World We Want (Nation Books, 2013) by Frances Moore Lappé. The book’s premise is that too many people are immobilized by despair at the specter of climate change so we need to change the way we think in order to take small, deliberate actions that will make a difference. [Read more]

United by Faith Does Renewal and Goes Green

When you are baptized into Christ at United By Faith Lutheran Church in Evergreen Park, Illinois, you are literally baptized into the world! The baptismal font in the sanctuary is a beautiful bowl with the earth’s seas and continents adorning its surface. Entering life in Christ in this way reflects the theology and mission values of this congregation that entered the GreenFaith Certification Program in and is well on its way to completing the 2-year environmental program. [Read More]

Here Comes the Son: Christ and Trinity Lutheran Church Goes Solar

The idea of going solar began with an observation and a question. During the monthly council meeting, a member said, "You know I drove by this church the other day and they had solar panels. I talked to a member there and they only had positive things to say. Is this something we might consider?" 

And so began the dream, the vision, and the hope for not only the community at Christ and Trinity Lutheran but for the larger Sedalia community and for generations to come. This could be a possibility for Christ and Trinity, some shared. This could save money on our electric bill, some hoped. This is what we are called to do as stewards of God's creation, some echoed. [Read More.]

St. Luke Environmental Sustainability Survey

Since 2006, the Environmental Stewardship Committee at St. Luke Lutheran Church (Portland, Oregon) had been discussing, educating, and planning events on issues related to caring for God’s creation. Given the congregation’s favorable response, it appeared that environmental sustainability was viewed as essential to many church members. However, these congregational waters had not been formally tested. So the committee decided to create an assessment device, hoping it would help St. Luke understand the width and depth of sustainability in its congregational life. [Read More]

God’s Land is in Good Hands at Washington Prairie
Members of Washington Prairie Lutheran Church have always appreciated the pastoral setting near Decorah where the stone church building has stood since 1872. When the congregation recently learned that a portion of the Washington Prairie land is a rare oak savanna—a borderline area where eastern woodlands meet western tall grass prairie—the congregation committed to preserving that piece of history and turning a bare pasture into an orchard for the future. [Read More

Year of Water

St. Stephen’s Lutheran is located in Monona, Wisconsin and the city sits against a lake, Lake Monona. The quality of the lake is an ongoing concern for residents, given farm runoff and recreation opportunities and such. 

Along with that, the community saw a 37% spike in water bills in 2012, so it has been declared the Year of Water. It was a chance for residents to value what they have and to strive for conservation. [Read More] 

Gardens Bring Community Together

In October 2011 members of St. Andrew Lutheran Church in Vancouver, Washington began meeting to explore the possibility of installing a community garden on their property.
  On March 24 of this year, those plans became a reality as over 30 people – some St. Andrew members and some not – worked to install 20 raised beds. [Read More]

From Small Steps to International Reach 

Starting in 2006 with a small group of people with a general interest in environmental issues, the "Caring for Creation" movement at St. Matthew's has grown into a vibrant congregational effort that has not just a church-wide or community-wide reach, but an international reach -- in just 7 short years. [Read More]

Going Solar

It probably seemed like it would never happen. Emanuel Lutheran Church in Pleasantville, NY was exploring installing photovoltaic solar panels on its roof. The price--$190,000--seemed exorbitant. However, the congregation's Environmental Stewardship Committee didn’t let go of the idea. [Read More].
“Upcycled” Advent Worship Backdrop
A parishioner at Village Church in Milwaukee, Jennifer Hellerman used bubble wrap, other packing material, and toilet paper rolls to create a beautiful Advent worship environment depicting falling snow. "The idea for the sanctuary installation came from observations I made of snow throughout the winter of 2010-2011, back when Milwaukee had snow!" [Read More] 

St. Andrew Members Embrace Earth Care
“St. Andrew is becoming a leader in earth care ministries within Oregon,” says Associate
Pastor Robyn Hartwig. The parish’s environmental efforts “help fulfill our mission to support our five core values: God care, earth care, community care, neighbor care, and self care. I’m very proud of St. Andrew in its earth care efforts because God loves the earth,” adds the pastor. “And after all, we are called to love what God loves.” [Read More]   

ELCA "Energy Star" Congregations Honored
First English Lutheran Church, Columbus, OH, 
was one of 28 congregations honored at the White House for being the first to achieve Energy Star certification.   Also honored were: Elim Lutheran Church, Duluth, MN; First Lutheran Church, Bothell, WA; and Gloria Dei Lutheran Church, Urbandale, IA. 

“Greening America’s Congregations,” sponsored by U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) Energy Star program and the White House Office for Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships, was held Thursday, Sept.13, in Washington, D.C. 
[Read More]
A Seed Planted and A Garden Grown
Five years ago, the Green Team at St. Andrew Lutheran Church in Racine, Wisconsin had the idea to plant a garden in the large lawn on the west side of their church. Little did they know at the time it would go this far.

The chair of the Green Team, Sandy Roberts, said, “We were just planting a small mustard seed at the time, but look what it has become.” The project took off when a long time member of the church and a master gardener, Mark Trinklein, took over the plan and enlisted the help of other church members and some local residents, including youth in a Racine community project. [Read More]  

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