Wednesday, July 20, 2011
by Clare Brauer-Rieke
This last Sunday, Ballard First Lutheran Church in Seattle held a Name the Green Team contest. Throughout the last month, members of the congregation - young and old alike - submitted their ideas for the new green team's title: "Disciples of Recycle," "Earth All-Stars," "Green Beans," "Green Eggs and Ham," and "Verdant Veritas" were just a few of over thirty submissions.
Before the vote, the founding members of the green team narrowed the voting pool to three: "Ballard First Renewtheran," "Greendom Come," and "Verdant Disciples." The congregants' ballots were collected in the offering plates, and while the pastors tallied the final count, the green team took the stage to ask other interested people to get involved; in addition to a more formal invitation, they led the church in a hymn-sing to a creatively rewritten "green" version of Jesus Loves Me.
At final count, "Greendom Come" won the day. Prizes were awarded not only to the winner, who received a Green Bible, and to the other two finalists, who received BPA-free waterbottles, but to a variety of entries based on such categories as creativity, theological insight, cuteness, lyricism, and most entries submitted on one paper (the greenest participant). The sanctuary was alive with laughter and applause.
Get your congregation involved! If you're not already, become a Greening Congregation with Earth Ministry and join the movement of environmental stewardship. All congregations can come up with fun new ways to engage their members and their youth. Be creative! Participate with joy.