Green Church

green planet with vine growing

“I recognize the right and duty of this generation to develop and use our natural resources, but I do not recognize the right to waste them, or to rob by wasteful use, the generations that come after us.”–Theodore Roosevelt

That has been the quote at the end of my personal email signature for over a year now. It pretty well sums up my philosophy of care for our planet. And while some blindly reject (and others blindly accept) anything and everything “green”, I take a more moderated approach.

But as right as Teddy was, we have a biblical command to care for the planet as well. And I’ve been very frustrated that many churches don’t mention this as they discuss biblical stewardship, much less practice it.

I think in caring for our world, the church has a critical role to play. People are largely apathetic about the environment because, well, they’re good people. They don’t dump toxins into the air or water or club baby seals. They reason their vehicle emissions aren’t their responsibility because, after all, they didn’t make the car or the gas. I believe the church can wake people up to the fact that their lifestyles and purchases affect others. Those others are our unborn and our brothers and sisters in Christ.

Well I met John Voelz, a pastor at Westwinds Community Church in Jackson, MIchigan, at a Web 2.0 conference about a month ago. I added his feed to my Google Reader. And what should I read there than this post on the bring your own mug initiative at his church. They were throwing out 10 industrial sized garbage bags full of used paper coffee cups every Sunday. Now a standard tall kitchen bag is 13 gallons, so they were trashing at least 130 gals of paper coffee caps every Sunday. And starting today, zero. John, reading this was a great encouragement to me. Somebody does get it. You guys ROCK!