On May 19 the BTS Center hosted a Green Teams gathering at Cape Elizabeth United Methodist Church. There were representatives from many churches of all denominations in southern and mid coast Maine, including many Episcopal Earth Keepers. We had the opportunity to network and share ideas as well as attend informative and inspiring breakout sessions.

The Rev. Dr. Allen Ewing-Merrill, Executive Director of The BTS Center, began by quoting the Rev. William Barter: “The role of the church is to engage in the dangerous ministry of telling the truth” and then presented a vision for holistic Green Teams:

  • Promote climate action, advocacy, education and possibly civil disobedience
  • Embrace kinship with the Earth
  • Reimage worship, ritual and spiritual practice
  • Attend to ecological grief
  • Prepare for disaster
  • Build resilient communities and seek the common good
  • Connect deeply with the spiritual roots of our faith traditions

Breakout sessions included:

  • Wonder & Wander Nature Walk: Mindful Connection with Linda Littlefield Grenfell

  • Advocacy and the Art of Storytelling with Sue Inches

  • Creation Collage Workshop with Priscilla Dreyman and Lynne Mentzer

  • Climate + Faith: Introducing a spiritual resource for use in Christian congregations with Matthew Myer Boulton of SALT

I attended the Climate + Faith session and learned about a seven-week, 40-day devotional developed by SALT ‘that takes a “love-and-act” approach (rather than “doom-and-gloom”), building on our love for our neighbors, near and far, and our love for God, Maker of heaven and earth.’ This would make an ideal Season of Creation activity.

Participants were offered the free  use of this resource, and in partnership with The BTS Center’s Leadership Commons, SALT is offering a generous discount to others, both individuals and congregations. Use code BTSCLIMATE at saltproject.org to receive 20% off this resource.

I came away with too many great ideas and resources to implement this year. Among the resources was a free copy of Inside Out: Practices for Going Deeper in Nature, by Beth Norcross, 40 Ways a Church Can Go Green, and a One Home One Future Disaster Preparedness Checklist.

Participants came away refreshed and energized, wanting to make this an annual event.