The church has a powerful opportunity to show by example what creation care should look like. Congregations can lead the way in reducing their carbon footprint and investing in the wellbeing of the natural world. Through World Renew’s Climate Witness Project, many churches have learned how to make this type of creation care a part of their property management plan.
One example of this is at Church of the Servant, in Grand Rapids Michigan. The church’s stewardship of the property has become an integral part of what it means to “do church”. Their creation care focus has played out in their energy usage and landscaping choices.
With landscaping, the church has intentionally chosen plants that are native to the area to minimize water usage, protect local waterways and provide nesting and feeding areas for birds and insects. In order to decrease energy usage, Church of the Servant has installed a white thermal plastic roof and converted lighting inside and outside to energy efficient bulbs.
Doug Koetje, a member of the church’s Creation Care team explained, “For us, this was really important because there are so many people looking at the church and saying, ‘Why don’t you people get it?’” Pastor Andrew Mead also felt this was a part of the way the church should care for the vulnerable. “Part of that love and care means being engaged on climate change.”
This stewardship initiative has had a huge impact! Church of the Servant has saved over 95,000 KWH of energy and $25,000 in energy costs through their investments in creation care. Watch our Earth Day documentary below about Church of the Servant’s environmental stewardship: