EARTH MANDALA: An Easy and Practical Way for your Church to Get Started
Click on any letter above to find samples of core action steps in all critical areas of environmental awareness.
Hint: Color coding below will direct you to specific topic areas.
Letter color key:
GREEN = Area I: Energy Conservation and Environmental Practices
BLUE = Area II: Reduce. Reuse. Recycle.
ORANGE = Area III: Church Communication
PURPLE = Area IV: Spiritual Education
PINK = Area V: Spiritual Practice
RED = Area VI: Dialogue and Action
GOLD = Area VII: Environmental Justice
Every five years, conduct a Green Audit of your church or spiritual center using the (EarthCare Green Facility Assessment) as a reference. Make results available as recommendations to the appropriate committees. If your church owns the building or can arrange a partnership with the owner, conduct a professional energy audit of buildings at least once every ten years.
Energy Reduction Challenge
Challenge your congregation to reach a self-elected goal in overall improved energy efficiency (include transportation alternatives in the discussion). In order to set the goal, conduct a dialogue group to envision in what areas congregants can reduce usage and what is a realistic goal for the congregation as a whole. Invite quarterly discussions on progress, focusing on aids and obstacles to success.
Weigh trash and recycled materials that the church generates during one representative week. Set a goal for a percentage in reduction and meet it. Create a purchase ordering process for church supplies that includes a price comparison between current products with recycled alternatives. Encourage the purchase of recycled products if they are found at a cost within five (or ten) percent of the equivalent non-recycled product.
Adopt a policy to use washable. nondisposable dishes, cups, glasses, and cutlery at your events, classes and programs.
Set up a Season for Earth Information Center in the church and on its website. Link to the carefully screened resources available on the Seasons for Peace and Nonviolence website under “Season for the Earth.”
Create a Green Corner in your church newsletter with environmental tips and updates on environmental activities.
Green Music, Arts and Culture
Ask your music team to choose, learn and sing earth-based songs at Sunday service. Ask youth leaders to perform environmental skits. Put out a Call to the congregation for original or existing poetry or passages that express our spiritual relationship with earth and include in services and classes as invocation. Create a committee to invite visual art works for earth and hang an exhibit in the sanctuary or foyer. As youth and adults to submit multi-media for earth that can be incorporated into screen projection programs during events and services.
Hold a ceremony each year during Season for the Earth honoring those who have inspired us with their participated in Season for the Earth works and activities.
Ask youth group leaders to teach a young peoples’ earth program using resources found on the Season for the Earth website.
Spiritual Earth Awareness
Convene a “Visioning Simplicity” Circle to help members get in touch with environmental realities and possibilities. Using visioning results, form an action group that helps to oversee the study and practice of responsible consumption. Invite enlightened dialogues about our real concerns for our home planet and how to hold consciousness for our collective evolution in this critical arena.
Ask for an informal committee to plan field trips for youth and adults to a power plant, recycling facility, landfill, incinerator, organic farm, or other facility.
Dedicate a portion of Sunday services during Season for the Earth to creative methods of bringing awareness to the environment.
Prayers and Meditations
Adopt the practice of using environmental prayers, meditations, or readings in all gatherings at your church or spiritual center.
Tools and Technology
Form a group whose passion is to explore the progressive alternatives and technologies that are being developed as part of the solution. Discuss the merits and limitations of new technologies and ways of bringing them to application in your community.
Health and Environment
Hold a healing circle in your church or center. Invite participants to share health and healing issues that might be alleviated by progress toward a more healthy environment, in their personal lives as well as in the environment as a whole. Expand the discussion to identifying healthy practices and products that could help shift these issues now.
Outreach and Alliances
Identify and contact local and regional environmental justice organizations to introduce them to your church/center and inform them of your concrete plans to serve a better environment. Suggest a mutual commitment to partnership on a specific environmental issue and offer your venue, volunteers, participants and other resources to support the partnership.
Resolutions and Declarations
Write a resolution/declaration committing your congregation to a higher consciousness and practice toward environmental challenges. Post/circulate the document prominently. Share the document with community alliances such as the Mayor’s office, or local Interfaith Council, asking them to add input to the documents and become signatories that circulate it through their own networks.
Teachers and Speakers
Contacting AGNT/Season for the Earth office as a resource, let us help you identify and invite a well-known authority on the Earth and Environment to speak at a Service, special event, workshop, or program. Speakers will be recommended based on their consciousness work, as well as on their expertise in this area.