This time last year our lives were very different. Few of us felt safe outside our homes and most of us missed the community and fellowship of seeing our congregation families in person. At IPC, we had just begun rolling out our Faithful Green Leaders Training in a virtual format and we were quickly learning how resilient all of our partner congregations are. We continue to be blown away by the efforts and accomplishments of the green teams with whom we are working. Since we launched the training in late 2019 we have seen how more than 340 people from over 100 congregations have stepped up to build or strengthen green teams. We have also seen how, last year, these green teams were able to educate a total of 14,432 people through the programs and projects they initiated (or had plans to initiate). The projects resulted in 380 trees being planted. In addition, about 22 acres (equivalent to 29 football fields) have been/or will be protected with Best Management Practices (BMPs) to reduce stormwater runoff. This is amazing work given the unique circumstances that we faced!
As things have opened up will we be blessed with more success? We hope so. As we look towards the fall, we begin to reflect more on how far we have come. Many will be celebrating the Season of Creation from September 1st to October 4th. This is a time when people of faith will be uniting around the theme, “A Home for All? Renewing the Oikos of God” (Oikos is Greek for house, from which we have the words ecology, economy, ecumenical). During this time, we urge you to consider participating through prayer, projects, or advocacy in support of our common home. Please take a moment to browse through our resources page where you might find inspiration for a program or project that you team can spearhead. The Menus for Action that we have crafted for each region are a good starting point. And if you are looking for tips on maintaining a rain garden on your property, sustainably managing your lawn, or planting more trees on your property, check out our resources for restoration projects.
On September 2nd, we will be hosting our next Learning Lab that will focus on how you can guide your green team towards success and maybe even learn about some new tools that can help your team members collaborate more effectively. We are also planning to begin building a volunteer mentorship program that will provide a way for those of you who would like to share what you have learned with others, to do so. If you would like to share your talents and be a mentor, please let us know by completing this form.
Together, with God's grace, we can continue to accomplish amazing things!
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