Link to the new denominational Caretakers of God's Creation Web site. Check it out!!
"The earth is the Lord's
and all that is in it, the world
and those who live in it." — Psalm 24:1
We work with congregations in Virginia to enable them to make the connection between Biblical theology and a sense of responsibility to be in relationship to God's creation. "The Green Church Initiative," a Virginia Conference ministry, is one way we provide those congregations with the resources they need to live out their faith as caretakers of God's creation.
Caretakers of God's Creation is a United Methodist Church and Community Ministry dedicated to caring for and healing God's creation. Through the ministry, we ask churches to care for God's creation in five areas of church life:
Worship is a great way to introduce God's creation to the congregation through prayers, liturgies, hymns, Biblical passages, and sermons. We provide these resources to congregations as well as provide worship leadership.
"Let the heavens be glad, and let the earth rejoice; let the sea roar, and all that fills it; let the field exult, and everything in it. Then shall all the trees of the forest sing for joy before the Lord." — Psalm 96:11-12
Discipleship training is crucial, especially among children and youth, in making the faith connection with healing God's creation. We provide curriculum resources and training for teachers who desire to incorporate God's creation into the Sunday School learning experience.
"But ask the animals, and they will teach you; the birds of the air, and they will tell you; ask the plants of the earth, and they will teach you; and the fish of the sea will declare to you." — Job 12:7-8
Stewardship compels us to witness to our faith by being in right relationship to God's creation. We offer resources and programs to enable congregations and individuals to examine their lifestyles and reduce their environmental footprints. Among these are an Energy Efficiency Program and an Environmentally Friendly Paper and Cleaning Products Purchasing Program.
"The land shall not be sold in perpetuity, for the land is mine; with me you are but aliens and tenants. Throughout the land that you hold, you shall provide for the redemption of the land." — Leviticus 25:23-24
Evangelism, through a creation care ministry, makes a local congregation relevant again to some people "out there" who care deeply about the earth but for whom the church has lost it relevance. We know several instances in which families have joined United Methodist churches in Virginia because those congregations have a creation care ministry.
"Ever since the creation of the world, God's eternal power and divine nature, invisible though they are, have been understood and seen through the things God has made." — Romans 1:20
Mission to God's creation encompasses direct service in which we get our hands dirty and our souls fed as we physically connect with God's creation in a myriad of ways by cleaning up the Earth. In remembering our Wesleyan heritage of social holiness, mission as justice compels congregations to express their faith by encouraging changes in policy. Whenever issues of God's creation intersect with issues of poverty, the UMC has discovered a unique voice calling us to care for both God's creation and God's people at the same time. To that end we work in conjunction with the Women's Division and the United Methodist General Board of Church and Society in advocacy efforts, and we promote the United Methodist Committee on Relief (UMCOR) program that enables churches to purchase sustainably produced coffee, cocoa and tea.
"When you reap the harvest of your land, you shall not reap to the very edges of your field, or gather the gleanings of your harvest. You shall not strip your vineyard bare, or gather the fallen grapes of your vineyard; you shall leave them for the poor and the alien: I am the Lord your God." — Leviticus 19:9-10
Caretakers of God's Creation is a Church and Community Ministry of the United Methodist Church