Starting this week, you’ll notice some blue recycling bins popping up around our parish, and a large bin in our parking lot. This visible reminder of the need to be good stewards is just the first of what I hope will be a long-term commitment to make St. James a greener place.
We have already begun to take some less obvious steps toward this goal. We’ve had an energy audit conducted, and we have installed programmable thermostats to help us better regulate our heating. This has resulted in a marked savings in our energy costs.
We’ve also begun to wean ourselves off the convenience of paper cups and plates in our kitchen. Last week, Shirley Mosher hit the thrift store to come back with plenty of low-cost washable plates to match our mugs. That’s what we’re going to start using during Sunday coffee hour.
There’s still much more we can do. We could plant a garden. We could get more energy efficient lighting. We could use more biodegradable products. We could organize ride shares. We could move toward zero-waste. There are dozens of steps, big and little, we could take.
But it will require intentionality on our part. And, honestly, it will require a group of committed people to make it happen. I’d like to form a “Saint James Green Team” to take this ball and run with it. Might this be a ministry you feel called to? The opportunity to make a huge positive impact in a short amount of time is great.
One week from today is Ash Wednesday, the start of Lent. On Ash Wednesday, Christians are invited to observe a Holy Lent through self-examination and repentance, through prayer, fasting and self-denial, and through reading and meditating on God’s holy Word. Let me especially invite you to consider making creation care practices – both here at church and in your own home – part of your Lenten devotions.
By making small changes during Lent, we can become more aware of our own wastefulness, our dependence on God, and our need to become better stewards of God’s creation.
Step One is to be intentional about recycling. Please pay attention to what you’re throwing away, and please don’t put trash into the recycling bins. We’ll have them clearly marked, with reminders about what can and can’t be recycled.
And if you’d be willing to serve on our Green Team, to help us turn St. James into a better, more mindful steward of creation, please let me know. Think about it, pray about it, and together let’s act on this.