In this Year of Mercy, the Archdiocese of San Francisco is working to strengthen the practice of caring for creation in our parishes, in keeping with the encyclical, Laudato Si', On Care for Our Common Home. The Archdiocese is encouraging parishes that haven't done so yet to form a parish Green Team / Care for Creation Team. The Archdiocese will be offering support including bi-lingual (English and Spanish) orientation and training.
1. What is a Care for Creation Team / Green Team?
A Green Team is a group of parish volunteers who plan, seek approval, organize, carry out, evaluate and report back on environmental activities in line with Catholic Social Teaching. There are Green Teams by many different names at Catholic parishes worldwide.
2. How does having a Green Team help a parishes?
Green Teams help parishes
- Save money on energy
- Increase parishioner participation
- Strengthen parish engagement with the community
- Most important: live our Christian values
3. How do you get a Green Team in your parish?
- Ask the Parish / Pastoral Council
- Designate a member of staff
- Pulpit / bulletin announcement, email push announcement
- Give them a place/time to meet, and attend or drop by the meeting
4. Who should be on the Green Team?
- Member of staff who knows the building and sees the PG&E bills
- People who work well with the pastoral council
5. What do you need to have a successful Green Team?
- Regular meetings, e.g. once a month
- Support of the pastor Not needed: budget, experience, expertise
6. What kind of projects do parish Green Teams do?
- Monitor and save energy - Being conscientious - LED lights, thermostats etc - Energy audit
- Renewable energy - Through the grid - On the roof
- Waste reduction, recycling
- “Green purchasing” - Cleaning supplies - Energy efficient products
- Green transportation
- Creation-theme liturgy and prayer
- Bulletin articles and tips; posters, handouts and website contents
- Guest homilist, speaker, demonstration, movie night
- Education in faith formation class
- “Green hospitality” - Zero waste - 100% compost or recycle
- Group activities they can join
- Walk/bike to Church Sunday
Outreach - Finding resources
- Catholic organizations
- Interfaith groups
- Non-profit organizations
- Government departments like SF Environment
Outreach - Solidarity
- Help for people victims of environmental degradation - emergency response and recovery - adaptation and resilience
- Outcome-oriented advocacy for environmental justice