Click the links below to access free resources designed especially for congregations. This list brings together practical, how-to guides for houses of worship who want to become more sustainable and study guides designed to help faith communities engage with the spiritual dimensions of earth stewardship.
You can also refer to our Success Stories page to see what other Michigan IPL member congregations are doing to save money and save the earth!
NEW – Dr. David Karowe (Western Michigan University), Presentation: “Effects of Climate Change on the Great Lakes Region,” 10/6/17
NEW – Going Solar: A Guidebook for Houses of Worship (PDF)
Awakening to God’s Call to Earthkeeping
A four-session small group study curriculum designed to encourage, empower, and equip members of faith communities in their calling to care for creation. Prepared by the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America.
Becoming Carbon Positive: A Manual for Places of Worship
Members of green teams in congregations worked together to produce a greening manual for congregations. The manual was created by Climate Buddies Interfaith Environmental Network.
Carbon Fast for Lent
Each year, Michigan IPL creates a “Carbon Fast” for the lenten season. In a time of year when Christians devote themselves to fasting, reflection, prayer and transformation, the calendar suggests small but meaningful actions you can do each day to reduce your ecological footprint.
The Cry of Creation: Study Guide on Global Warming
The Interfaith Climate and Energy Campaign’s study guide contains short readings and questions for discussion. Designed to work as a 3-4 week course for any faith community that desires to reflect on and take action to curtail climate change.
Energy Conservation & Management Guide for Churches
A detailed, 47-page manual from the Michigan Energy Office. Each of its 6 sections contains practical information and suggested procedures and forms designed to be used in implementing a specific part of an energy conservation program.
ENERGY STAR Action Workbook for Congregations
This 42-page workbook provides practical advice to help congregations implement energy efficiency changes in their houses of worship and start saving money.
Green Gurdwaras: Guide to Greening Sikh Places of Worship Across the U.S.
This 18-page guide by Eco Sikh covers green landscaping, energy efficiency and conservation, water conservation, food and waste reduction, and the indoor environment.
Green Sanctuary Manual
This 118-page guide was updated by the Unitarian Universalist Association of Congregations in 2009. The program it outlines is meant to “give roots and wings to the vision of a world in which all people make reverence, gratitude, and care for the living Earth central to their lives,” and suggests specific activities that congregations of all denominations can do to further these goals.
This set of resources is put together by the Humane Society. It offers suggestions for transforming resource-intensive, conventional lawns into sustainable landscapes that provide safe haven for wildlife, people, and pets. The suggestions can be adapted to residential backyards, church grounds, or community spaces. Great for kids!
International Environment Forum: Scientific and Spiritual Dimensions of Climate Change course
This 9-session course is designed to help participants gain a deeper understanding of climate change, to explore ethical questions connected to climate change, and to learn how to address these issues in the context of the spiritual teachings from the world’s religions. Designed to be used by any faith group.
The Jewish Energy Guide
COEJL presents a comprehensive Jewish approach to the challenges of energy security and climate change and offers a blueprint for achieving greenhouse gas emissions reductions in the context of the Jewish religious calendar.
Solar Energy Guide
Since 1977, the price of solar panels has dropped approximately 100 times over, and solar power is now cheaper than power from the grid for billions of people. ConsumerAffairs created this guide that helps consumers determine whether or not “going solar” will work for them.
Tech Soup Technology for Congregations
A growing trend among most of us these days is paying for things more with credit and debit cards and less with cash and checks. One church fundraising consulting firm found that as many as 50 percent of people who receive fundraising mailings go online to make their contribution. This trend means even the smallest houses of worship may find it useful to explore low-cost ways to accept electronic donations for offerings, tithes, and other gifts. There are now lots of tech tools to collect offerings by congregational members in different ways. TechSoup has a number of donated products that are available to churches to manage donors, accounting, and donation tracking and reporting, so you can go high tech with your collection plate.
United Church of Christ Resources for Individuals and Congregations
The United Church of Christ has an environmental justice section of its website with a variety of helpful resources.