With a mission to call the parish to a deeper respect for God’s creation and to engage the parish in practices that better care for and celebrate God’s creation, the Earth Ministry of St. Irenaeus (Rochester Hills) was formed in 2009.
Like so many congregation green teams, this group started its work right on the church’s grounds. Whenever possible, this group of parishioners seeks to build awareness about sustainability in the congregation by doing highly visible projects and by publishing articles about their work in the church bulletin. So far, the team has:
- Used compost made from local yard waste to build the soil of the flower beds, and created on-site compost bins
- Planted a vegetable patch (the harvest is shared with the church community)
- Advised the parish’s groundskeepers on sustainable landscaping
- Published “practical earth care tips” in bulletin (ongoing)
- Developed and taught an earthcare-themed lesson to 5th graders on the life of St. Francis of Assisi, patron saint of the environment
- Completed an energy audit of the church facility and presented recommendations to the Finance Committee
The team is currently researching alternatives to styrofoam cups in an effort to make the church’s coffee hours more sustainable.