Green Congregation Committee

Mission Statement

Creation is our neighbor. How do we treat our neighbor? Have we been a good neighbor through our lifestyle practices? Our goal in being a Green Congregation is to become better neighbors at the individual, church, community and global levels. We will find ways to make the church building and grounds an example of how to reduce energy, manage water, grow food and support our human and ecological neighbors. We will reduce our individual and collective carbon footprint(s) and aid those who
wish to act but do not have the resources. We will together let the ecology of this place we call home become healthier and more whole for the good of all of our neighbors.

Current members:

Chair: Jared Stoltzfus 2019
Green Advocacy Coordinator: Doug Graber Neufeld 2020
Mennonite Creation Care Network Liaison: Brian Martin Burkholder 2020
Carbon Tax Coordinator: Wayne Teel 2020
Member-At-Large: David Shenk 2019

Responsibilities:

The Green​ ​Congregation​ ​Committee​ ​will focus on planning, facilitating, connecting, visioning, implementing, and resourcing CMC in Creation care and climate action/advocacy initiatives. The primary responsibilities of the Green Congregation Committee will be:

  1. Planning and facilitating approved Green Congregation initiatives.
  2. Connecting CMC members with climate action/advocacy initiatives.
  3. Visioning and implementing future congregational Creation care initiatives.
  4. Resourcing CMC commissions, committees and leadership for Creation care initiatives.

Thus, the Green Congregation Committee will serve as the primary source of visioning, resourcing and facilitating CMC for Creation care and climate action/advocacy. It will report to the Administration Commission Chair.

The Chair​ ​of​ ​the​ ​Green​ ​Congregation​ ​Committee​ will focus on leading and coordination. The primary responsibilities of the Chair of the Green Congregation Committee​ ​will be:

  1. Providing overall leadership and coordination for the committee working intentionally with the Green Advocacy Coordinator, Mennonite Creation Care Network Liaison, and Carbon Tax Coordinator in fulfilling their roles.
  2. Processing the intentions of the committee to the Administration Commission Chair.
  3. Collaborating with CMC commission chairs on green congregation intentions and initiatives.
  4. Developing and submitting an annual budget and annual report to the Administration Commission Chair.
  5. Facilitating the filling of committee positions in collaboration with the Administration Commission Chair.

Thus, the Chair of the Green Congregation Committee will serve as the primary leader and coordinator of green congregation initiatives for Community Mennonite Church.

The Green​ ​Advocacy​ ​Coordinator​ ​will focus on communications and networking. The primary responsibilities of the Green Advocacy Coordinator will be:

  1. Apprising CMC members of opportunities to participate in green initiatives and contribute to green advocacy efforts in the Harrisonburg community and beyond.
  2. Representing the CMC congregation and serving as a designated point of contact for those orchestrating green initiatives and advocacy efforts in the Harrisonburg community and beyond.
  3. Serving on the Green Congregation Committee.

Thus, the Green Advocacy Coordinator will connect CMC members to existing climate action and advocacy opportunities and will connect broader initiatives and efforts to CMC members and the congregation as a whole.

  • The Green Advocacy Coordinator may employ some of the following strategies, in coordination with the Green Congregation Committee:
  • Seeking out information about green initiatives and advocacy efforts by subscribing to listservs and newsletters of organizations such as the Climate Action Alliance of the Valley (CAAV) and Virginia Interfaith Power & Light.
  • As able, attending events and meetings of local environmental organizations, such as Renew Rocktown and CAAV.
  • Creating a monthly calendar of green advocacy events to distribute to CMC members.
  • Posting upcoming opportunities and green tips in CMC Newsweekly.
  • Maintaining a "CMC Green Congregation" Facebook page, where CMC members can exchange information, coordinate transportation to advocacy events, and share relevant readings.
  • Communicating with local environmental advocates and leaders on behalf of CMC to exchange
    information and discuss how CMC might contribute.

The Mennonite​ ​Creation​ ​Care​ ​Network​ ​Liaison​ will focus on resourcing and connecting. The primary responsibilities of the Mennonite Creation Care Network Liaison will be:

  1. Apprising CMC commissions, committees and leadership of denominational resources of congregational Creation care/green initiatives.
  2. Reporting CMC Creation care/green initiatives and practices to other Mennonite Creation Care Network (MCCN) congregations through the MCCN website.
  3. Serving on the Green Congregation Committee.

Thus, the Mennonite Creation Care Network Liaison will connect CMC commissions, committees and leadership to Mennonite Church USA Creation care resources and initiatives and contribute to resources available for other congregations.

The Mennonite Creation Care Network Liaison may employ some of the following strategies, in coordination with the Green Congregation Committee:

  • Seeking out information about green initiatives and resources available through denominational sources.
  • As able, attending events and meetings of the MCCN.
  • Posting upcoming MCCN opportunities and Creation care tips in CMC Newsweekly.
  • Communicating with MCCN Green Patchwork Congregations on behalf of CMC to exchange information and encourage one another.

The Carbon​ ​Tax​ ​Coordinator​ will focus on educating and equipping. The primary responsibilities of the Carbon Tax Coordinator will be:

  1. Educating CMC members about reducing their carbon footprint.
  2. Advocating for CMC members to join the voluntary carbon tax effort.
  3. Working with the CMC Finance Committee in collecting the bi-yearly carbon tax.
  4. Equipping the Green Congregation Committee in the process of selecting recipients for carbon tax fund gifts as specified in the carbon tax fund guidelines.

Thus, the Carbon Tax Coordinator will serve as the primary advocate and administrator of the CMC carbon tax efforts.

  • The Carbon Tax Coordinator may employ some of the following strategies, in coordination with the Green Congregation Committee:
  • Researching the dangers of increasing carbon in the environment and ways to reduce carbon in daily lifestyles.
  • Building support for these efforts in the congregation and seeking partners in these efforts beyond the congregation.
  • Welcoming suggestions to enhance the effectiveness of the voluntary carbon tax and proposals for the use of the carbon tax fund.
  • Exploring the development of a much larger voluntary carbon tax effort open to other churches and community organizations.
  1. The Member-At-Large​ will focus on supporting and partnering. The primary responsibilities of the Member-At-Large​ ​will be:
  2. Supporting the efforts of the Chair, Green Advocacy Coordinator, Mennonite Creation Care Network Liaison, and Carbon Tax Coordinator in fulfilling their roles.
  3. Substituting for the Green Advocacy Coordinator in attending meetings of the Climate Action
  4. Alliance of the Valley (CAAV), Renew Rocktown, and (perhaps) Virginia Interfaith Power & Light.
  5. Contributing to decision making and facilitating initiatives of the committee.

Thus, the Member-At-Large will serve as a contributing partner for other members of the committee.