Jerusalem Evangelical Lutheran Church in Seville, Ohio, has a moderate sized congregation with roughly two hundred members attending each Sunday. Though a small congregation, they are still concerned with environmental issues and have started an organization to promote awareness. The Jerusalem Evangelical Lutheran Church has assembled a Green Team that consists of volunteer members who are trying to work within their congregation to promote environmentally friendly action. The Green Team has been established for one year, meetings are held monthly and new membership is always welcome and encouraged.
In addition to their monthly meetings they also put out a monthly blurb pertaining to different environmental issues in the church’s monthly newsletter. A recent article by the Green Team discussed the need to “eat lower on the food chain” making connections of carbon pollution to livestock and how we can alter these effects with our diet. Other topics they have covered over include many purchasing decisions such as avoiding palm oil and disposable paper products, promoting ocean-friendly seafood, and eating organic and locally grown seasonal food. In addition to their newsletter articles, the Green Team also periodically publishes a list of materials that can be recycled and describes where in the area they can be recycled to help those in the congregation that may not know that these establishments are available.
In the short time the Green Team has existed, they worked to pass a resolution at the Synod Assembly last June, urging the Synod to be more environmentally proactive. The Jerusalem Lutheran church’s main topic in the resolution was the issue of climate change and the need for recognition and action to protect the earth for future generations. The resolution was as follows; “the Northeastern Ohio Synod Council will undertake appropriate actions to communicate to Congregations the urgency of this issue; and be it further, that the Northeastern Ohio Synod Assembly direct the Northeastern Ohio Synod Council to consider establishing a Creation Care Task Force having a mission to aid its member congregations in dealing with these serious issues; and be it further that the Northeastern Ohio Synod Assembly direct the Northeastern Ohio Synod Council to forward this resolution to the ELCA Church Council for consideration and possible action.” (Submitted by the Congregation Council of Jerusalem, Seville)
This is a great story and an example of how a small Lutheran congregation in Ohio can pull a team of people together and make a difference!
Contact information: Jerusalem Evangelical Lutheran Church, Attn: Green Team
9282 Acme Rd Seville, Oh 44273 Website: www.jelc-seville.org
This Congregational Highlight was contributed by Laura Toth, OSU Student