Following the success of the Green Team outreach and the Serve God, Save the Planet book study at First Evangelical Free Church of Chicago, one of the Green Team members decided to educate more people by launching a new class designed to help attendees understand God’s stewardship mandate from a biblical perspective. This new class would be a survey of environmental issues including gardening, recycling, composting, energy, conservation, food, and transportation. No textbook would be utilized but class members would explore green urban living in an active learning experience utilizing readings, films, and activities.
The class met for 11 weeks beginning September 24, 2008, and brought in an entirely new group of individuals, many new to the church. This new class got more exposure as part of a church wide Wednesday night adult learning community program. Although I wasn’t leading the class, I tried to sit in as often as possible and arranged for two outside speakers from Faith in Place to make presentations about such diverse topics as strategies for "greening" a congregation to understanding the ecological consequences of destructive mountaintop removal practices utilized in the mining of coal in West Virginia.
The class continued for an additional 12 weeks in the spring of 2009 and focused on the larger issues of food, security, organic gardening, buying local, etc. They found that studying the book In Defense of Food by Michael Pollan was an extremely helpful source! They also took turns cooking dinner for the class each week, further building a sense of community and fellowship among the class.
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