“Biblical faith teaches us that creation is a gift from God, and that God entrusts us to care for creation in the same loving way in which he would,” said Dr. Andy Wolfe, Senior Minister at Trinity United Methodist in Homewood. This sense of environmental responsibility has really taken hold of many churches, and Trinity UMC is doing something about it.
Recently, Trinity UMC committed an entire month to caring for God’s creation. March was Walk/Bike/Carpool to Church Month. For five weeks, the congregation utilized alternate forms of transportation to and from worship.
More and more members at Trinity have become concerned about the state of our environment, so Trinity is trying to do its part in promoting more ‘green’ efforts. This event was the first church-wide event for a green cause, and it was a great success. The first Sunday of March even brought unexpected snow, but that did not keep people from walking to church!
The church sold T-shirts for participants in an effort to assure people it was okay to wear clothing comfortable for walking or biking without feeling the need to wear “church clothes” on those days. They also provided a secure place for participants to store their bikes, helmets, and strollers. “It was encouraging to see families having fun walking to church together with a baby in a stroller or wagon or a little child on a tricycle following the parents on foot,” said Amy Mezzell, a Trinity member.
In addition to ministering about being good stewards of our environment, Trinity’s month-long event was also designed to encourage better health and exercise, saving money on gas, encouraging community, reducing pollution, and relieving crowded parking lots. However, “the big goal here was education,” says Dr. Dave Barnhart, Trinity’s Minister of Outreach. “Just raising people’s awareness and getting them to think about how they get around is part of what needs to change in our culture. What changes can we make to our daily and weekly routines to be better stewards of creation?”
“The Walk/Bike/Carpool to Church Month was a reminder that there are steps each of us can take to protect and preserve the environment,” said Wolfe. “As stewards of God’s creation, all of us are called to be faithful in our use of all that God has shared with us.”
If your church would like to do its own Walk/Bike/Carpool to Church Month and have questions, feel free to contact Dr. Dave Barnhart or Amy Mezzell in Trinity’s church office at (205) 879-1737.