by Neil Bergmann

Most governments committed to reducing greenhouse gas emissions in the next decade and reaching net-zero by mid-century are also committed to protecting habitats for vulnerable species, and addressing pollution and waste management. Many individuals, families and companies are investigating how to reduce their environmental impact, too. Congregations also have a role to play in developing more sustainable communities. Here are some practical ideas for promoting creation care within your faith family. Each congregation will respond differently to its local needs.


  • Have some sermons about creation, and about our stewardship of creation.
  • Include specific petitions in the prayer of the church celebrating God’s providential care for all creation and our role as stewards.
  • Decorate the church building with artworks that celebrate creation.
  • Have a service outside, surrounded by nature.
  • Plan to celebrate the Season of Creation in September 2023.


  • Choose a sustainable alternative to single-use plastic communion cups. As well as reusable glass individual cups, biodegradable sugar-cane-based single-use cups can now be ordered from Australian Christian Resources (
  • For morning teas and shared meals, move from single-use disposable plates, cutlery and cups to reusable ones.
  • Have the option of providing your weekly bulletin in email format as well as in paper form.
  • Compost food waste and ensure recyclables go into the right bin.


  • For morning teas and shared meals consider sustainable food choices using locally sourced ingredients.
  • Share homegrown fruit and vegetables amongst congregation members.
  • Set up a community garden that also collects community compostables.
  • Plant a native garden and set up some picnic areas for use by the whole community if you have enough space.


  • Look to use energy-saving lights and appliances.
  • Consider solar panels on the church roof, or choose a GreenPower plan from your electricity retailer.
  • Consider ridesharing for trips to and from church.
  • Consider installing bike racks and electric vehicle charging points and encourage walking to church for those who are able and live nearby.
  • Replace some meetings with online ones, especially if people travel far to attend.


  • Establish a creation care committee and develop a plan suiting your community’s interests and abilities.
  • Involve young people in the congregation, in your wider family and the local community. They have passion, energy, and ideas.
  • Do a sustainability audit.
  • Host a community creation-based film night.
  • Consider applying for a Five Leaf EcoAward – their Basic Certificate provides an easy framework for more sustainable congregations. (The awards are an Australian ecumenical environmental change program specifically designed for churches and religious organisations.)
  • Contact Lutheran Earth Care ( – we’d be happy to help.

Neil Bergmann is the Chair of Lutheran Earth Care Australia and New Zealand.

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