MOBILISING YOUR DIOCESE
The Environmental Coordinators together with key young Environmentalists attended a cluster meeting in Benoni, to look at ways to mobilise their Dioceses. Representatives attended from Johannesburg, Christ the King, Highveld, Pretoria and Matlosane Dioceses.
Here are some strategies that were discussed! Perhaps you will find them helpful in your Diocese..
- How to change hearts
Problem: people pick up litter or turn of taps when you nag, how do we get them to do it for love?
- It is a leadership issue: we need to identify those (20%) who have got the heart and use them as role models.
- The language of the heart is not facts but art , music, poetry, love. Get the ‘inspirers’ together
- Read “Laudato Si” the Pope’s encyclical – he talks about conversion , we need to expand Christianity beyond just God and People
- Remember the Cry of the earth is the Cry of the Poor. Link Environmental issues with Social Justice.
- Work through your organisations – eg Mother Union. They are active and givers
- Social Media Strategy
Provincial – we need to explore a Green Anglicans Instagram account.
- Branding – posters should be up in church which invites people to join our FB or twitter account
- Leaflets are needed
- Allow the Green Anglicans logo to go on any other branded items; leaflets, tshirts etc of other events organisations
- The Cluster will start a whatsapp group.
- It is not a good idea for a Diocesan Enviro-desk to start its own FB page. Rather post onto the Diocesan FB or Diocesan Youth FB so you reach more people.
- Make sure that your info/contacts are on the Diocesan website.
- Mobilising Youth
- Make it vibey, attractive, fun
- be visible at Youth Conferences, ask for a slot, wear your tshirts
- Make sure enviro actions and days get added to Diocesan youth year planners
- we have the challenge of ‘getting our hands dirty’ whereas youth like fancy clothes
- Link tree planting with confirmation class
- Mobilising Clergy
- remember that clergy are too busy and this ministry should not be seen as an extra burden but something that feeds them
- Eco-retreat for clergy
- An enviro-outing or hike on a Monday when they are on day off and spouses are working
- Think of alternative venues for church meetings eg Bishops forum, get them out of dark church halls to a nice place where they can stay afterwards for a short walk. Wear casual clothes to the meeting
- Lectionary – Season of Creation must be highlighted inside the lectionary most people don’t look at the back
- Set up a database of clergy who have studied enviro subjects, publicise their names they could be invited to preach on these subjects
- Remember knowledge is power – always keep them in the loop and cc them so they cant say they didn’t know. Let them know about things in advance.
- Give them attention , pop in say hi, greet for birthdays etc.
- Remember the self supporting clergy often feel out of the loop
- Train clergy at theological college
- Working in “hot spots”
These are parishes in the Diocese who have severe environmental challenges. Often the Diocese does not visit them because of challenges of lack of toilets, kitchen facilities, clean water etc.
- identify a ‘hot spot” parish with a ‘green priest” it wont work otherwise
- Existing better off resourced green parishes can assist – coming to plant a garden or subsidizing water tanks etc.
- Give back to the community eg veggie gardens
- Anglican Schools often have resources or eco-clubs who can help
- make the parish feel special, eg next meeting hold it in their church
- Get lay ministers involved – some will have extra time on hands
- Get the Bishop to buy-in
- Bring motions to synod.