A Sustainable Community

 I was just watching a very interesting interview with The Very Rev. Tracey Lind, dean of Trinity Episcopal Cathedral, and Richard Horton, chair of Trinity’s Green Team at Vital Practices and found it really interesting. The talk was about about churches and creating a Eco-Sustainable Community. As the talk went on, I because to think about my travels around this diocese to different churches and events. Then something hit me, and that we TALK about saving the planet by recycling, but we are not very good in actually doing it. 
 The one thing that suddenly hit me are the number of congregations that use "Service Booklets" which are created week after week with the entire service in it. Now this is a good things, as they can include music that is not in the Hymnal, but then it hit me that with all of the money problems that congregations are having, maybe it is time for them to go back and use the actual Book Of Common Prayer. http://rcm.amazon.com/e/cm?t=afroanglicans-20&o=1&p=8&l=bpl&asins=0898690811&fc1=000000&IS2=1&lt1=_blank&m=amazon&lc1=0000FF&bc1=000000&bg1=FFFFFF&f=ifr 
 But what about using music that isn't in the Hymnal or any of the songbooks that we may have in the pews? Do as it has been done in the past and for those create a handout that would be handed out. 
 OK, I can hear it now in that people are saying that they don't want to fumble around between stuff, and that it is easier to have it all in one place, plus we use 100% recyclable paper. Well, here is the one thing that I suddenly realized, and that is that I have never seen a recycle bin inside of a church. Yeah, it is in there where the upcoming events and information is located, but why not either use a separate sheet that can be taken out, or the last page(s) for that and tell people to take that part with them, but put the rest in the recycle bin that is located at the exit(s)? Think about it... 
 "But a Recycling Bin would look so ugly at the doors..." I can hear people saying. I think that our planet would look so much better with less litter on the streets, some of which are these service bulletins. Here is something for your Sunday School kids to do, let them decorate the recycling bins? http://rcm.amazon.com/e/cm?t=afroanglicans-20&o=1&p=8&l=bpl&asins=B004JHYN7Q&fc1=000000&IS2=1&lt1=_blank&m=amazon&lc1=0000FF&bc1=000000&bg1=FFFFFF&f=ifrEven better yet, have them create the bins that would be dumped into the ugly one(s) that you don't want at your doors!!! I think that this would make them really feel apart of the church community. It could be that the children will even help in the clean up after service in order to make sure that their bin is used. In turn, this will get children to even be more active in recycling at home, school and elsewhere. 
 Oh, I can hear something else come up now. "But the Book Of Common Prayer cost so much money for each copy. Why not encourage the members to buy a couple of copies? One copy they give to the church, and the other that they keep at home? Who knows, if they keep one at home they may actually open them and see all of the wonderful services and other things located between the covers. Some of them may actually begin a daily practice of prayer within there life, and those with children may actually get them to pray on a daily basis. Could you imagine it, millions of Episcopalians actually praying on a daily basis. People praying for those in need of prayer throughout the universe, and giving thanks for things throughout the universe? People may actually come to a point where they don't get into a physical fight but stop and say to it other that they will pray WITH each other.
 Now I will admit that I am not great at recycling, nor is the congregation that I am in, but I try at times. But I will give credit to my Pastor and his wife who will take home the recycling located around the campus and put it into their own recycling bins. We should use them and others that are trying to create a sustainable community throughout the world. 
 I call upon ALL Christians and especially my fellow Episcopalians to help create Sustainable Communities within our congregations and world.