In God’s hand is the life of every creature and the breath of all humanity. Job 12:7-10
Westminster’s Eco-Justice Ministry Team works to advance the theology and practice of environmental stewardship within and beyond the congregation. In the belief that good ecology is central to Christian faith and practice, the team promotes environmental stewardship as a matter of social justice – for the generations of people who follow us; for those in the poorest countries around the world who will suffer the most as the seas rise and the air warms; and for one out of every six species that will go extinct due to human-caused climate change.
Because collective effort is essential to safeguarding the earth’s habitats, ecosystems and wildlife, the team:
- Supports the development of green initiatives for Westminster’s church facility, such as the green roof on the new wing, composting and recycling programs, the rainwater re-use system, and the community solar garden
- Coordinates environmental education forums and film series for Westminster members
- Partners with local groups in the surrounding community to advance positive change in environmental policy and practice, including the Hennepin County Fix-It Clinic
- Oversees the annual environmental audit required to maintain Westminster’s ongoing certification as a Presbyterian Church (USA) Earth Care Congregation
- Collaborates with Presbyterian Church (USA) environmental ministries to achieve change within our denomination
- Advocates for environmental justice in the public arena at the local, state, and national levels
The Eco-Justice Ministry Team welcomes new members at any time! The team meets monthly on a flexible schedule. You’re invited to email the ministry team chair to learn more, and to sign up for Faith in Action News to have upcoming event details delivered directly to your inbox.
The team invites your continuing prayers for awareness and action toward the wise stewardship of God’s creation.
Rev. Alanna Simone Tyler
Open Doors Open Futures
Guiding principles adopted by Westminster’s Session of Elders and Board of Trustees for Open Doors Open Futures included a focus on ecologically sustainable building practices and a demonstration of environmental leadership.
In accordance with the principles, during construction of the new wing Westminster recycled and diverted demolition and construction debris from landfills and used high quality, lasting materials that originated or were manufactured within 500 miles whenever possible.
LED lighting now is employed in all areas of the church, and 95% of the new wing receives natural light, reducing the demand for artificial lighting. Energy efficient mechanical equipment with thermal control is reducing energy consumption in all spaces, and recycling has expanded to include paper, cardboard, glass, metals, and organics.
To reduce the church’s heat island effect, promote habitat, and provide critically needed green space in downtown, Westminster added green roofs, trees, and landscaped areas. New permeable pavers and sub-grade soils naturally cleanse rainwater and control the rate of water flow into storm drains, limiting erosion and reducing surface pollution.
A cutting-edge stormwater management system captures and stores rainwater and reuses it internally to flush toilets and externally for irrigation and to supply a stormwater demonstration fountain. Read more here.
In 2018, Westminster won two Minneapolis Downtown Improvement District Greening & Public Realm Awards: Best Small Green Space and Public Realm Improvement.