Oikonomos

AN ECO-STEWARDSHIP MINISTRY

“Oikonomos” (οἰκονόμος) is the Greek word for stewardship; and it is the name of a new initiative in ministry at Woodland which calls attention to our Christian responsibility (“stewardship”) to God’s earth. In 2021 Woodland will embark on an emphasis to develop a formal ministry of being stewards of God’s creation. If you have interest in this ministry, please contact Mike Massar.

Spiritual Rationale

Purpose: To heighten Woodland’s awareness of the spiritual responsibility of creation stewardship.

Strategy:

  1. Develop an Oikonomos Task Force that will direct the formation of the ministry with the hope that the task force will evolve into a standing committee of the church
  2. Educate by providing books, movies, and resources by which congregants can engage at their level of interest
  3. Involve through programs for children, youth, young adults (e.g. VBS, camps, etc.)
  4. Evangelize by sharing what we are doing in the community, hopefully piquing interest in our calling and sense of purpose

Oikonomos

An Eco-Stewardship Ministry Plan
2021-2022

“Oikonomos” (οἰκονόμος) is the Greek word for stewardship; and it is the name of a new initiative in ministry at Woodland which calls attention to our Christian responsibility (“stewardship”) to God’s earth. Woodland’s plan for creation stewardship in 2021-22 includes:

Immediate Initiatives

  1. Conduct an Energy Audit similar to the ENERGY STAR® Action Workbook for Congregations created by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.
  2. Green Campus Classification – Discover organizations that award institutions with special designations for being environmentally conscious in hopes that Woodland can work toward receiving recognition for being one of those campuses.
  3. Move to Virtual Committee Meetings – One of the things we’ve learned in the Pandemic is that we can hold meetings without having to burn energy by driving to the Church.
  4. Associate with “Build SA Green” and/or “Sustainable San Antonio” – The idea is to partner with these local organizations that have already made commitments to being environmentally conscious.
  5. Incorporate environmental lessons and activities in Children/Preschool Sunday School or Vacation Bible School. (See Below for Example.)
  6. Incorporate environmental emphases in youth Sunday night activities or VBS (See  Below for Example.)

Initiatives in Development

  1. Maintain the Woodland Garden through involvement of the international population as well as asking SS classes or groups to be involved in the garden’s maintenance.
  2. Host an Organic Market – The idea is for Woodland to host a monthly organic food market on our parking lot.
  3. Work with the Building & Grounds Committee to eliminate using materials that are harmful to the environment (e.g. Styrofoam, non-recyclable plastics, etc.).
  4. Become Better Stewards of Paper – Examine and implement ways to use less paper for reports and worship guides by using virtual technology
  5. Host a Meatless Food Feast where dishes are prepared to be sampled, accompanied by the recipe.
  6. Work with the Building and Grounds Committee to utilize rainwater barrels to water lawn and garden areas.
  7. Create a Monarch Way-Station near the garden where Woodland could provide support for the Monarch Butterfly migration.

Initiatives Under Study for Implementation in 2021-2022

  1. Develop the idea and reality of Woodland being a “food forest” where people can come to find food.
  2. Study the reality of “food deserts” – Examine the areas that are food deserts in San Antonio and develop a strategy to become active in ministries in those regions.
  3. Research the possibilities of clearing the invasive juniper species around the church campus.
  4. Indigenous Planting – Create a resource by which people in our area can landscape their properties with plants and grasses native to south Texas.
  5. Study the possibility of using solar energy to assist in providing power for the Church.
  6. Consider the possibility of using permeable paving for water infiltration.
  7. Consider partnering with Habitat for Humanity to plant trees — The city of San    Antonio will provide trees if we will be responsible for planting them. The proposal here is to plant trees for Habitat for Humanity homeowners.
  8. Consider hosting a Ducks Unlimited or similar organization for a wild game meal with accompanying lecture on the importance of managing the environment for the preservation of fish and wildlife.
  9. Host a regular forum with speakers presenting programs on various issues of environmental stewardship (e.g. landscaping with plants that attract pollinators, food forests, food deserts, etc.