“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.
AN ECO-STEWARDSHIP MINISTRY
Purpose: To heighten Woodland’s awareness of the spiritual responsibility of creation stewardship.
- 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
- Educate by providing books, movies, and resources by which congregants can engage at their level of interest
- Involve through programs for children, youth, young adults (e.g. VBS, camps, etc.)
- Evangelize by sharing what we are doing in the community, hopefully piquing interest in our calling and sense of purpose
An Eco-Stewardship Ministry Plan
“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:
- Conduct an Energy Audit similar to the ENERGY STAR® Action Workbook for Congregations created by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- Incorporate environmental lessons and activities in Children/Preschool Sunday School or Vacation Bible School. (See Below for Example.)
- Incorporate environmental emphases in youth Sunday night activities or VBS (See Below for Example.)
Initiatives in Development
- 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.
- Host an Organic Market – The idea is for Woodland to host a monthly organic food market on our parking lot.
- Work with the Building & Grounds Committee to eliminate using materials that are harmful to the environment (e.g. Styrofoam, non-recyclable plastics, etc.).
- Become Better Stewards of Paper – Examine and implement ways to use less paper for reports and worship guides by using virtual technology
- Host a Meatless Food Feast where dishes are prepared to be sampled, accompanied by the recipe.
- Work with the Building and Grounds Committee to utilize rainwater barrels to water lawn and garden areas.
- 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
- Develop the idea and reality of Woodland being a “food forest” where people can come to find food.
- 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.
- Research the possibilities of clearing the invasive juniper species around the church campus.
- Indigenous Planting – Create a resource by which people in our area can landscape their properties with plants and grasses native to south Texas.
- Study the possibility of using solar energy to assist in providing power for the Church.
- Consider the possibility of using permeable paving for water infiltration.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.