Team helps church be ‘green’

by Joni Astrup
Associate editor
Union Church in Elk River became an “earthwise congregation” in 2009 in response to a challenge at the United Church of Christ conference.
The church’s Green Team has been implementing a lot of initiatives.
They include:
•Having an earth-centered worship service.
•Eliminating all Styrofoam cups and using biodegradable paper cups instead.
•Using silverware rather than plastic utensils.
•Replacing plastic stir straws with bamboo.
•Intalling a rain barrel.
•Composting garbage through the city’s organics recycling program. This enabled the church to get rid of its garbage dumpster and replace it with a smaller container.
•Being a drop-off site for church members to recycle batteries, cell phones and ink cartridges.
•Sending out the monthly newsletter electronically rather than on paper.
•Designating a day for people to walk, ride or run to church.
•Having a seminary professor lead a discussion on eco injustice.
•Using only recycled office paper and recycling all used paper.
Green Team members are Linda Zupon, Karen Sherper Rohs, Marilyn Schroeder, Edi Apelt, Kris Anderson and Andy Oman.
Why have a Green Team? “As stewards of God’s creation, part of it is taking care of the earth,” said Sherper Rohs.
Rebacca Haug, environmental administrator for the city of Elk River, said the city of is proud of the green initiatives Union Church has taken.
“These initiatives are just another example of the impact Elk River being Energy City has on the community,” Haug said. “They are helping Elk River be ‘Powered by Nature’ through their sustainable actions.”
For more information on Union Church’s green initiatives, go to and click on Earthwise.