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The Five Leaf Eco-Awards

The Five Leaf Eco-Awards are a pilot awards program for churches and religious bodies that provides recognition for their environmental achievements.

It encourages faith communities to be more efficient in helping the environment and to play a more effective role in social change towards sustainability. It provides examples of what is possible, and a framework of steps to work towards and to allow comparison with other communities to enable exchange of knowledge and experiences.

“We believe that Creation Care is a core Christian responsibility”

The program aims to:

  • Make ecologically friendly churches the norm
  • Provide support to evolving eco-churches
  • Provide a system that is flexible enough to allow and encourage creative approaches and extensions of the basic program.
  • Encourage fellowship by providing a common goal with reachable targets and recognisable achievement.

In addition to the Basic Certificate, the Advanced Level has five areas or ‘leaves’ of awards. The first four leaves can be achieved by completing the requirements of any of the first four areas: Eco-Church buildings, Eco-Worship, Eco-Congregation, and Eco-Outreach. The final area, Five Leaf, extends and challenges the church community to become a ‘Green Church’ in the sense of being environmentally friendly over these categories, demonstrating positive influence in the wider community for sustainability, and showing constant improvement of environmental practices.

The program is currently supported by the Justice and International Mission Unit of the Synod of Victoria and Tasmania within the Uniting Church in Australia.

Mission Statement:
“To bring people closer to God by bringing them into a right and faithful relationship with creation as its appointed stewards.”                                                                                                                                                                  

Important Lessons from the Bible

Why Jesus came:
"that the world might be saved through him"
John 3:17

Who Jesus is going to use to save the world:
"For the creation waits with eager longing for the revealing of the sons of God."
Romans 8:19

Our role on earth:
"The LORD God put the man in the Garden of Eden to take care of it and to look after it."
Genesis 2:15

The Five Pillars of A Christian Theology of Sustainability

1. God is the creator, sustainer and redeemer of creation.

2. Covenantal Stewardship (we have a covenant with God as stewards of the earth).

3. The creation-fall-redemption paradigm (God made a good world; human failure broke the relationships between god, man and creation; Christ provides hope for all creation).

4.Bodily resurrection(we will rise with bodies, not as spirits)

5.New Creation (a new Heaven and new Earth refers to a renewal and an earthing of heaven, not starting over).

Adapted from When Enough is Enough: A Christian Framework for Environmental Sustainability, Edited by R.J. Berry, Published by Inter-Varsity Press, 2007, Nottingham p43+