We are a Green Chalice Church


Our efforts at Woodland have been a learning and diverse mission to care for God’s Earth.  From planting our gardens with native and pollinator plants to using our sturdy dishware and silverware, Woodland has long been “green” before the official Green Chalice movement.  Members even made regular trips to Lexington’s recycling center before there were Rosie containers for home and business use.


The Green Chalice movement began in 2007 when Greg Alexander, our Disciples of Christ Regional Minister, called a meeting for anyone interested in creation care to attend (Indianapolis).  Rev. Carol Devine along with Woodland members represented central Kentucky.  This core group chose the name, “Green Chalice” that would become the Disciples of Christ movement to care for the environment.  The Alverna* Covenant was adopted as the guiding principle.  It helped establish goals for congregations to become officially recognized as a Green Chalice church.  Rev. Devine became the Green Chalice Minister, overseeing the process for churches to gain the Green Chalice designation and creating the Green Chalice newsletter.  In 2011, Green Chalice became a denomination-wide program as part of the Disciples Home Mission.  Woodland became a Green Chalice congregation soon after that.  In 2012, we were named a “Gimme 5 Local Hero” by the national company that uses #5Plastics to manufacture new products under the brand “Preserve”.

Becoming Certified

As congregations make three changes in their church practices, they are encouraged to work toward becoming a ‘Certified’ Green Chalice church.  This new level of creation care involves making changes in all areas of the church’s life, including building and grounds, education, worship, and practices.  After two years of diligent efforts, Woodland earned the ‘Certified’ designation in 2015.

We continue our care for creation, collecting 400 pounds of plastic lids, enough to have two benches made from them!  Using Fair Trade coffee, cloth napkins, non-toxic cleaners, organic weed control, installing CFL light-bulbs, and having a bicycle rack made (from old bike parts) are some of the ways Woodland combines our faith, spiritual practice, and awareness of the environment.

Our congregation encourages and provides opportunities for all who walk through our doors to walk more gently on the earth by providing recycling bins on the main floor.  This center collects plastics that the Rosies do not accept.  These include #5plastic (check the # on the bottom of containers) and lids/caps (#2, #4, and #5), as well as used ink cartridges.

*History of the Alverna Covenant

The Alverna Covenant was written by members of the Task Force on Christian Lifestyle & Ecology of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) while meeting at the Alverna Retreat Center, a Franciscan retreat in Indianapolis, Indiana.  The name has added significance.  Alverna is named for Mt. Alverna in Italy, the mountain retreat given to Francis of Assisi.  Francis is honored for his concern and relatedness of all creation.  the 800th anniversary of Francis’ birth was celebrated in 1981, the year the Alverna Covenant was first introduced at the General Assembly of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ).


Recycling Updates

  • West Sixth Brewing in Lexington now accepts the plastic cover/lids from 6-packs (not the loop holders!).  They have partnered with a company that grinds them up and makes new covers.  West Sixth also uses the covers to do art projects!  Just take your covers to the bar for now until a drop-off bin is in place.  Jefferson & West 6th Streets.
  • Mayor Linda Gorton has given the go-ahead to hire Resource Recycling Systems to make recommendations for over-hauling Lexington’s recycling program.  RRS consultants are experts in recycling who have worked with many cities and corporations to improve their recycling programs.  Lexington is already in negotiations with two paper recycling mills that are being built in the state.  The City is also looking into purchasing ‘advanced glass recycling machinery’.  Mayor Gorton said in the Herald-Leader that “the recycling staff works hard, but they can’t possibly overcome an inadequate facility, equipment that’s outdated and markets that have changed.  We need a good plan to move forward.”  Let’s hope that a plan is forthcoming soon along with the paper mills.  Hopefully that guilty feeling won’t last long every time we put our paper in the trash!
  • Plastic lids fill up Woodland’s recycling bin fast.  That’s great.  However, now that school is out for the summer, we have no place to send them (sound familiar?).  For now, please store our lids until August when school starts up again or take them to Good Foods Co-op on Southland Drive next to Habitat’s Restore.
  • If you have #5 plastics (including #5 lids), please take them to Whole Foods in the Summit (Nicholasville Road).  There is a special Preserve container just inside the door.  Since other groups use the church and may be dropping off their plastic.
Woodland is a wonderful example of how “it takes a village” to care for God’s creation.  Next, can we think about how to reduce single-use plastics?
Everything the Lord does is right.
With love he takes care of all he has made.
– Psalm 147:1