The best Catholic resources for reaching young adults

Composting Church

By | Step by Step | Posted on April 11, 2014

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Composting Church “Compost sign” image by Kristy Hall licensed under Creative Commons “Attribution 2.0” http://www.flickr.com/photos/fragiletender/

Description: Invite young adults and even your entire parish to join you in a composting project this summer. There are options to make this simple or even a little more hands-on. Pick the entry level that is right for you and begin caring for God’s creation by composting your food scraps.

Get Ready

  • Prep Time: Begin planning and publicity one month before you begin your composting project.
  • Volunteers Needed: Depending on the level of complexity you choose you’ll need as few as three to as many as 10 volunteers. No matter the level, you should ask at least one young adult to fill the role of “communicator” — tasked with publicity and updating social media or other communication outlets with updates on the project. Also, one volunteer should take the lead on the “Composting Church Kickoff” gathering (details in the Make It Happen section below).
  • Supplies: For the simplest level of composting, you’ll need a few plastic storage bins or garbage bins and trash bags to transport your compost to a local farm or compost drop-off center. For more advanced composting — or starting to compost on your church grounds — you’ll need a composting bin or designated space for your compost pile (it’s generally suggested if you aren’t using a bin to build a simple raised wooden bed; twigs and straw for a first layer; green and brown leaves for a second; a shovel or other garden tool to mix the compost; hand wipes or paper towels; rubber gloves and gardening gloves are a good idea, too. For the Composting Church Kickoff gathering — handouts with details about the composting, fresh fruit and water for snacks, a small bin or garbage can marked “COMPOST” to collect your food scraps, a sign-up sheet for volunteers.
  • Reserve the Space: You should reserve a comfortable space at the parish for the “Composting Church Kickoff” event that will serve as part information session and part demonstration. If you are planning to composite on site at your parish or in someone’s yard, make arrangements for that.
  • Ideal Group Size: This program idea will work for any size group. You may wish to invite the entire parish to join you in the project or start with the young adult group and then grow over time.
  • Who is this for? All young adults.
  • When is a good time for this? Hold your “Composting Church Kickoff” at a time that seems to be most convenient for young adults, possibly right after a Mass popular with young adults.
  • Publicize the Program:
    • One month before you begin composting put an announcement in the parish bulletin, parish or young adult ministry website, your regular social media outlets, and any other venues you use to communicate with young adults.
    • When you’ve settled on a kickoff event date, publicize that as well.
    • Report on your progress as you go along. Share photos and updates about the Composting Church program on your parish or young adult ministry website and social media pages like Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. Encourage participants to share their personal reflections or insights.

Prayer for Program Planner: God of all creation, you call us to live in community not only with fellow humans, but also with the animals, plants, water, and land that surround us. Help us to understand our responsibility to nurture and care for creation. May this composting project make us more mindful of your creation and our tendency to waste. Amen.

Community Building: Young adults who participate in this project as the leaders/volunteers will have time to build community as they work together. You might consider some of the suggestions in the Ideas section below for young adult gatherings related to composting or the broader theme of caring for creation.

Step by Step

About the Author

Barbara Wheeler-Bride

Barbara Wheeler-Bride is Editor-in-Chief of Busted Halo® and Young Adult Ministry in a Box. After graduating from college, Barbara was part of a young adult volunteer program that blended service, faith, and social justice. This experience led her to pursue a career in the nonprofit sector. Before arriving at Busted Halo® Barbara was editor-in-chief of Response, the magazine of United Methodist Women, and oversaw an award-winning redesign that targeted a younger demographic. At Busted Halo® Barbara combines her skills in writing, editing, and communications with a passion for inviting young adults to reconnect with their faith. Barbara is active in the young adult ministry at her own church in New York City.

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