Constructing a New Church with an Environmental Identity

Christ Church in Rockwall, TX, is a church plant of Wilshire Baptist Church in Dallas.  This new Baptist community is about 23 miles east of Dallas.  It is affiliated with the Baptist General Convention of Texas and the Cooperative Baptist Fellowship.  Christ Church seeks to be a progressive voice in a region with numerous, surrounding conservative religious voices.  The church began in October 2006 in Pastor Andrew Daugherty's house and has since gathered for worship at Grace Hartman Elementary School.  Plans for the construction of a permanent facility are in the works and RENEWAL might play a part in the development of not only Christ Church's new building, but their congregational identity as well.

Pastor Andrew screened portions of the film to a small but diverse audience.  Andrew recognized that they would all be open to screening the film but that after the screening, they were most concerned with how to take next steps and what these next steps should be.  Andrew stated that the audience was most receptive to the GreenFaith segment because of the practical ideas and actions that it illustrated.  Moreover, in thinking about how to effectively screen the film in churches of different beliefs and values, the audience, including Andrew, agreed that this is the most appropriate segment with which to start a viewing because it avoids the use of intense theological language that characterizes the opening evangelical mountaintop removal segment.  Interestingly, Andrew's audience felt a kinship to the church in GreenFaith even though they are of a different denomination and in a drastically different geographical location.

Christ Church's lack of a permanent facility obviously hampers many of their potential activities.  However, as they move forward with plans to build, Andrew mentioned that they were even considering using solar panels before watching RENEWAL.  Now they are considering many green building options that could save them money in construction or the long run.  Beyond the ideas for his own congregation, Andrew will be attending the climate project training seminar lead by Al Gore in Nashville, TN.  He will be required to give ten presentations throughout the year and plans on integrating RENEWAL into them as well.

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