In Greening Spaces for Worship and Ministry, Mark Torgerson asserts that greening the built environment of a congregation is a powerful way to achieve and model a commitment to creation care. Green building involves designing and constructing in ways that are environmentally, economically, and socially responsible. The approach considers dimensions of a project from its inception and its re-use or demise, through both initial design choices and gradual, systematic upgrades to existing facilities.
In part 1, Torgenson explores both Jewish and Christian traditions and theology regarding creation and its care, the interdependence of human and non-human creation, and humanity responsibility to steward God's creation. He also guides congregations in creating creation-care consciousness by examining in education and worship settings our lifestyle and environmental footprint.
In part 2, Torgenson first outlines issues involved in designing, constructing, and maintaining buildings. He then reviews the work of ten congregations--five that carried out new construction; three, renovation or expansion; and two, historic preservation--with differing climates, energy sources, building materials, congregational sizes, and economic circumstances. Finally, he addresses in detail ways to develop land, building shell, and interior environments, enabling congregations to share their beliefs and values throughout the wider community.