Church Earth Care stories
Many Presbyterian churches are making environmental stewardship part of their ministry through worship, education, facilities and outreach projects that respond to our call to till and keep the garden. If your church has a story to share, please email it to Rebecca Barnes-Davies.
For more church earth care stories, please visit the Eco-Journey blog.
Orchard Park Presbyterian Church, Indianapolis, Indiana
Cindy Muse, of Orchard Park Presbyterian Church, submitted the following story about her congregation’s journey to earth care:
Caring for Creation at Orchard Park Presbyterian Church, Indianapolis, Indiana, began with recycling. First, we started bringing our newspapers and magazines to church and received monies for our “trash.” (We like those revenue generators.) Next, it was recycling soda cans and water bottles consumed at church. Then, we placed recycling bins in our kitchen and office for plastics and cardboard. And just recently, we constructed a recycling and mission center, asking the congregation to save shoes for Haiti, food for a local food pantry, corks, inkjet cartridges, cell phones, etc. Some of the recyclables generate revenue; others do not. But all of the items collected demonstrate Orchard Park’s care for God’s creation.
First Presbyterian Church, Tallahassee, Florida
First Presbyterian Church in Tallahassee, Florida, made the decision to install solar panels and go carbon neutral in 2007 in response to the 2006 General Assembly resolution urging all Presbyterians to become carbon neutral. Read more about the church’s projects in an article by Pam McVety, Stewardship of Creation enabler for the Florida Presbytery.
Frame Presbyterian Church, Steven's Point, Wisconsin
Frame Presbyterian Church in Steven’s Point, Wisconsin, started participating in the Season of Creation in 2006. The Season of Creation occurs for six weeks in the fall when the congregation explores our role in nature from a faith perspective. The Rev. Susan Gilbert Zencka explains that the time is a “liturgically faithful experience that hopes to help our people better understand the Bible as a nature-based text and aims to connect people more spiritually with the world our God has made.” In addition to celebrating the Season of Creation, the church has started using a practice-based creation care Christian education curriculum for children.
The Tillotson Building, Village Presbyterian Church, Prairie Village, Kansas
The Tillotson Building, which houses the food pantry and clothes bank at Village Presbyterian Church in Prairie Village, Kansas, was built using sustainable design techniques. These include high efficiency lighting, refrigeration, heating and cooling; increased use of natural lighting; a demonstration photovoltaic array that provides solar electricity and opportunities for public education; interior finishes that do not contain harmful VOCs; heat reflective roofing and water efficient systems, including a rain garden and sub drainage system to return rainwater to the ground.