Eco-Notes from Environmental Ministries

Subscribe to Eco-Notes, the e-newsletter from Environmental Ministries that comes out approximately once a month.  Below is May's edition of Eco-Notes:

Earth Day Sunday in Review

Earth Day takes place each year on April 22. PC(USA) churches are encouraged to celebrate Earth Day Sunday the Sunday before or after Earth Day to remember the glory of God’s creation and to explore how we can serve as faithful stewards God’s earth. Earth care can be incorporated into worship all year – for ideas visit the Web of Creation.

Environmental Ministries has collected several stories about how churches celebrated Earth Day in 2010. We hope these stories inspire you to think of ways that your church can be involved in earth care. If your congregation ever wants to share a story about earth care, please email Katie Holmes. See what other churches around the country did to celebrate Earth Day at the National Council of Churches Eco-Justice Program website.

    • St. Andrews Presbyterian Church in Kilmarnock, Va., celebrated their second annual "Caring for Creation Sunday" with a worship service with a creation care theme, coffee hour prepared by the Caring for Creation Team, and a collection for recyclable electronic equipment and recyclable sneakers. The Caring for Creation Team advertised their upcoming field trip to a recyclables processing center and to a "Learning Barge" in the Elizabeth River.
    • Providence Presbyterian Church in Charlotte, N.C. held a prayer service on Earth Day. A paperless worship took place in the gleaning garden and included planting seeds as a response to scripture.
    • St. Mark Presbyterian Church in Newport Beach, Calif. celebrated Earth Day using the around the National Council of Churches Eco-Justice Program theme, “Sacred Spaces and an Abundant Life.” In addition to Earth Day worship services, the church announced the Parry Environmental Scholarship winners for upper division students pursuing studies in environmental studies, held an adult environmental forum, and held green activities for children.
    • First Presbyterian Church in Evanston, Ill. celebrated Creation Sunday with a creation care book giveaway. The church also held a household hazardous waste and electronic recycling event on May 1.
    • Geneva Presbyterian Church in Geneva, N.Y. celebrated Earth Day on Sunday by dedicating a new bike rack built by one of their members. This will serve as encouragement for members to bike to church.
    • North Como Presbyterian Church in Roseville, Minn. celebrated Earth Day Sunday with a Creation Care worship service. The church’s “Creation Care Commitment Pledge” was printed in the bulletin, church members were challenged to pledge one action to care for God’s creation, children were given lettuce plants to grow, and the congregation enjoyed a sustainable spaghetti supper.

Stewardship of the Land: A Christian Community Gathering

Please join us for a weekend retreat on May 21-23 at Bluestone Camp and Retreat near Hinton, W. Va. to encourage individuals and organizations to grow in faith and their commitment to earth care through fellowship and learning. The weekend will include workshops, discussions, outdoor activities, and worship that will inspire us to act as stewards of the land. At the event we will also commission young adults in the Eco-Stewards Program, who will have just completed a week-long training on ecological stewardship principles and practices in West Virginia. The keynote speaker for the event will be Joel Salatin, of Polyface Farms, a sustainable farmer who was featured in The Omnivore’s Dilemma by Michael Pollan and the documentary Food Inc. Learn more and register

Apply for an Energy Star for Congregations Award

The Environmental Protection Agency's Energy Star for Congregations Program offers awards for congregations that have reduced their energy usage.  If your church has increased energy efficiency over the past two years, you can apply to receive an Energy Star Congregations Award.  Find more information and applications on the Energy Star for Congregations website.  The application deadline for 2010 awards is June 1. Swarthmore Presbyterian Church in Swarthmore, PA was awarded an Energy Star Congregations Award in 2009.  Read about their increased energy efficiency. Energy Star for Congregations offers helpful resources for churches that are looking to decrease energy usage, including the Portfolio Manager tool that tracks your energy usage. 


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