Churches throughout the Presbytery of West Virginia have been strengthening their commitment to act as stewards of God’s earth through the “Churches As Guardians of Creation” program, which was launched by the Stewardship of Creation Ministry Team in March 2010. “Churches As Guardians Of Creation: Take 10 Steps in 2010” urges churches to live faithfully through environmental stewardship. To date, seven churches in the presbytery and the Presbytery itself have taken at least 10 steps as guardians of creation and have earned the certificate for the program. Congratulations to these 7 churches and the presbytery and we thank you for their commitment to earth care!
Below are some of the actions that West Virginia churches have taken. Thank you to the Stewardship of Creation Ministry Team for their innovative program and for submitting the following write up:
Beechwood Presbyterian Church, Parkersburg
Beechwood Presbyterian Church has completed more than 10 steps. A few of their creative ideas are using non-toxic cleaning supplies, landscaping with native plants, and doing an Earth Sunday worship service. They have also done an energy audit.
First Presbyterian Church, Hinton
First Presbyterian Church, Hinton, not only recycles everything possible, but they have also implemented cloth towels in the rest rooms, purchased recycled office paper at a savings over regular paper, and checked all their doors and windows to keep out the cold!
First Presbyterian Church, Huntington
Among the many environmentally friendly steps First PC, Huntington have taken, were exchanging their old air conditioning and ice making systems for energy efficient ones. Also, they have taken intentional steps to becoming a "paperless" congregation: they use e-mail and web-based communications whenever possible, and they reduce their bulletin size by using a big screen projection system instead of bulletin inserts; their newsletter is now entirely electronic.
Summersville Presbyterian Church
Summersville Presbyterian Church is doing many things to care for creation. Some of their unique actions are fitting the furnace with two GMX units (a device attached to the furnace that helps the gas burn more efficiently and save money); a book, newspaper, and magazine sharing center; and offering “green” cooking classes with locally grown produce.
Kanawha United Presbyterian Church
Kanawha United Presbyterian Church is doing many things to care for creation. Some of their unique actions are the elementary and middle school age Sunday school classes on ecology and social justice, using curriculum written by Chris Rogillio, Director of Christian Education, and the study ReNew: The Green VBS. They have also installed an energy-efficient water heater and have helped build raised garden beds at an assisted living community.
Presbytery of West Virginia, Sherri Walker
One of the many steps taken in the Presbytery Office is plugging all of the printers, computers and chargers into power strips and shutting them off at night. This decreases the consumption of what is called “vampire energy” – energy used while appliances and electronics are in passive or stand-by mode. Thank you for your leadership, Sherri!
First Presbyterian Church, Charleston
First Presbyterian, Charleston, has already completed more than 10 steps. A creative idea they have done is the children have planted container gardens for the local food pantry. Eating locally-grown food saves transportation energy and is very healthy. What a great idea for mission!
Highlawn Presbyterian Church, Huntington
Highlawn PC, Huntington not only recycles everything possible, but they have also built a Habitat for Humanity house, in honor of their late pastor, The Rev. Mark McCalla. This home has Energy Star appliances and energy efficient features.