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Today in the Mission Yearbook

What’s the hot car to drive to an earth care conference? It’s electric!


Presbyterians drive their all-electric cars to Stony Point, find they can charge up on-site

September 9, 2019

From Sept. 1 to Oct. 4, Christians around the world celebrate the Season of Creation. Some pray, some do hands-on projects, some advocate. It’s powerfully good work that’s urgently needed.

Dennis Hartwig of High Point, N.J., watches as Mark Eakin of Silver Spring, Md., unplugs his Nissan Leaf after a full charge at Stony Point Center. (Photo by Rich Copley)

Mark Eakin and Dennis Hartwig met at the recent Presbyterians for Earth Care National Conference — but not the way conference attendees usually meet. Eakin and Hartwig met while getting a fill-up on the grounds of the conference venue, Stony Point Center.

While most of the cars in the parking lot at the center had to stop at a gas station when they hit the road home, both Eakin and Hartwig simply pulled up to a building at the back of the property and plugged in.

Hartwig commuted to the conference from his home in High Point, New Jersey, in his Hyundai Ioniq, while Eakin, his wife and another member of National Capital Presbytery made the 250-mile drive from Silver Spring, Maryland, in a Nissan Leaf — both vehicles that rely completely on electric power.

But isn’t 250 miles a bit long for a Leaf, which is listed with a 150-mile range?

Both Eakin and Hartwig admit to “range anxiety” for longer trips, particularly if they are heading to areas that are not as electric-car friendly as, say, the densely populated East Coast.

Eakin says he has to be strategic plotting out his trips, particularly to find rapid charging stations that will fill up his battery in under an hour. He uses a website called, which lets him put in start and end points as well as the model of his car and gives him an ideal route with charging stations along the way.

Both men laud the economic and maintenance advantages of their cars, such as no oil changes.

“I forget what gas prices are,” said Eakin, whose great desire is an all-wheel-drive electric that is not $80,000 to $100,000, the asking price for an all-wheel-drive Tesla. Then he could unload his pickup truck and really kick fossil fuels to the curb.

In addition to the electric cars, their homes are solar powered, with a little wind added for Eakin. So when they charge at home, the cars are still on green energy.

“I’ve made my carbon footprint, and I’m not going to live long enough to reverse the damage I’ve done,” Hartwig said. “But at least I can help the next generation.”

 Rich Copley, Communications Strategist, Presbyterian Mission Agency

Today’s Focus:  Earth Care Conference

Let us join in prayer for: 

PC(USA) Agencies’ Staff
Betsy Ensign-George, Presbyterian Women
Gina Espiritusanto, Presbyterian Mission Agency

Let us pray:

We confess to you, Creator God, that at times we have trod too heavily upon your earth. We know that some of the damage we have done we cannot undo, but we ask for wisdom and for life long enough to work to turn the tide for the generations to come. Amen.