The “Earth Care Congregation” program is designed to inspire congregations to care for God’s creation in a holistic way, integrating earth care into all facets of church life. This program grew out of the “Call to Restore the Creation,” part of a Resolution passed in 1990 by the 202nd General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church USA (PC-USA). Reflecting the intimate connection between a healthy environment and food production, the Earth Care Congregation program rests under the auspices of the Presbyterian Hunger Program.
In 2018, the Presbyterian Hunger Program certified 206 Earth Care Congregations, recognizing in each a commitment to take seriously God’s charge to “till and keep” the garden. Earth Care Congregations pledge to be humble and careful stewards of the earth, with conscious awareness of and deliberate attention toward earth care ministry in all church activities, including facilities, worship, education, and outreach.
The Social Justice Advocacy Committee at WPC has been working with many other committees of the church, including Administration & Property, Worship & Music, Adult Education, and Children and Youth, to prepare an application to PC-USA for first-year certification as an Earth Care Congregation. Together, we have thus far accomplished the following: (1) initiated the required audit of actions our church has taken to protect God’s creation; (2) obtained a professional assessment of our church’s energy use; (3) converted church lighting to efficient LED bulbs; (4) organized an adult education class, “Our Call to Care for Creation,” on three Sundays, October 7, 14, and 21, at 9:30 a.m.; (5) set up an exhibit in the display case near the library on the spiritual and practical aspects of caring for God’s magnificent creation on which we all depend.
If you have thoughts on how our church can be a better environmental steward, or if you simply have a passion for the restoration and care of God’s creation, please get in touch with Rutger Boerema (firstname.lastname@example.org) or Pamela Jensen (email@example.com).
For more information, please see www.pcusa.org/earth-care-congregations.
For audio series on our environment as it relates to our church, please click here