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Eco-Journey is the blog of the Environmental Ministries Office of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.). It includes a wide array of environmental topics: upcoming environmental events, links to interesting articles and studies, information on environmental advocacy, eco-theology topics, and success stories from churches that are going “green.”

Author Rebecca Barnes is the Associate for Environmental Ministries at the PC(USA). She is a graduate of Louisville Presbyterian Theological Seminary with an MDiv and Master of Arts in Religion (MAR) dual degree.

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May 25, 2012

Stewardship Resources for Church Facilities

Last week, I had a good conversation with a faithful Presbyterian who was interested in helping his congregation think through good stewardship of the church facility--in ways that make both economic and environmental sense.


Caring for God's creation comes out in our worship, our daily lives, our educational efforts, and our outreach and witness in the world. It also shows up in our concrete decisions about our church buildings.


I thought I would post here the resources (developed by the National Council of Churches' Eco-Justice Program) that I shared with this local Presbyterian. May they be a blessing in ...

May 21, 2012

Continued preparations for the Rio +20 United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development

Next month at this time, the Rio+20 United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development will be in full swing (June 20-22, 2012). I will be posting blog (and/or facebook) updates "from the field" as we learn more about what governments, NGOs, and the religious community will commit to doing around eco-justice and sustainability. I will be part of the World Council of Churches' delegation to this global gathering and look forward to sharing with you from Rio.


In advance of that, I wanted to share with you how the preparations are proceeding in advance of the actual conference. I ...

May 18, 2012

Reflection on Women's Stories from the MTR and Climate Change Tribunal last week

The Central Appalachian Women’s Tribunal on Climate Justice on May 10, 2012 was a powerful and meaningful event of local women lifting up their voices and engaging in action to protect the health and integrity of their families, their communities, and their land. I was honored and energized to be in this gathering of powerful grassroots advocates who are working hard to take care of the things they love. The speakers and leaders of this event were local residents who shared their personal stories of witnessing to the devastating effects of Mountaintop Removal (MTR) Coal Mining in their homeland of Appalachia. Some of these local women have won prestigious awards, gained national recognition, and/or been interviewed in documentaries for their great efforts. They come from a four state area: TN, WV, VA, and KY.


These women’s lives have been drastically impacted by MTR and I was convicted and inspired by their stories. Hearing their testimonies, I am ever more committed to continue to pray and work for an end to the destructive practice of MTR that is damaging this part of God’s creation. I hope you will join me in these efforts, both from reading these glimpses of local residents’ stories and from knowing our biblical, theological, and denomination mandate to care for God’s creation.

May 9, 2012

Forest Hill Presbyterian Church celebrates Earth Day

Presbyterian congregations all across the country have been caring for God's creation in their worship life, educational programs, facilities, and outreach. For many this is an ongoing part of their Christian vocation lived out in the world and it happens year-round.


Earth Day (April 22) is a special day to reflect about why we care as Christians about eco-justice. While not a religious holiday, Earth Day this year fell on a Sunday and church communities had something to say about it! Whether using the Earth Day Sunday materials developed ecumenically each year (through the National Council of Churches), or ...

May 7, 2012

Webinar on Earth Care Congregations and Environmental Education

The Earth Care Congregations (ECC) program will be a featured segment in a live national "webinar" on Tuesday, May 8, at 4 p.m. Eastern time.

 William Seaman, from the Earth Ministry Team of Montreat Presbyterian Church (a certified PCUSA Earth Care Congregation), has been invited to be a co-presenter and will be giving a case study of how the ECC program reflects excellence in its content and process. Much of his material comes from the national Presbyterian guidebook for the process and from his own experience at Montreat Presbyterian Church.

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