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.
One of many initiatives begun by the Environmental Stewardship Task Force of the church began on a small scale last spring by designating a “Bike to Church Sunday.” In addition to the environmental benefits, we felt that this might help relieve what is routinely a very congested parking situation on Sunday mornings. The Borough of Swarthmore promotes biking and there are clearly identified street markings as well as good bike parking areas in the community.
In addition to announcements in the monthly newsletter and weekly emails, we tagged two of our most active, committed cycling advocates to staff a table during coffee hour for a couple of Sundays to promote the idea. Our “Bike Talk” guys were equipped with maps, colorful displays, and literature on local bike trails, bike shops, and the like.
Ironically, the Sunday chosen for this “event” turned out to be a dreary rainy one – not particularly good either for biking or walking. The silver lining to those rainclouds, however, is that what started as a particular Sunday designated for biking, walking, or carpooling, quickly became an every Sunday (weather permitting) effort.
At various church entrances, there are signs and a supply of bike, walk, and carpool stickers inviting those who biked, walked, or carpooled to church to proudly wear stickers identifying them as green stewards. They have been particularly popular with parents and young children.
SPC continually provides education and other opportunities to help promote environmentally friendly activities. This is just one example.