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.
In 2013, three Presbyterian congregations were accepted as new applicants to the GreenFaith Certification Program (joining GreenFaith “graduates” Trinity Presbyterian Church in East Brunswick, NJ and Christ Presbyterian Church in Martinsville, NJ). Veteran PCUSA Earth Care Congregation Bardstown Road Presbyterian Church was among this new class of the GreenFaith Certification Program. Through the PCUSA-GreenFaith partnership, Bardstown Road will receive recertification as an Earth Care Congregation while fully participating in GreenFaith’s program.
Bardstown Road Presbyterian Church in Louisville, KY was one of the original pilot congregations for the PCUSA Earth Care Congregation program when it started 5 years ago. They recently hosted a church retreat at the local presbytery camp and hosted conversations about caring for creation. They continue to have conversations with city government about converting some of their parking to permeable pavement. In addition, they have decided that in order to rejuvenate their congregation’s ministry with God’s creation, they will enroll in GreenFaith’s Certification program. Eleven members of the church signed onto a Commitment Form in order to oversee leadership activities for a period of two years. These activities include creating a mission statement, attending educational webinars, incorporating new earth care resources, partnering with environmental organizations and religious institutions of different traditions, and completing audits and action plans for environmental justice.
Earth care team member Bill Bowman says, "We at BRP are excited about the GreenFaith certification program because we feel it will encourage us to enter into some areas of environmental issues that we haven't addressed before. We also plan to educate the entire congregation on the issues we study."