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.
At Trinity Presbyterian Church in McKinney, TX, a small group study initiated by the Creation Care Team has led to changing individual lives and family lifestyle choices. A group of 10 families gathered to work through David Gershon’s Green Living Handbook over a period of 4 months.
The purpose of this four month study was to help people understand creation care, change their hearts and become more mindful of their daily habits and ultimately start to do things in a more sustainable way at home, work and church. Whether it is a question of water consumption, energy use, consumer habits, or mindful decision-making, participants report that this experience has encouraged their care for God's creation.
Laurie Jay, the Creation Care team leader at Trinity, says, "my hope is that those who participated will perhaps reach out to friends, family and neighbors as well as other churches to conduct the same study and that it will extend farther out into our community." She recommends the Green Living Handbook, an illustrated workbook that walks readers step-by-step through a comprehensive lifestyle transformation program that has proven it can get results. In their group, there were some people who already did a great deal of the recommended activities and others who were awakened in a new way to the many things they can do to participate in creation care.
One family reports doubling the amount of recyclables each week (with a corresponding drop in trash collected), increasing hand towel use by 50% (rather than paper towels), cutting out junk mail, idling 50% less, and buying green cleaning products for a first time. Another participant reports using less water by much fewer dishwasher and clothes washer cycles, changing the thermostat by 3 degrees to conserve energy both day and night, and planning on future energy efficient purchases.
We give thanks for the participants at Trinity Presbyterian McKinney, and for the good they are doing, at church and at home, for God's earth!