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About this blog

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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Posts with tag: climate change

May 11, 2016

Coal Terminal Victory

written by Gary Payton, Presbyterian attendee of the Paris COP21 and active in regional and Presbyterian environmental concerns


In an historic decision on Monday, May 9th, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers denied necessary permits for the proposed Gateway Pacific Terminal, a coal export facility located at Cherry Point, Washington. The Army Corps agreed with the Lummi Nation that building a 48 million ton per year coal terminal would have adverse impacts upon the Lummi Nation's fishing rights and way of life.  By denying permits for the largest proposed coal export terminal in North America, Army Corps upheld ...

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October 22, 2015

St. Francis of Assisi Celebration at Parroquia San Jose

Rev. Neddy Astudillo regularly incorporates caring for all creation in worship at Parroquia San Jose, a Lutheran and PCUSA congregation in Beloit, WI. This fall, the congregation included a celebration of Saint Francis of Assisi. Neddy writes, "We had a rehabilitated pelican at church. He came to talk to us about Climate change and storms, like the one that through him off course (Katrina), and made him end up in Illinois. He was wounded enough to have a wing amputated, but is now a teacher and such an amazing presence wherever he goes!"


rehabilitated pelican at church for an earth care worship service



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July 14, 2015

Teen Green Lawn Care Service

Noah Wilding


Noah Wilding is a rising sophomore at Trinity High School who is fully committed to ending climate change.  He is operating a totally green lawn care business.  He has a solar panel for charging his electric mower, trimmer, and weedwacker, and he rides his bike to his mowing jobs, pulling his equipment in a cart behind him. Bill Young is a retired research scientist and is a volunteer in the PC(USA) Environmental Ministries office. Both Bill and Noah are members of the Earth Care Team at their home congregation, Crescent Hill Presbyterian Church in Louisville, Kentucky. CHPC is one ...

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July 29, 2014

White House Report on Cost of Delaying Action on Climate Change

The White House Council of Environmental Quality has just released a report "The Cost of Delaying Action to Stem Climate Change." It reports that delaying policy actions increases mitigation costs and risks economic damage. 




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July 8, 2014

Trinity Presbyterian in Santa Cruz Installs Solar

 Trinity PC Santa Cruz rooftop solar panels

Members at Trinity Presbyterian Church in Santa Cruz, CA, decided to take the leap of faith and apply for a loan to install solar panels on their church building. In an article about stewardship for the church newsletter, church member Russ Hobbs wrote about "solar coming to Trinity" as a brainstorm that began with replacing styrofoam cups with washable ones. As church members brainstormed the many ways they could care better for God's creation, after talking about water conservation and replacing styrofoam, they came upon the idea of solar panels and decided to explore it.


Hobbs wrote this about ...

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March 19, 2014

Montreat Presbyterian Church Goes to National Climatic Data Center

Montreat Presbyterian Church

Tour and Brown-bag Seminar at National Climatic Data Center

Asheville, North Carolina
March 21, 2014

“NOAA's National Climatic Data Center is responsible for preserving, monitoring, assessing, and providing public access to the Nation's treasure of climate and historical weather data and information.” This one sentence does not begin to describe the wealth of programs and the global scope of the Center’s work, nor explain their relevance to contemporary issues concerning atmosphere, weather and climate. See website


This trip to the National Climatic Data Center (NCDC) is organized by the ...

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February 5, 2014

News Spotlight on Youth introducing Overture on Fossil Fuels to Twin Cities presbytery

Reposting the below article from Presbyterian News Services, by Karen Larson: (For the original source, click here.)


Youth inspire overture calling for fossil fuel divestment

Their ‘own futures are at stake,’ high schoolers convince Twin Cities Area

Karen Larson, Special to Presbyterian News Service

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January 27, 2014

Preach-In resources available for Feb 14

Valentine’s Day Preach-In on Climate Change


Over one thousand congregations and 350,000 people of faith are expected to participate in Interfaith Power & Light’s National Preach-In on Climate Change this Valentine’s Day weekend. The theme of the 2014 Preach-In is "Doing our Part", and congregations all over the country will be doing their part by using energy more efficiently and greening their facilities to help curb climate change and protect our children's future. The Preach-In comes just as the EPA prepares to implement first-ever limits on carbon pollution from power plants. Clergy and lay people will ...

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October 22, 2013

First Presbyterian (Oak Ridge, TN) cares for God's creation

First Presbyterian Church (Oak Ridge, TN) cares about God's creation and acts to show it in a variety of ways. In their worship life, educational offerings, outreach activities, and in their buildings and grounds, this congregation operates with an earth care ethic as part of their Christian discipleship.



Photo from: Young family of active environmentalists are excited to see their church caring for God's creation, especially as they think about the future for their infant.


From hosting a potluck of foods made with local ingredients to inviting a nationally-recognized climate change speaker to their community, this ...

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August 30, 2013

Earth Care Congregation Saint James stands with Lummi Nation

Saint James Presbyterian Church (Bellingham, WA) voted to protect the environment, curb climate change, and stand in solidarity with the Lummi Nation whose lands are at risk of being developed for a new coal terminal.The Mission and Social Action Committee felt called to take a position and the church signed the solidatrity statement (below). All of these efforts hope to protect sacred lands and treaty rights, to reduce coal exports to China, and to decrease the shipping of coal across the continent as well. 


Inter-faith statement of solidarity with Lummi Nation


Respect for sacred places is intrinsic in most ...

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July 3, 2013

United Church of Christ Divests from Fossil Fuels

What does God’s earth look like?  Who are we called to be?


The United Church of Christ gathered at it’s national gather in Long Beach, California to come up with strategies on how to deal with climate change. The UCC came up with the strategy to divest from fossil fuel companies. This resolution has made the United Church of Christ (UCC) the first major religious denomination to divest!


The resolution states: “The realities of climate change require prophetic and strategic action by people of faith seeking to be faithful to the everlasting covenant God has made with us ...

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May 31, 2013

Heat Awareness

 As summer draws near, it is time to prepare for heat awareness. A week ago (May 24, 2013) was NWS NOAA Heat Awareness Day. It is important during these extremely hot days that you take care of your body. Also, know the signs of heat exhaustion and heat stress. Please remember to stay cool, drink plenty of water, and keep up-to-date about heat advisories in your area. Being knowledgeable and aware of extreme heat is very important.  Please keep informed and inform others!  


To become more prepared visit the CDC’s website for Emergency Preparedness and Response: ...

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May 30, 2013

Earth Care Congregation Spotlight: Village Presbyterian Church

Village Presbyterian Church in Prairie Village, KS: Climate Change Forum


With over a hundred people in attendance, the Village Presbyterian Church’s March Environmental Forum on Climate Change exceeded expectations.  Panelists shared informative, articulate, and complementary information on climate change while other participants offered inspiring prayers, good scriptural context, and the overall religious framework to the issue. This event stands in a line of successful church efforts to educate and encourage change, such as the Creation Care Earth Fair in May 2010 and the April 2007 hanging out 1500 compact fluorescent lights after morning worship.

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February 7, 2013

This weekend congregations will host preach-ins on climate change

Presbyterian congregations as well as many others are participating this weekend in a national "preach-in" on global warming. In addition to raising the issue of climate change in worship and preaching, churches may send postcards or petitions to President Obama to "love" God's earth (this close to Valentine's Day). My home church is participating in this preach-in and our Earth Care Team is looking forward to good biblical exegesis, wonderful Reformed worship, and fellowship over a soup and bread lunch as we hear more about climate change after worship.


To learn more, go to:

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November 27, 2012

United Nations Conference of Parties meeting now in Qatar

Right now, the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) is meeting in Doha, Qatar for the 18th Conference of the Parties.


As Christians and as global citizens, we are invited to follow along. 


During these two weeks, will you:


I look forward to traveling this journey ...

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July 12, 2012

Final Reflection on Rio+20 UN Conference


Scriptural calls to confession and active repentance/turning

Isaiah 5:8

Ah, you who join house to house, who add field to field, until there is room for no one but you, and you are left to live alone in the midst of the land!


Job 28:9-12

They put their hand to the flinty rock, and overturn mountains by the roots. They cut channels in the rocks, and their eyes see every precious thing. The sources of the rivers they probe; hidden things they bring to light. But where shall wisdom be found? And where is the place of ...

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June 21, 2012

Rio Reflection: Human Vocation


Gen 2:5-15

In the day that the Holy God made the earth and the heavens, when no plant of the field was yet in the earth and no herb of the field had yet sprung up—for the Holy God had not caused it to rain upon the earth, and there was no one to till the ground; but a stream would rise from the earth, and water the whole face of the ground—then the Holy God formed the human one (adam) from the dust of the ground (adamah), and breathed into human nostrils the breath of ...

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June 20, 2012

Rio Reflection: Gifts of Creation


Genesis 1:31a

God saw everything that God had made, and indeed, it was very good.

Psalm 104: 1-4

Bless the Holy One, O my soul….you make the clouds your chariot, you ride on the wings of the wind, you make the winds your messengers, fire and flame your ministers…

John 3:16-17

For God so loved the world that God gave us the only Son, so that everyone who believes in him may not perish but may have eternal life. Indeed God did not send the Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order ...

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June 20, 2012

Perspectives on Rio+20

News and perspectives from diverse conversation partners at the People’s Summit:

United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development (official web site)


Clic here to read the Rio+20 Outcome Document being discussed for adoption by heads of states.


Video of NGOS speaking at the United Nations, feeling that Rio+20 is not the future we want.


UN multi-media web site with Rio+20 photos


World Council of Churches eco-justice programs

Ecumenical Advocacy Alliance and concern for food security


Via Campesina (includes current photos)


Stakeholders Forum includes articles, analysis, links, and live tweets from Rio+20


Catalytic Communities

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June 19, 2012

Rio Reflection: Community


Ecclesiastes 3:19

For the fate of humans and the fate of animals is the same; as one dies, so dies the other.


Ecclesiastes 4:9-12

Two are better than one, because they have good reward for their toil. For if they fail, one will lift up the other; but woe to one who is alone and falls and does not have another to help. Again, if two lie together, they keep warm; but how can one keep warm alone? And though one might prevail against another, two will withstand one. A threefold cord is not quickly broken.

Acts ...

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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 ...

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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.

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April 13, 2012

Creation Care Conference

The National Religious Coalition on Creation Care is gathering in Washington D.C. on April 23rd to explore, inform, and inspire people of faith to take action global climate change.

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March 5, 2012

Gender and Climate Change resource available

Having lived through tornado, sun, and snow within the last four days, climate change is not terribly far from my mind. Not that these particular weather incidents are directly connected as far as we know, but they certainly are the kinds of fluctuations that have been expected to increase with climate change.


So, when someone sent me this link on Gender and Climate Change, I thought it might be worth sharing with you. While all people are profoundly shaped by climate change, what particular way are women and girls impacted? Check out this resource and see what you think.


ISIS ...

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January 20, 2012

Calling Young Adults!

Applications are now posted for summer 2012 Eco-Stewards! This program, located in Boston and Vermont this year, is a great place for young adults with a heart for eco-justice ministry to learn practical skills, to accompany one another, and to inspire others for action. Learn more here.

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