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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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Posts with tag: earth care congregations

July 22, 2015

New Life Presbyterian Church: Earth Care Updates


New Life Presbyterian Church (formerly North Como Presbyterian Church, and Knox Presbyterian Church) in Roseville, MN continues their faithful earth care work. They continue to make great strides in worship, education, facilities, and outreach activities. In addition to recycling, fair trade coffee, sharing their building, here are some of their accomplishments:


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April 29, 2015

Registration Open for Fall 2015 Presbyterians for Earth Care Conference!

Down-to-Earth Advocacy and Action

September 15 - 18, 2015

Montreat Conference Center, Montreat, NC


Keynote speaker: Rev. Dr. Patricia K. Tull, A.B. Rhodes Professor Emerita of 

Old Testament, Louisville Presbyterian Seminary

Special Guest Speaker: Rev. Dr. J Herbert Nelson II, Director, 

PC(USA) Office of Public Witness


Join Presbyterians across the country who are caring for God's creation in this innovative and motivating conference in beautiful Montreat, NC! This conference will also celebrate the 20 year witness of this grassroots organization of Presbyterians and the many wonderful folks who paved the way for the work we continue to do ...

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April 22, 2015

Presbyterians celebrating Earth Day!

One of the things I love most about my work is hearing the amazing stories of so many people and churches doing fabulous ministry, caring for all God's creation. There are so many inspiring stories! There is so much great work being done.


Presbyterians, Bolivians and Peruvians caring for God's earth


From finding Presbyterians being named as national "Cool Congregations" winners (and runners-up, and honorable mentions) to seeing our Climate and Food Justice poster being sent out by other denominations, to gathering stories of all the wonderful Earth Day Sunday worship services that have happened or will happen, I feel filled with joy and gratitude in this ...

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January 23, 2015


This page is a collection of stories that have been printed on this blog about our PCUSA certified Earth Care Congregations and other earth-caring congregations. You can also find these stories through clicking various categories on the right sidebar menu (for instance if you are looking for "food" or "climate" or "education" stories about churches). However, this list seems somewhat easier to navigate if you are looking for a particular church and location, without scrolling through the 20 some pages of "church earth care stories," page by page).


April 2015 stories by Presbyterian News Services

Earth Care Congregations and Earth ...

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January 22, 2015

Save the Date: PCUSA Earth Care Congregation Summit 2015

September 15-18, 2015 at Montreat Conference Center, Presbyterians for Earth Care is offering a conference "Down-to-Earth Advocacy and Action." PHP’s Environmental Ministries is considering this conference the 2015 Summit for Earth Care Congregations, hoping earth care teams can send representation to the PEC conference in order to learn, connect, and become inspired to take the work back home into local congregations and communities.


Earth Care Congregations will benefit greatly from a wide variety of educational, skill-building, and inspirational workshops, plenary sessions, and networking opportunities throughout the PEC Conference. In addition to being active participants in the offerings of the ...

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August 27, 2014

Spotlight on Bardstown Road Presbyterian Church

Bardstown Road Presbyterian Church (Louisville, KY) with children and big globe out front in street 

Bardstown Road Presbyterian Church in Louisville, KY is one of the PCUSA certified Earth Care Congregations which is now pursuing the dual certification with GreenFaith. Their enrollment into the GreenFaith sustainable congregation program both recertifies the congregation with PCUSA Earth Care Congregations and gives them room to grow through this interfaith program with new emphases.


Bardstown Road PC children in front of painted mural 


Earth Care team leader Bill Bowman, who has been involved in Presbyterian environmental circles for over a decade, says that GreenFaith gives the church new areas to try. Bowman explains that GreenFaith “will help us push our limits a bit. If we are going to ...

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August 22, 2014

Spotlight on Trinity Presbyterian Church (East Brunswick, NJ)

Trinity Presbyterian Church East Brunswick garden dedication from Alex Mendez (photo credit)

Garden dedication (photo credit: Alex Mendez, Home News Tribune)

Trinity Presbyterian Church in East Brunswick, NJ has about 350 members, is located about 45 minutes from New York City, and integrates care for all God’s earth into all facets of their ministry. When the church was brainstorming about missional foci a number of years ago, including issues such as hunger and peacemaking, at first people thought environmental concerns were more peripheral to the church’s mission, reports Debbie O’Halloran, the chair of Trinity’s Earth Shepherds. “However, we then did the study,” she says, “and then realized none ...

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August 13, 2014

Spotlight on The Church of Reconciliation

The Church of Reconciliation (NC) Earth Sabbath dancers

A Devotion in Motion, "The Life-Giving Water" by Abby Kameny, Magdalen Davidson, Allison Davidson


Drawing members from around the Triangle region of North Carolina, The Church of Reconciliation in Chapel Hill’s Earth Care Committee deepens the faith life of its members and engages in a multitude of community efforts (such as making a banner for Moral Mondays, hosting environmental film viewings, and advocating for positive legislation on environmental concerns).


Actively connecting biblical and theological principles to human treatment of the earth, the Earth Care Committee strives to keep a focus on the good news—in the world and in ...

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August 11, 2014

Spotlight on First Presbyterian Church of Howard County

FPC Howard County church garden

“Our faith tradition teaches us that the earth and all creation are God’s, and that God calls us to be careful, humble stewards of this earth, to protect and restore it for it’s own sake, and for the future use and enjoyment of the human family, " says co-pastor Sue Lowcock Harris, of First Presbyterian Church of Howard County (Columbia, MD). "We have pledged to do this through our worship, our facilities management, our educational activities, and outreach ministries. We believe in the words of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., that ‘our lives begin to end the day we ...

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August 8, 2014

Spotlight on St. Andrews Presbyterian Church (Kilmarnock, VA)

 St Andrews Presbyterian Church (Kilmarnock, VA)

In rural Virginia, a nearly 30 year old church with around 230 members, St. Andrews Presbyterian Church in Kilmarnock, VA, enters its 5th year of being certified by the PCUSA Earth Care Congregation programs. Starting a number of creation care efforts before the certification program was available, St. Andrews has made steady progress of linking faith, daily life, and caring for the earth.


Judy Thomson, Associate Pastor of St. Andrews, connects with the church’s Creation Care Alliance (which has its own logo, designed by a member of the congregation). Thomson says that the church’s efforts began early ...

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August 1, 2014

Spotlight on Knox North Como Presbyterian Church

children's teaching on earth care

children's time on earth care at North Como Knox Presbyterian Church


North Como Presbyterian Church, Roseville, MN (now merging with Knox Presbyterian Church) has been an Earth Care Congregation since the beginning of the certification program in 2010. Starting their activities even prior to that, they studied creation care issues in their adult education classes as far back as 2005 and developed an environmental team that year. In 2008, they started discussing at length the energy and climate change policy passed by the General Assembly that year as well as the earth care sections of the Social Justice Policy ...

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July 31, 2014

PCUSA News: Earth Care Congregations

PC(USA) celebrates 5 years of Earth Care Congregations program, 14 churches honored


[EXCERPTS follow, click  for the full article here]


Five years after it began, the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.)’s Earth Care Congregations program is celebrating 14 churches that have demonstrated a commitment to caring for God’s creation.


To be certified as an Earth Care Congregation, churches complete projects in four areas: worship, education, facilities and outreach. These activities can range from the simple — displaying an earth-themed banner during worship — to the more involved, such as establishing a wildlife habitat ...

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June 26, 2014

Beginning a 5th Year Anniversary for PCUSA Earth Care Congregations

Earth Care Congregation 5 year Birthday Cake

Birthday Cake and Singing for Earth Care Congregations at PEC Lunch, June 2014


This summer, 2014, marks the 5th year of certification for 13 of PCUSA's certified Earth Care Congregations. For five years, these churches have been growing ever deeper in their ministry and witness and for five years, the PCUSA Earth Care Congregation continues to grow nationally. At 139 congregations as of this writing, PCUSA Earth Care Congregations demonstrates the passion people have to care for God's creation as part of Christian discipleship and living out their faith in the world.


 PEC Luncheon Program General Assembly 2014


The below thirteen churches will "turn ...

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April 14, 2014

Palm Sunday, Holy Week and Caring for all God's Earth

Presbyterians across the country are entering this Holy Week journey mindful of Christ's walk and aware of our connections with God's whole creation. In this evocative time, how do we listen to and with the earth? How do palm branches, the stones on the path, the groaning of creation participate with us in this time of passion?


As you move through Holy Week, here are a few pieces I recommend spending some time with:


Palm Sunday sermon by Earth Care Congregation pastor Jeffrey Geary (White Plains, NY):


 Presbyterians for Earth ...

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November 21, 2013

Crosslake Presbyterian Does Renewable Power and Energy Efficiency

A recently installed array of solar panels on the roof of Crosslake Presbyterian Church in north central Minnesota generates electricity when the sun shines. (Crosslake MN enjoys as many hours of sunlight annually as Houston, TX ! )


Click here for access to a real time report of electrical production.


This is the latest of five efforts by Crosslake Church to be good stewards of God’s creation.  Collectively dubbed “The New Noah Project”, Crosslake’s five efforts are—

---Photovoltaic electricity generation,

---Geo-thermal heating and air conditioning,

---Purchase of wind generated electricity,

---A highly insulated building with efficient lighting

---Ten acres of ...

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May 31, 2013

Earth Care Congregation Spotlight: Baltimore Presbytery

There are wonderful things happening in Baltimore Presbytery!


At Maryland Presbyterian Church, the host for our meeting with these great compostable options, they have a native plants garden, worm composting, a demonstration garden for children, and are advocating in their state legislature for wind energy.


At Towson Presbyterian Church, there is ongoing tree planting on hundreds of acres and the church decided to keep its property always sustainable by making a conservation easement. They clean streams, do vegetable gardening, and have reached the top energy efficiency steps possible.


At Woods Presbyterian Church, they have worked on property concerns (which also ...

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March 19, 2013

PCUSA Environmental Ministries and GreenFaith collaboration: webinar now available online!

Have you been hearing about the new collaboration between PCUSA Environmental Ministries and GreenFaith but not yet learned as much as you would like?


The informative, inspiring, and encouraging webinar about the GreenFaith certification program-- which gives PCUSA congregations the opportunity to become PCUSA Earth Care certified as well as receiving this interfaith certification-- is now available. It is an important first step to learn more about GreenFaith.


If you are in or connected to a PCUSA congregation and want to learn more, please begin by watching this hour long webinar. You may watch with your earth care team if ...

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March 19, 2013

First Presbyterian Church of Elizabethtown, KY loves mountains!

FPC and PCUSA at I Love Mountains day

The pastor and members of First Presbyterian Church of Elizabethtown, KY were among the more than one thousand people who rallied at the state's capital to declare love for the mountains and people of Appalachia. In a time where mountaintop removal coal mining is decimating communities, impacting the quality of soil, air, and water as well as human health, Presbyterians and other faith communities join in the cry for better care-taking of the people and the land of this region. This congregation is answering the scriptural call to care for God's world, a calling affirmed by PCUSA policies ...

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February 22, 2013

Earth Care church spotlight: Bayfield Presbyterian Church

Bayfield Presbyterian Church, ecumenical Blessing of the Fleet, June 2012


Bayfield Presbyterian Church in Bayfield, WI is one of the 100+ PCUSA certified Earth Care Congregations. Bayfield Presbyterian is located only a few block from the shore of beautiful Lake Superior. This congregation has a long tradition of appreciating and caring for this incredible example of God’s Creation.


Bayfield Presbyterian has taken many steps to make the church more energy efficient and they are continuing to add new programs to help members learn how to be more sustainable. Pastor David Oliver-Holder stated, “ I am so amazed by how many members of our church are involved in community sustainability efforts."

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February 8, 2013

Environmental Ministries and GreenFaith announce partnership

Today (Feb. 8), GreenFaith and the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.)’s Environmental Ministries announce a collaboration to invite Presbyterian churches into the GreenFaith Certification Program.


The program offers an opportunity to enhance and expand the earth care ministries of Presbyterian congregations and to build on the PC(USA)’s Earth Care Congregations program.


The GreenFaith Certification Program will help Presbyterian congregations meet the requirements of PC(USA) Earth Care Congregations certification while also introducing them to interfaith approaches to caring for the earth and connecting them to other houses of worship.


Churches in this program will receive numerous resources ...

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September 21, 2012

Earth Care Congregations at the White House!

Last Thursday, September 13th, I joined other PCUSA colleagues, Leslie Woods (Office of Public Witness) and J Herbert Nelson (Office of Public Witness), at a fabulous EPA ENERGY STAR program on “Greening America’s Congregations through Energy Efficiency” at the White House. Members of 5 local Earth Care Congregations also attended, as well as an Earth Care Congregation in Montevallo, AL (being recognized for being ENERGY STAR certified). I was invited to present on a panel about dynamic denominational campaigns and did so by sharing the PCUSA Earth Care Program with the audience. It was wonderful to be able ...

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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 ...

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July 28, 2011

Earth Care Congregations Span United States

In 2010 PC(USA) Environmental Ministries created a new way for congregations to stay active in helping the environment: Earth Care Congregations (ECC). Earth Care Congregations are defined as "congregations that have committed to the "Earth Care Pledge" and accomplished a specific number of actions toward caring for God's earth in four categories: worship, education, facilities, and outreach."

            If you want to make your church an Earth Care Congregation, please contact Katie Holmes. A map of the Earth Care Congregations has been created, showing that ECC span the United States, from New York to Hawaii. Become a part of ...

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July 21, 2011

Creation Care Journal Keeps Asheville Church Informed

First Presbyterian Church in Asheville, North Carolina, has taken many steps towards greening their congregation. They are an Earth Care Congregation, they have created greening projects with their communities, and they were even awarded the Greener Pastor Climate Fellows Award this year. The church, however, has taken even more steps, creating a ‘green’ blog. Penny Gibbs, First Presbyterian Church's secretary, is the author of the Creation Care Journal, a blog about how to green your life.

 This blog has created a place for the congregation that sparks debate and keeps the church informed. There are updates about the community ...

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