Rebecca Barnes-Davies, a student at Louisville Presbyterian Theological Seminary and consultant for environmental and social justice ministries for the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.), has been named winner of the Presbyterian Writers Guild (PWG) 2010 Angell Award for the best first book by a Presbyterian author.

Barnes-Davies will be honored at the PWG luncheon at the upcoming 219th General Assembly in Minneapolis for her book 50 Ways to Help Save the Earth: How You and Your Church Can Help Make a Difference (Westminster John Knox Press. Louisville, Ky).

The Angell Award, named for longtime Presbyterian writer Jim Angell, is given each Assembly year to the best first book written by a Presbyterian author. Barnes-Davies’ book was chosen from among seven entries.

Of 50 Ways, Angell Award Chair Nancy Bray of Dallas writes: “While the author acknowledges that there are many more than 50 ways to help creation, she explains that she has chosen 50 to symbolize the Scriptural idea of the fiftieth year as the jubilee year, “a time when justice and Sabbath benefit the whole community.” 

In seven chapters, Barnes-Davies leads readers through ways that individuals, churches, and communities can help save the earth through attention to energy, food and agriculture, transportation, water, people, other species, and wilderness and land. 

An eighth, or “jubilee” chapter, concludes the book. Each chapter contains a simple, two-page format of subtopic suggestions that give background for the plan, how-to’s, a scriptural basis for the idea,  and real-life examples (“Walking the Talk.”) 

“While readers will find some familiar ideas among the 50,” Bray says,  “the new ideas offered can inspire individuals, church study groups, youth groups, vacation church schools, and camps.  The book offers an ecumenical approach that will appeal to other denominations, as well.”

Information for this story furnished by Nancy Bray.