Representatives of Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) environmental programs will be at the White House Thursday (Sept. 13) for a “Greening America’s Congregations” event sponsored by the Environmental Protection Agency’s “ENERGY STAR” program and the White House’s Office of Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships.
During the event, Rebecca Barnes-Davies, the PC(USA)’s associate for environmental ministries, will participate in a panel in which she will describe the denomination’s Earth Care Congregations program as one model for Christian communities to engage in energy efficiency.
Leslie Woods of the PC(USA)’s Office of Public Witness in Washington will share with event participants the public witness ministries of the denomination related to environmental justice and stewardship.
Representatives of several PC(USA) Earth Care Congregations in National Capital Presbytery will also be on hand to share stories about their churches’ environmental programs.
One PC(USA)-certified Earth Care Congregation ― Montevallo (Ala.) Presbyterian Church ― will be honored at the event for having been one of the first houses of worship to receive the EPA’s ENERGY STAR certification. ENERGY STAR certification indicates that facilities are in the upper quartile of energy efficiency for their facility type.
The Rev. Leanne Pearce Reed, Montevallo’s pastor, says, “Care of creation is a vital part of our mission as a congregation.” Bill Peters, chair of Montevallo’s “Green Team,” adds, “The PC(USA) Earth Care Congregation program and certification checklist, along with the ENERGY STAR portfolio manager tool for monitoring utility usage, have given us the structure and discipline to effectively identify and reduce the environmental impacts of our activities.”
The Presbyterian Center in Louisville will also be recognized for achieving ENERGY STAR certification.
“As we strive to follow God by living simply and justly in our homes, we naturally affirm these same practices in our workplace,” says Linda Valentine, executive director of the Presbyterian Mission Agency. “I commend our entire staff for their collective efforts toward achieving this certification and toward embodying God’s call to live justly by working together to create a better world.”
The Environmental Ministries office of the Presbyterian Mission Agency (formerly the General Assembly Mission Council) is part of Compassion, Peace and Justice Ministries (CPJ). Several CPJ ministries ― Environmental Ministries, the Office of Public Witness, the Presbyterian Hunger Program and Enough for Everyone, among others ― all work to alleviate environmental degradation, hunger, poverty, and global injustice concerns through both national and international programs, partnerships, and resources.
The PC(USA) also joins in this ministry with ecumenical and interfaith colleagues, particularly the Eco-Justice Program of the National Council of Churches.