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Earth Care Congregations: A Guide to Greening Presbyterian Churches

Version 3, updated 2013

Earth Care Congregations are 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. Congregations earning 25 points in each of the four categories will be certified as Earth Care Congregations and receive various honors. Congregation members will also be invited to participate as individuals by completing similar actions in their homes. A Guide to Greening Presbyterian Churches provides congregations with worksheets, resources, and instructions for becoming an Earth Care Congregation. The four categories of actions in the “Earth Care Pledge” were used as a guide for developing “Earth Care Congregations: A Guide to Greening Presbyterian Churches.”

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  1. Wonderful Rebecca, I will be in touch! Many Presbyterian congregations are finding that this program really does focus and rejuvenate ministry. For others out there, if the resources posted here need to be in another format, I will work with you as suggested below (Word format, pdf, etc).

    by Rebecca Barnes

    January 13, 2014

  2. Our church just started a Justice ministry last fall and I think the Earth Care program would be a great action for us to take. We are probably already doing some of these things, but I know there is more we could do. This would also spread more awareness of environmental needs.

    by Rebecca Ross

    January 10, 2014

  3. At Westminster in Alexandria VA we are considering the earth care initiative, please send the five forms in WORD format as soon as possible; the links in the pdf file are not work.

    by Barbara Studenmund

    September 26, 2013

  4. This Sunday, we were served communion in glass cups instead of plastic! Even though it clearly cuts trash, some members wondered if there would be an energy savings considering the amount of energy required to wash the glass cups in the dishwasher. Has anyone done a careful analysis?

    by Julie Close

    February 17, 2013

  5. Brenda, thanks for your question about energy audits. There are some great resources available through Energy Star for Congregations at www.energystar.gov/congregations for starters. I will email you with more information as well.

    by Katie Holmes

    July 19, 2011

  6. Are there congregations that have gone through an energy audit and are trying to reduce their energy usage and in addition are encouraging members to have audits on their homes as well? This could be for carbon reduction, reducing energy use, etc. Brenda Weeks - Second Nashville

    by Brenda Weeks

    July 18, 2011

  7. Donna, that is great to hear that your congregation is working to care for God's creation and working on becoming an Earth Care Congregation. If any Earth Care Congregations have suggestions, commenting here would be a great way to respond. I would also be happy to talk with you or email about what helpful hints that I have heard from congregations that have become Earth Care Congregations. I will send you an email with my contact information.

    by Katie Holmes

    June 15, 2011

  8. Our congregation has just decided to take this project on. Are there suggestions from other congregations that have successfully reached the goals?

    by Donna Porter

    June 15, 2011

  9. Willem, thank you for your comment. It is exciting to hear that Kirk of Kildaire is involved in caring for God's earth. I look forward to learning more about what your church is working on, and to receiving the church's application to become an Earth Care Congregation. Please let me know if there is anything that I can do to help your church in this ministry.

    by Katie Holmes

    November 22, 2010

  10. Glad to see our Kirk of Kildaire congregation (Cary NC) join this pledge. We served as the original sales office (1980s) for the first PUD (planned urban comminity) in NC which surrounds us and which has lived up to its expectations. We are one of two churches in the 2000+ homes subvision and should serve as a continuing model of environmental stewardship for ths area.

    by willem van eck

    November 19, 2010

  11. Michael, that is wonderful to hear that the session has approved beginning the Earth Care Congregation process! I look forward to working with you in the future. Thank you for your work and dedication to earth care. I much appreciated your church's helpful feedback in the pilot program.

    by Katie Holmes

    October 28, 2010

  12. Thanks for your inquiry, Sharon. I will email you with a more detailed response, but here are a couple of places to look for earth care themed hymns: • National Council of Churches Eco-Justice Program hymns http://nccecojustice.org/resources/hymns.php • Presbyterians for Earth Care Presbyterian hymnal suggestions http://www.presbyearthcare.org/resources-docs.html#Scriptures

    by Katie Holmes

    October 28, 2010

  13. Our session voted last night (First Presbyterian - Asheville) to begin the process. We were much impressed with the earlier pilot program.

    by Michael Poulos

    October 28, 2010

  14. The 2011 Mo-Ranch/Pres. Assoc. of Musicians Worship and Music Conference theme is "All Creatures, Your Creator Bless" and will be emphasizing our care of Earth. Any ideas, materials, etc.? I will further investigate this website. Thanks.

    by Sharon Humphreys

    October 26, 2010

  15. That is great to hear that you all are working on the ECC application. I will email you a Word copy of the application forms. Soon a Word copy will also be posted online.

    by Katie Holmes

    October 6, 2010

  16. We at Trinity Presbyterian - Atlanta are working to complete the application to become an "Earth Care Congregation." Do you have a Word (or Excel) file available of the forms in Appendix C and E so we could complete these forms on a computer? If so, could you send me a copy? Thanks, John Koon, Chair, Trinity Sustainability Committee

    by John Koon

    October 5, 2010

  17. Thanks for your comment. I hope that Westminster will apply to be an Earth Care Congregation. I’d love to hear more about what your church is working on. We are always looking for church earth care stories to share on our website at http://gamc.pcusa.org/ministries/environment/church-earth-care-stories/. Thank you for your work in caring for God’s earth.

    by Katie Holmes

    August 27, 2010

  18. Thanks for all the good work that has already gone into this! Our church, Westminster, in Eugene, OR is well on its way to becoming a green Presbyterian church and we welcome all this preparation and product. Blessings!

    by Rod and Greta Fridlund

    August 26, 2010

  19. Thanks Sandy! I'd love to hear what congregations in your presbytery think about the new program. I hope that the materials are helpful.

    by Katie Holmes

    August 19, 2010

  20. I have downloaded both this and the Power Point. Thanks for the starting tools.Hopefully it will help me with my congregation as well as working with other churches in our Presbytery.

    by Sandy Lee

    August 19, 2010

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