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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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January 20, 2016

Eco-Palms for Palm Sunday!

Celebrate a sustainable Palm Sunday! More than 300 million palm fronds are harvested each year for U.S. consumption alone — most of them for Palm Sunday. Whereas traditional palms may harm forests and not support local workers, when you order Eco-Palms you are protecting forests, local jobs, and sustainable livelihoods in the harvesting communities.


In 2015, 995 PC(USA) congregations purchased Eco-Palms for Palm Sunday. 2015 orders totaled more than 183,640 palm fronds purchased by Presbyterians. Altogether 4216 U.S. congregations ordered Eco-Palms in 2015, ensuring that over 965,840 palm fronds were harvested sustainably this season. In 2016, we would love to hit the 1,000 order mark for Presbyterians and the 1 Million fronds ordered across all denominations that participate in the Eco-Palms project.
One congregation shared their experience with the Eco-Palms by saying  “In working towards the goal of becoming better stewards of the creation that God has entrusted to our care our congregation made an intentional effort to “do no harm” to the environment by purchasing Eco-Palms for our Palm Sunday and Holy Week observances.   We hope that all congregations will consider this small, local action with global, environmental consequences.”


Click here to learn more or order your eco-palms.


Categories: Eco-palms, Fair trade

Tags: eco-palms, palm sunday, sustainable palms

January 5, 2016

Post-Paris New Year

2015 brought the papal encyclical on the environment, new strong commitments to environmental stewardship by the U.S. government, new innovations in renewable energy development, strong grassroots movement building, and the global Paris agreement.  Having attended part of the UNFCCC COP21 climate talks in Paris in December and reflecting here on the blog with you and others, I now am excited this month to see what 2016 might bring. It is a new year, and we have new opportunities to work locally, regionally, and globally for God's creation.


As the world and the nation takes on the international invitation ...

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December 21, 2015

What Next?

Reflection written by Gary Payton


What next?


Advent…a time of reflection and waiting, and a time of anticipation for the Prince of Peace to enter our lives anew.  What an Advent Season it has been! 


On Monday, November 30, the day after the first Sunday in Advent, 150 presidents and prime ministers assembled in Paris to launch the Conference of the Parties, 21st Session (COP21). By December 6, the second Sunday of Advent, negotiators from 190 countries had narrowed the language for a climate change agreement.  Then, on the night of December 12, hours before the third Sunday ...

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December 14, 2015

Paris Agreement

The hope and optimism we heard in Paris during the two weeks of the COP 21 did lead to a historic agreement, where nearly 200 of the world's governments committed themselves to a low-carbon future. While not as strong as may be wished, it is an accomplishment indeed to have a global agreement that sets us on a path to leaving 80% of current fossil fuel resources in the ground, where they need to stay. De-carbonizing the global economy and limiting emissions to "well below" 2 degrees Celsius increase of pre-industrial levels are important steps in the right direction ...

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December 11, 2015

Different Gifts, One Body

1 Corinthians 12:

Now there are varieties of gifts, but the same Spirit; and there are varieties of services, but the same Lord; and there are varieties of activities, but it is the same God who activates all of them in everyone.


Gary Payton as part of the witness for African cyclists for climate justice. Photo from UMC GBCS.


In Advent, we wait and anticipate a time to celebrate the incarnation, God coming in human form to be present in the world through Jesus’ birth. As COP 21 comes to a close, and many are anticipating what ...

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