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.
Towson Presbyterian Church gets locally active
Caring for Creation has a long history at Towson Presbyterian Church (TPC), and becoming certified, and now twice re-certified as an Earth Care Congregation has challenged TPC to continue to grow in this area. The last few years they have used issues surrounding “Food” as a theme, a way to focus their efforts, and with the urging and encouragement of their associate pastor have looked at this through the lens of the “8 Modes of Ministry”. They have hit some modes more that others, but it has helped keep their efforts balanced.
So in addition to using fair trade coffee and reuseable mugs at coffee hour, on some Sundays Towson is now providing “healthly options” (local, organic, in-season, healthier homemade items) at coffee hour after church (they disappear faster than the usual commercial donuts!). The wonderful people of Towson Presbyterian have had a noted nutritionist speak to their Adult Education classes (and sampled some interesting vegan alternatives). They have also developed a curriculum on "Food, Faith and Friends" for their Vacation Bible School.
Towson is in the 4th season of their Inter-generational Garden (check out our blog!), an organic community garden next to the church where they raise fresh, healthy produce for donation to the local food pantry, as well as educate gardeners of all ages.
The people of Towson Presbyterian have celebrated the bounty of that harvest in their worship service, and had children pass out packets of seeds at the end of their Earth Day worship service. They have also sponsored a screening and discussion of “Food, Inc.”, have done a Bread for the World offering of letters (to Congress), and traveled to the state capital and D.C. to advocate around food and environmental issues.
They have started offering a free Sunday Community Lunch for the “food insecure” in our community. They have plant trees on their 267 acre preserve that is in a conservation easement and clean streams as efforts to protect their water supply. They say grace and break bread, and give thanks for God’s amazing creation!
Amazing things are happening at Towson Presbyterian Church!