Friday, May 15, 2015

Register for PEC's conference in September


September 15-18, 2015
Montreat Conference Center, NC

Join Presbyterians for Earth Care to be enriched and empowered in an ethic of creation care for three days at our 2015 Conference at beautiful Montreat near Asheville, North Carolina. 

   Hear from theological leaders in the denomination: Rev. Dr. Patricia K. Tull, A. B. Rhodes Professor Emerita of Old Testament, Louisville Presbyterian Seminary and Rev. Dr. J Herbert Nelson II, Director, PC(USA) Office of Public Witness

   Comingle with Presbyterians engaged in social justice programs such as Earth Care Congregations and Hunger Action Enablers.

   Experience nature in the biodiverse region of the Western North Carolina mountains through a variety of pre- and post-conference field trips.
                     Explore the plant diversity on the Blue Ridge Parkway and walk to the top of the highest peak east of the Mississippi.
                     See both manicured and natural plantings at the NC Arboretum and learn from the experts at the National Climatic Data Center.
                     Learn about sustainability operations at the Biltmore Estate, including a solar farm and canola oil production, and tour the house.
                     Choose from more adventurous trips such as a float trip, a waterfall tour and an old growth hike.

   Celebrate the 20th Anniversary of Presbyterians for Earth Care/Presbyterians for Restoring Creation at an evening of worship, recognition, and reception. Record your stories and memories of PEC/PRC before the conference at www.PECmemories.com.

   Purchase Patricia Tull’s book, Inhabiting Eden: Christians, the Bible, and the Ecological Crisis, the Leader’s Guide and A Reader’s and Writer’s Workbook that goes with it from the author.

Find out everything you need to know about the conference and register by July 15 to receive the early bird discount. Young adults, ages 18 – 30 years, receive a special discounted registration of $100 for the entire conference.

We look forward to seeing you there! If you have any questions, contact us at presbyearthcare@gmail.com.

For God's Earth,

Jane Laping
PEC Coordinator


Thursday, April 30, 2015

Did You Remember to Renew?

Dear Friends of Earth Care,

With your support, Presbyterians for Earthcare will remain committed to Caring for God's earth and its people in 2015. We will continue to honor and worship God by working within the PC(USA), our communities, our country, and around the world seeking justice for the oppressed peoples and ecosystems of the earth.

Are you a Presbyterians for Earth Care member or do you want to become a part of the flourishing faith and environment connection? PEC membership renewals are due every year on Earth Day, April 22. If you aren't yet a member, you can join now. First year memberships start at $25.

In 2014, PEC members along with the PEC Steering Committee accomplished the following:
  • Maintained an active earth care presence at the 2014 General Assembly.
  • Worked with Fossil Free PC(USA) to bring a fossil fuels divestment overture before the General Assembly of the PC(USA).
  • Advocated for 3 more environmental overtures before the GA.
  • Worked to support indigenous fishing rights in the Pacific NW and to stop the development of the largest coal exporting terminal in the US.
  • Marched in the Peoples Climate March in New York City.
  • Supported a regional PEC conference in Alaska focused on climate change.
  • Maintained contact with our members via regional representatives.

And there is more to come! 2015 will see continuing work in environmental education, advocacy, and spirituality. Highlights will include:  
  • Down-to-Earth Advocacy and Action, PEC's 2015 national conference, September 15-18 at Montreat Conference Center, Montreat, NC.
  • A visioning retreat for young adults, led by Eco-Stewards leaders, to be held in Montana in June.
  • Support for Fossil Free PC(USA) on another divestment overture.
  • Help with writing a Fossil Free PC(USA) curriculum on fossil fuel divestment for churches.
  • Advocacy for clean water (Fracking, Clean Water Bill, etc.).
  • Countless other educational events and actions to protect the earth.

Thank you for your prayers and works on behalf of the earth and its peoples.  Thank you for your support of PEC. 

Yours in Christ,


Diane Waddell, Moderator

Thursday, April 16, 2015

Springing into Spring with a Fresh Update

Strength and Hope
by Diane Waddell

Dear Friends seeking Earth-Justice,

Blessed be! Springtime, Resurrection and Renewal are upon us, with the opportunity for hope and for strengthening our reserve for Eco-Earth-Caring!

In that vein, Presbyterians for Earth Care has been gathering hope and assembling resources for another opportunity for renewal and strengthening: “Down-to-Earth Advocacy and Action” at the beautiful Montreat Conference Center, September 15 - 18, 2015. Please do put us on your calendar!

We begin with a selection of fascinating choices for September 15: pre-conference tours near Asheville and the Blue Ridge Mountains (with a reminder to arrive on September 14 for overnight accommodations).

We welcome the leadership of the Rev. Dr. Patricia K. Tull, author of Inhabiting Eden, who will keynote for us, beginning with biblical and scientific groundings, moving forward in creating social movements for change, and then empower us as we shift to a flourishing future!

We are equally thrilled to announce that the Rev. Dr. J. Herbert Nelson II, Director of the PC(USA) Office of Public Witness, will join us to challenge us in areas of prophetic ministry and public witness, as we carry the banner of Eco-Justice.

We are honored to host Earth Care Congregations as they gather with Rebecca Barnes for their Earth Summit. We heartily welcome Hunger Action Enablers (a part of the Presbyteran Hunger Program). And you will want to keep an eye out for bright orange -- the Fossil Free PCUSA folk, as they gather momentum for General Assembly in 2016 and beyond!

Come for refreshment in worship, joy in celebrating our 20 years of Earth Caring as Presbyterians for Restoring Creation/Presbyterians for Earth Care, fellowship with others who have deep passion for eco-justice, and workshops on many current and provocative environmental, economic and social justice issues of our times.

May you be blessed, and continue to bless the Creation every season of the year through Hope, Renewal and Resurrection. Amen.


Diane Waddell

PEC Moderator

Saturday, April 4, 2015

Reflection for Easter Sunday

Easter Sunday Reflection
by Abby Mohaupt




11 Mary stood outside near the tomb, crying. As she cried, she bent down to look into the tomb. 12 She saw two angels dressed in white, seated where the body of Jesus had been, one at the head and one at the foot. 13 The angels asked her, “Woman, why are you crying?”
She replied, “They have taken away my Lord, and I don’t know where they’ve put him.” 14 As soon as she had said this, she turned around and saw Jesus standing there, but she didn’t know it was Jesus.
15 Jesus said to her, “Woman, why are you crying? Who are you looking for?”
Thinking he was the gardener, she replied, “Sir, if you have carried him away, tell me where you have put him and I will get him.”
16 Jesus said to her, “Mary.”
She turned and said to him in Aramaic, “Rabbouni” (which means Teacher).
17 Jesus said to her, “Don’t hold on to me, for I haven’t yet gone up to my Father. Go to my brothers and sisters and tell them, ‘I’m going up to my Father and your Father, to my God and your God.’”
18 Mary Magdalene left and announced to the disciples, “I’ve seen the Lord.” Then she told them what he said to her.                                                                                                    John 20:11-18

Everything has been in darkness,
covered over in dirt and refuse:
these thrown away flower stems and coffee grounds
            all used up and broken.
These fruit rinds and slimy leaves,
These egg shells and half-eaten remains of meals,
            tossed out of our home and into the world.
The heat has been building in the stillness of our garden,
            witnessed only by the bird that has nested in the tree,
            and the snails who are carrying their lives on their backs,
                        and the cat who lurks on the fence.
Foodstuff gives way to the dirt, as my fingers crumble the death in the pile,
            turning the tomato leaves into the molding strawberries I forgot to eat,
            mixing the scraps of yesterday with the leftovers from last month.
                        The smell lingers under my nails long after I’ve scrubbed the dirt from my skin.
There is an ache in my heart and arms as I reach into the pile, measuring the heat against my own body.
            These memories of meals and moments stick in my brain,
             and the weight of the decay resists the turning.
                        There is so much to mourn in this movement:
Childhood trips to our family compost pile, a sacred place in our family to which in winter we cut a path and our late beloved dog wore down to mud and matted grass.
Carrying eighty pounds of compost from its winter home on our Chicago back porch to the garden to surround the urban corn rows, letting the juice splash at our feet and legs as the wind changed from biting to loving.
Elbow-deep measuring with my grandmother, inhaling the tomato plants as my knees pressed into the ground, to be imprinted by mulch, another vestige of dying earth around me.
Beautiful, sacred moments, long lost to the turning of the earth around the hot, glowing sun.
I cannot get them back, I can only trust them to the God who is making something new in the darkness, calling forth life from all that has been strewn from our kitchens and lives:
bone upon bone, breath upon breath, heartbeat upon heartbeat.
Sweet, sacred earth. Somehow, you are made new—God always finding a way to make life out of the death that we so quickly accept as the end of the peel, stem, grounds of our being.
These artifacts of our waste gestate and re-incarnate, resurrecting into what they have always been—from stardust to stardust, ashes to ashes, topsoil to topsoil.
  
We mistake this miracle as just a process of earth, instead of seeing it the building of a just world, where death turns into life, again and again.
            Instead of seeing God making a new way:
                        Claiming life.
                        Naming life.
                        Giving life.
My palms are grimy as they scoop out the hot, dark earth that has been waiting for the light to be invited in.
Stardust into topsoil, the earth fills the empty waiting vessel, making space to welcome the fledging plant in its midst, making space in this death-into-life soil for more life, making space for miracles to birth more miracles.
            It is a new day. Christ is risen.
Alleluia.
                                    Amen.


Contributor: Abby Mohaupt works at Puente de la Costa Sur in Pescadero, CA, where she divides her time between coordinating volunteers, meeting with faith communities, and nurturing learning in children. Abby holds a M.Div. and a Th.M. in eco-feminist theology from McCormick Theological Seminary. She is the At-Large Representative for the PEC Steering Committee.