Each year, Presbyterians for Earth Care receives nominations for two awards: The William Gibson Lifetime Achievement Award for individuals and the Restoring Creation Award for congregations, governing bodies, ecumenical agencies, or Presbyterian-related entities. In 2012, we received so many excellent nominations and could only choose two awardees. All the nominations bore such good news about what God's people are doing to care for God's Creation, we'd like to share them all with you.
For: Restoring Creation Award
Nominated by: Beth Egan of Glenshaw Presbyterian Church
Glenshaw Presbyterian Church's accomplishments include: Establishing the GPC Goes Green Program; Became a certified Earth Care Congregation in 2011; Member of Presbyterians For Earth Care; Earth care components in worship services; Planting trees for new members; Eco palms are used on Palm Sunday; Provide earth care disciplines and devotionals for members during advent and lent; Designed and planted an outdoor prayer garden; Offer earth care Sunday School classes for children, youth and adults including outdoor activities. Earth care pages are available on the church
web site www.glenshawchurch.org; Monthly emails on earth care are sent out to members and information is provided on a bulletin board, through Sunday bulletins and in the church newsletter; Energy efficient windows and air conditioning was installed; All office and church school wastepaper is recycled as well as metal cans, plastic, glass, electronic equipment and ink cartridges; A large bin is available in the parking lot for community use for paper recycling; Have begun to reduce toxic cleaning products; Offer vegetarian choices at dinners; Limit use of paper products at dinners; Children participate in church sponsored camping trips; Establishing and being an ongoing sponsor of the Etna Community Garden; Collaborate with other community groups concerning earth care; Have shared information concerning earth care with other groups.
Glenshaw Presbyterian Church with the backing of their pastor, the Rev. Dr. Mike Hoyt, an advocate of environmental stewardship and their "Green Team" of volunteers have implemented numerous programs within the church and out in the community. They see their responsibility for the earth as an outgrowth of their relationship to God. Two major projects have been: transforming a former playground on the church grounds into a lush, beautiful prayer garden and helping to start the Etna Community Garden. Through the community garden fresh produce is donated to the local food pantry and it also gives residents of the community the opportunity to grow their own fresh produce.
Educating and involving members in environmental stewardship, including the children and youth of the church, is a high priority. It is their hope that other churches in the area will also work to become Earth Care Congregations and GPC members are willing to mentor others to reach that goal.