The Beginning of the First 20 Years
by Nancy Corson Carter
PEC observed its 20th Anniversary with a special evening of worship, recognition, and reception on September 17 at Montreat Conference Center. To commemorate the “Inheriting a Sacred Trust for the Future” celebration, Nancy Corson Carter wrote this short history of the organization.
In 1990, the 202nd General Assembly approved the policy report RESTORING CREATION FOR ECOLOGY AND JUSTICE. Part of its great success was due to the grassroots authenticity of its writing.
The charge of the document was to recognize and accept restoring creation “as a central concern of the church, to be incorporated into its life and mission at every level.” In1994, when about 40 persons gathered at the Presbyterian Center in Louisville for an “Environmental Consultation,” a major result was the envisioning of “an environmental justice fellowship, an outside group, to impact the PCUSA.” A group of persons, soon to become the founders of PRC, felt themselves called to extend support of the dynamic 1990 mission initiative.
|Cathy Yost and Bill Gibson|
An Interim Steering Committee formed, composed of David Hall, Fond Du Lac, WI; Bill Gibson, Ithaca, NY; John Jackson, Maitland, FL; Bill Knox, Boone, NC; Dick Madden, Spokane, WA; Leslie Reindl, St. Paul, MN; Wayne Ruddock, Baldwin, MD; Cathy Yost, Kirkwood, MO; John Thomas, South Holland, IL; and Rose Carol Taul, Chicago, IL.
New Membership Secretary, Bill Knox, sent out a call for support: “We invite Presbyterians who hear the cry of creation, human and nonhuman, as God’s call for stewards for an endangered planet. Join us in this fellowship to restore creation, as we seek to be faithful to Jesus Christ, our Redeemer.” By the 1995 General Assembly in Cincinnati Ohio, a Steering Committee had prepared bylaws and organized the first of regular General Assembly luncheons, with Dr. John Fife as speaker.
So Presbyterians for Restoring Creation (PRC) was born, an organization that has matured over its two decades as a member-based, grassroots, 501(c)(3) non-profit organization operating alongside the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) and also in ecumenical circles.
In 2009, the group reclaimed its purpose on its website, www.presbyearthcare.org: “Honoring this great heritage, the leaders and members have responded to the growing national awareness of global climate change with a renewed vision, a new name and a timely mission. Presbyterians for Earth Care (PEC) has stepped up its capacity to connect and equip the environmental movement in the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) through a new website, database, and social networking sites.”
Nancy Corson Carter, Ph.D., is a publishing poet and writer, facilitates an Earth Care Congregation in Chapel Hill NC, and is active in the Shalem Society for Contemplative Leadership. She is Professor Emerita (of Humanities) at Eckerd College, and was Moderator of PRC from 1999-2005.