Presbyterians for Earth Care Focuses
on Down-to-Earth Advocacy and Action
by Ann Owen
In her keynote presentations at the Presbyterians for Earth Care conference recently, the Rev. Dr. Patricia K. Tull, author of Inhabiting Eden: Christians, the Bible, and the Ecological Crisis, shared her insights into how we can rethink scripture, humans, and creation; create social movements for change, and shift to a flourishing future. The biennial gathering, September 15-18 at the beautiful Montreat Conference Center in North Carolina, marked the 20-year anniversary of Presbyterians for Earth Care (PEC), formerly Presbyterians for Restoring Creation.
Special guest speaker Rev. Dr. J Herbert Nelson II, director of the PC(USA) Office of Public Witness, encouraged attendees to get off their “blessed assurances and do something significant for the Lord.” He said that we should work to connect the sanctuary, seminary and community to environmental and social justice through active engagement and advocacy.
At each conference, PEC bestows two awards: the William Gibson Lifetime Achievement Award, which was presented to the Reverend Rebecca Barnes for her faith-based work as an eco-justice educator, activist, author and organizer; and the Restoring Creation Award, which was given to Forest Lake Presbyterian Church (FLPC) in Columbia, South Carolina for outstanding environmental work.
Two optional pre-conference tours were offered to those wishing to explore some of the many natural attractions of the area: a nature trek at the North Carolina Arboretum; sustainability tour of the Biltmore House and Gardens; and a visit to the world’s largest climate data archive the NOAA National Center for Environmental Information in Asheville.