Monday, July 26, 2021

Celebrating Trees and Caring for the Planet


 

Natalie Ward, NWC Leader, center,  photographs a family craft table. 


Celebrating Trees and Caring for the Planet

by Diane Waddell

 

The Center for JOY (Justice, Outreach and YOGA) is in St. Joseph, Missouri and leaders are now celebrating their new designation as the JOY New Worshiping Community in Heartland Presbytery. The Center is directly connected to an ecumenical eco-justice group which sprang forth after GA approved the overture “In Gratitude for Laudato Si.”  This group, which is active in education and advocacy, just celebrated its fifth anniversary. The group moved into a beautiful building which had previously housed Presbyterian and Unity Church congregations, among others, and now is a venue for eco- and social justice groups as well as yoga classes.  

 

One of the first events held in the Center was a Tree Expo,” which was a celebration of and for trees. The community/family event included helping paint a beautiful stained glass-effect tree, as well as sharing tree pose,” and enjoying poetry including that written by PEC past Moderator, Nancy Corson Carter. A Missouri Department of Conservation forester shared his experience fighting fires in wooded areas in California.  A university biologist and local arborist also shared booths.

 

Ecumenical Eco-Justice and JOY New Worshiping Community leaders are Jan Storts, Rev. Dr. Krista Kiger, Natalie Ward,  Emily Fite, Shelley White, and Diane Waddell. Coming up in summer of 2021 is a Planet Party, which will be similar to the Tree Expo, where participants will share their passion about Earth Care. 


O God, You Made the Trees

 



O God, You Made the Trees

TERRA BEATA 6.6.8.6 D ("This is My Father's World")

 

O God, you made the trees!  The oak and Douglas fir,

the maple, beech, and sweetgum reach their branches heavenward.

The willow, growing wide— the redwood, tall and strong— 

and cedar trees!  Yes, all of these sing out creations song.

 

You made each living thing to give and to receive.

As roots grow down into the ground, they twist and interweave.

A canopy of green restores and cools the air.

Great branches shade the earth you made, and dance— as if in prayer.

 

How often we forget the forests and their worth!

We lay cement on places meant to be the lungs of earth.

For profit and for gain, we build and build some more;

We cut down woods in neighborhoods of people who are poor.

 

O God, you made the trees— the apple and the pine.

You made them all and still you call:  “Take care of what is mine!”

May we receive your gift and give ourselves anew

to do our best, as weve been blessed, to care for trees for you.

 

Tune: Traditional English melody ("This is My Father's World")  (MIDI)
Text: Copyright
© 2021 by Carolyn Winfrey Gillette. All rights reserved.
Email: 
carolynshymns@gmail.com     New Hymns: www.carolynshymns.com/

Reforesting Faith - A Book Review

 



Reforesting Faith by Matthew Sleeth

 

Reviewed by Rev. Bruce Gillette

 

Matthew Sleeth, MD, was a successful emergency room physician who used his gifts to save countless lives every day. He was respected by his medical colleagues and served as a chief of a hospital medical staff. Sleeth’s intelligence helped him to see the big picture relating to the ultimate threat to life, the Climate Crisis. He resigned from his medical work to answer a new call to teach, preach and write (including the introduction in the Green Bible). He serves as the executive director of Blessed Earth. As a thoughtful evangelical speaker, Dr. Sleeth has been in demand, speaking in over one thousand churches (several times at the Washington National Cathedral) and at college and seminary campuses, conferences and other events. I like his Earth Day 2021 interview for the Church of the Resurrection; this United Methodist church is the largest mainline congregation in the United States. You can find many of his talks online and they are easily adaptable for use in your church’s adult education programs.

 

Sleeth has written several books. His most recent one came from a conversation with a pastor who challenged him to do a “theology of treehugging.” Reforesting Faith: What Trees Teach Us About the Nature of God and His Love for Us is a result of that challenge. In a Christianity Today article, he summarizes his belief: “Trees are mentioned in the Bible more than any living thing other than God and people. There’s a tree on the first page of Genesis, the first Psalm, the first page of the New Testament, and the last page of Revelation… Trees are the oldest living things on earth. There are trees alive today that were already ancient in the time of Christ…. In many ways, trees are like Jesus. They give, and they keep giving. They give life and beauty. They give shade and rest. They clean the air. They hold back erosion. They offer shelter, food, and protection.”

 

The book is a wonderful overview of biblical stories with trees and the final section focused on Jesus. Sleeth sees God’s grace as the motivation for us to care for trees and all of creation.

 

Rev. Canon Sally Bingham, an Episcopal priest and founder of Interfaith Power & Light, praises the book, “The intrinsic and life-sustaining value of trees has long been neglected. Sleeth proves God’s love of trees and draws the reader into the realization that we need to not only reforest faith but also literally reforest our forests.”

 

Science journal reported in July 2019 that a global effort to plant trees could make a significant counter to Climate Crisis. While such efforts need to be done on a global scale, many are trying to do so throughout the world. Wangari Maathai, educated as a child by Presbyterians, was the first African woman to win the Nobel Peace Prize in recognition of her work for democracy and the environment. (Her Green Belt Movement has planted over 51 million trees.)  Sleeth’s book can be a popular resource to support the efforts among Christians. (Donate it to your church and public libraries.) Imagine if Presbyterians were known less for “predestination” and more for “reforestation.”

 

 

Bruce Gillette is pastor of the First Presbyterian Union Church in Owego, NY. The beautiful Susquehanna River one block from his home. He serves as the PEC Vice-President.

Planting Trees, Planting Hope

 


Planting Trees, Planting Hope

 

by Eric Diekhans

 

For you shall go out in joy, and be led back in peace; the mountains and the hills before you shall burst into song, and all the trees of the field shall clap their hands. Isaiah 55:12

 

A tree planting ministry seemed like an easy sell for Karen Chakoian, pastor of First Presbyterian Church in Granville, Ohio. “Part of it is just their sheer beauty,” she says. “And part of it is knowing the politics of congregations. It’s really hard to argue against a tree.”

 

But 1,500 trees, in five years? That sounded like a stretch, but it didn’t stop the congregation from enthusiastically supporting Rev. Chakoian’s idea. The church already had an active Caring for Creation group, and became an Earth Care Congregation in 2018. Dr. John Weigand a member of the church, also led a discussion series in the Prism Sunday school class on climate change. Planting trees was the perfect place to turn discussion into action, and the Prism group decided to spearhead the effort. 1500 Trees for Life was born.

 

“I was a biology major many years ago,” says Rev. Chakoian, “and I read about trees mitigating global warming through carbon sequestration. We came up with this idea of planting trees as a congregation with the hopes that it would spread far beyond us.”

 

Carbon sequestration is the long-term removal, capture, or sequestration, of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere to slow or reverse atmospheric CO2 pollution, and to mitigate or reverse climate change. According to the European Environment Agency, a typical hardwood tree can absorb as much as 48 pounds of carbon dioxide per year. This means it will sequester approximately one ton of carbon dioxide by the time it reaches 40 years old.

 

“We initially started with Session,” says Amanda Love, a Deacon at First Presbyterian. “Then we expanded just within our church community, and really went strong. We did a lot of our communicating via Zoom talks. We marketed the concept by posting banners, emails, posters, postcards we would send out, and talking with people. at our local farmers market. The greatest effort was at Christmas. We created a large outdoor Advent-inspired lit tree installation. We gathered safely once a week during Advent around the trees and lights to lift up our church and community.”

 

Planting Begins

 

Planting a tree isn’t as simple as digging a hole in the ground. It takes land, expertise, and donors. When 1500 Trees for Life kicked off in the Fall of 2019, Mike Flood, a local horticulturist and co-owner of Albyns Nursery, offered to supply trees at cost and handle the planting. An initial test planting of 25 trees purchased by 1500 Trees, the Prism class, and First Presbyterian’s Session, was scheduled for the original fall planting, with a full roll-out near Arbor Day. There was great deal of discussion about price points for donors. It costs $150 to plant a 6-8tree and $200 for a 12-15tree. If an interested donor can’t afford to buy a tree, friends and groups can chip in for one, or donors can make smaller amounts to equal a tree. Donors were encouraged to buy a tree in memory of a loved one, celebrate a high school graduate, honor a co-worker about to retire, or for almost any other reason.

 

Those first 25 trees were planted at Granville’s latest municipal building site. Donations and enthusiasm for the project mushroomed in Granville and the surrounding county. First Presbyterian Church was already well known because of their deep involvement in the community. People were eager to offer suitable space. Trees were planted in parks, cemeteries, on the grounds of a middle school, and along a bike and walking trail.

 

“Its kind of like a ripple effect outside of the church, to Granville, to the next town to the county,” says Amanda. “We just recently stretched out to Newark, which is just to the east of us. There's a science history art museum there, The Works, and they had a partnership with the Smithsonian for a habitat exhibition.”

 

Choosing the right trees was also important. 1500 Trees plants tree stock that is native to the area, though what trees grow best might change over the next century. “Seed stock could be Appalachian,” says Amanda, “or it could span hundreds of miles south because it’s going to be a lot warmer here in 100 years.”

 

Micro Forests

 

More recently, Carol Carpenter Apacki, a local environmentalist, spearhead of their Caring for Creation group, Earth Care Congregation efforts, and a Prism member, planted a new seed with the group. She suggested they create micro forests, tiny, dense forests that recreate the layers of a natural forest. “You start off with little shrubs, and little plants, and then you put in smaller trees,” says Amanda. “And then those trees grow. And maybe some of the lower plants die out. And then things start to grow up and they're more densely packed. So you're getting a bigger bang for your buck. Right now we’re dabbling in that and trying to see where that could go.”

 

When COVID slowed planting, the church decided to forego the original five year timeline, but they’ve still set their sights on the 1,500 goal. To date, over 270 trees have been planted.

 

“From a faith perspective, it was just phenomenal,” says Rev. Chakoian.

 

The members of 1500 Trees are eager to share the knowledge they’ve gained with other congregations, so the work of planting trees can spread far beyond their little corner of Ohio. If you would like to tap into their knowledge base, contact 1500 Trees for Life.

 

Eric Diekhans is a member of Lake View Presbyterian Church, a fiction author, and editor of Earth News.

Zacchaeus


 

Zacchaeus

 

“Zacchaeus, hurry and come down;

 for I must stay at your house today.”

                -Luke 19:5b

 

 

 

From that dusty

sycamore He

called me down

to lift me up.

 

He cast out

my timid silence,

my hidden

hoarded shame.

 

He named my fear

of being seen for

what I am: a little man

of little meaning.

 

Perched precariously

on a breaking branch,

I took his hand,

came safely home.

 

Now I Zacchaeus

urge you to hasten:

be in your house His

host and guest today.                                         

 

In Him our meanest

wealth’s transformed;

His love fills every tree

with unexpected harvest.


“Zacchaeus”

by Nancy Corson Carter from A GREEN BOUGH: POEMS FOR RENEWAL

                (Eugene, OR: RESOURCE Publications, 2019), p. 7.


Wednesday, April 28, 2021

Loaves and Fishes New Haven

How to Feed a Multitude (During a Pandemic)
By Jonathan Lee


As the Executive Director of Loaves & Fishes New Haven, the largest food pantry in the New Haven, Connecticut area, James Cramer has a unique relationship with food. On a given Saturday, you can usually find James running around as he coordinates forty to fifty volunteers moving approximately 10,000 pounds of fresh produce, canned goods, and other donated food to get ready for their weekly food deliveries or grocery pickup events.


When he first arrived at Loaves & Fishes New Haven after receiving his Master of Divinity from Yale Divinity School, the organization was only serving about 280 to 300 families per week. With only one other employee to help with the week-to-week logistics, James had to lean on a network of dependable volunteers to manage and grow this program. Things changed when the Covid-19 pandemic hit, and the number of people in the city needing food services ballooned drastically. By the summer of 2020, what started as an operation feeding 300 families once a week was now delivering prepackaged bags to 700 families, and welcoming another 500 to its usual grocery pickup sessions. 



Loaves and Fishes New Haven was not able to meet this increased need alone. When the pandemic started,” James recalls, we said, Lets do this. Lets lean in and jump with both feet first.So we created a delivery program from scratch with three other organizations that was reaching 1,200 families a week.”


Rather than haphazardly tackling problems as they appeared, the team of organizations focused on their strengths to make the most impact on their community. My big focus has been on partnership and figuring out who is really good at what. We partnered with the United Way for example. They found all the drivers, and we found all the food: a perfect marriage. Those are the things weve been embarking on more and more this past year.” 


Before the pandemic, Loaves and Fishes New Haven did not have the extensive network of partnerships it does now. While they were partnering with service providers who used their space, the organizations once-a-week pick-up model meant they werent engaging with specific populations. But as the pandemic put more limitations on peoples ability to get food, James began getting calls and reaching out to others to help address those growing needs. Loaves and Fishes New Haven now works with the Office of Veterans Affairs, Warren Street Deliveries, and the New Haven Board of Alders to get food out to specific populations of the New Haven community which they did not previously have access to. Its like the stepping out in faith,” James says. Were letting the work lead and the money to follow. If someone comes to us, were going to say yesand well figure out how to say yesand the community will support us in saying yesto them. Every time weve said yesto somebody, theres been a donor who said, I want to say yes to that too.Thats been empowering in terms of knowing how much folks can support us.”


With the support and empowerment of his community, James can focus on doing whats important: finding food. Im really good at getting food and getting people to pack that food. Its kind of hodgepodge, but thats the fun part for me. Its a big puzzle!” And there are certainly a lot of pieces that James needs to track. Loaves and Fishes New Haven receives food through relationships with local producers, grocery stores and universities, and also buys food from distributors or food banks using federal subsidies and grant money.


Having access to all these different food streams, Loaves and Fishes does their best to source good, fresh food for their families. We keep a pretty close finger to the pulse of what folks want to eat. We really try to mirror what you and I would get a bag of groceries for. There will be canned goods, some rice and pasta, some meat, but also lots of fresh fruits and vegetables”


Working in such close proximity with different food providers and distributers has given James a unique look into our food system. The more Ive worked there, the more I realized how complicated it is,” James says. The way food trickles down is pretty inefficient. Were paying farmers to plant things that there wouldnt be a market for without the federal subsidy program, and then moving that food from food banks to food pantries and then people take it out.”


This complicated pathway from field to plate isnt just inefficient, but also has environmental repercussions given how much greenhouse gases are emitted as the food is in transit. James is also trying to tackle food stigma, and hopes to break down assumptions about food by encouraging volunteers to take untaken food at the end of a work day. The other end of radical hospitality is not just giving people everything, but also taking what youre willing to give them,” James explains. If youre not willing to be a part of that, youre not in community with them. Youre signaling youre on a different level. Its just food. God created that food for us to enjoy. Food is food”


Whats one piece of advice James has for anyone who wants to work with a food pantry? Talk to them about their specific needs,” James says. He explains that while canned food drives do have a place, those events only add to the systems inefficiencies. A well-run food pantry has much more purchasing power than you or I, and so donating money directly to the food pantry will have a more long-lasting effect than donating food. Build relationships with organizations that you trust and are transparent with their money,” James recommends. If you find someone you can trust, you are good to go.”



Jonathan Lee
is a second year Master of Divinity student at Yale Divinity School. He is currently serving as Presbyterians for Earth Cares Programming and Learning Fellow.

Injustices and Ecological Deficiencies of Industrial Agriculture

God’s Green (and Brown) Revolution
by Jenny Holmes

“The soil is the great connector of our lives, the source and destination of all.” —Wendell Berry 

Then God said, "Let the land produce vegetation: seed-bearing plants and trees on the land that bear fruit with seed in it, according to their various kinds." And it was so. NIV. 

“As part of the natural functions and ecosystem services provide by soils, a healthy soil stores more carbon than that stored in the atmosphere and vegetation.” —Recarbonization of Global Soils – Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations. 


As the timeline to prevent the worst impacts of climate change shortens, many questionable “solutions” are being offered that potentially deepen social inequities and erode cultures and biodiversity. How can God’s shalom be embodied in the solutions for climate change? Or is the situation so dire that should we just be concerned with cutting carbon as fast as possible no matter how we get there? What questions should Christians seeking to be faithful to God’s shalom be asking about proposed solutions? 

Billionaire “philanthrocapitalist” Bill Gates, who recently released “How to Avoid a Climate Disaster,” is one of the most visible promoters of technological solutions to climate mitigation and adaptation, such as carbon capture and storage, and a more climate resilient agriculture. To the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, climate resilient agriculture may be more efficient but depends heavily on fossil-fuel-based fertilizer and genetic engineering. Gates’s technological and capitalistic mindset clearly dominate the Foundation’s approach to climate change. This is not to say that technology and capitalism cannot be useful in finding and implementing climate solutions. Obviously, they must be engaged. However, their dominance blinds us to the opportunity to enhance the flourishing of humans and nature through climate solutions that are more inclusive and equitable. 

Not everyone is buying into Gates programs and are proposing other ways forward. The interfaith Southern Africa Faith CommunitiesEnvironment Institute said to the Gates Foundation in a recent letter: 

"We urge the Gates Foundation to stop pushing a green 'revolution' that imposes technologies and seeds that are controlled by companies with vested interests. Rather, it should be looking at and learning from small-scale farmers from around the world who are working to build alternative food systems that are socially just and ecologically sustainable.” 

Widespread hunger has laid bare the failure of the profit-driven food and agriculture system during the COVID-19 crisis inspired the group’s response. 

Here in the US the COVID-19 crisis has also laid bare the injustices and the ecological deficiencies of industrial agriculture. Front-line agricultural workers were among the first and the worst hit by the pandemic. There is growing awareness of the role that soil plays in the climate crisis, and the value of regenerative agriculture that maximizes the soil even by agriculture giants like General Mills. With industrial food supply chains affected and concerns for food safety, the interest in local sources of food, such as community supported agriculture, skyrocketed at the beginning to the pandemic. Whether this trend continues remains to be seen. 

In the Punjab area of India, where the Green Revolution took root in the 1950s, growing inequities faced by small farmers have brought them to protest in the street. Aniket Aga said in Scientific America “Farmer protests in India are writing the Green Revolution’s obituary…It is evident that the new problems of industrial agriculture have added to the old problems of hunger and malnutrition.” 

Soil is where we come from according to scripture and science, and where we return. Soil health is basic to the health of all life, specially in a warming world. Land degradation greatly reduces the ability of soils to maintain and capture carbon. We have much to learn about the complex living soil. Humility and humus are required to flourish as humans as a partner in nourishing God’s shalom in climate solutions. God is calling us to a revolution in our relationship with each other and earth that is both green and brown. 

Jenny  Holmes lives in Portland, Oregon is a former Moderator for Presbyterians for Earth Care. She serves as the Washington Oregon Field Organizer for Southern Utah Wilderness Alliance organizing people to protect 8.4 million acres of wilderness in Utah that will help the US meet 1.5 percent of its goal to protect 30 percent of lands and water by 2030 for the climate and biodiversity. She has done faith-based environmental organizing for over 30 years and serves on the Earth Care Team of First Presbyterian Church. Gardening and local food nourish her, body, mind and soul. 


References: 

https://usrtk.org/our-investigations/gates-foundations-plans-to-remake-food-systems-will-hurt-the-climate/

https://www.iatp.org/blog/202010/agricultural-revolution-gates-foundation-leading-africa-failure

https://www.hcn.org/articles/covid19-local-food-movement-gains-momentum-under-covid-19

https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/farm-protests-in-india-are-writing-the-green-revolutions-obituary/ January 24, 2021, Aniket Aga. 


Food Justice Ministry at Presbyterian Church of Burlington

Food-Centered Mission
By Eric Diekhans

Like much of New England, the land surrounding Burlington, Massachusetts, located fifteen miles north of Boston, was once dotted with farms. But today, most produce in this relatively affluent community is factory farmed and comes from hundreds or even thousands of miles away.

The Presbyterian Church of Burlington has a mission to reconnect consumers of all income levels with God’s nutritious abundance.

The church has a diverse congregation of about 100 members who come from as far as forty miles away. Membership includes people from Africa and Europe, as well as native New Englanders.

“We’re more of a regional church,” says Rev. Trina Portillio, Presbyterian Church of Burlington’s pastor. “That’s partly a function of being Presbyterian in New England.”


The church’s food justice ministry began with helping serve hot meals at The Dwelling Place in Woburn MA, As a Matthew 25 Church, and a Hunger Action Congregation of the Presbyterian Hunger Program, Presbyterian Church of Burlington extends its mission reach deep into the community. 

“We’ve had food justice ministries pretty much as long as the church has been around,” says Jane McIninch a ruling Elder, and coordinator of the church’s Community Supported Agriculture pickup site, as well as the People Helping People Burlington Food Pantry.

“Our former pastor was part of the group that started an organization in town called People Helping People,” says Jane. “It brought together three ministries, one of which is the food pantry in town.”

“The church was also one of the initial supporters of the Boston Food Justice Young Adult Volunteer Program,” adds Rev. Portillio. The young adult volunteers were challenged to eat only locally sourced food for half the year. For the other half, they lived on a Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) budget.

In 2010, Presbyterian Church of Burlington became a pickup site for Farmer Dave’s CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) in Dracut, MA.

In the CSA model, consumers buy a share of a local, usually organic farm’s crops. In exchange for taking on some of the financial risks of farming, families receive a variety of delicious, fresh, nutritious vegetables, usually once a week.

Farmer Dave’s is unusual because it provides vegetables year-round thanks to their extensive greenhouses. Consumers can also purchase a fruit share and even a home-baked goods share. Presbyterian Church of Burlington also hosts a meat share from Lilac Hedge Farm in Jefferson, MA.

Through Farmer Dave’s and other local farms, the Burlington Food Pantry also receives fresh vegetables.“it's a growing emphasis for a lot of pantries,” says Jane McIninch. “There’s been a shift in attitude that it's not just about the quantity of food, it’s also about the quality. As a community, we are starting to be educated about the quality of the nutrients that we take in. We have a goal at the Pantry that thirty percent of the food we give out should be fresh fruits and vegetables.”

“I think it’s important food be locally sourced whenever possible,” says MaryLou Lynn, a Session member and a volunteer at the CSA pickup site. “it's better for the environment, i’s important for communities to have local food available, it tastes better, and it's part of stewardship to be participating in local food efforts.”

Before the pandemic, pickup day was a time of fellowship and education at Presbyterian Church of Burlington. Two volunteers from the church were always there to help out.

“The opportunities for socializing and learning added so much to the experience,” says Jane. “As volunteers, we were always being asked to identify vegetables and help people understand what they can do with them, because a lot of what we get from the farm was unfamiliar to many people.”

While COVID restrictions have necessitated loading the vegetables directly into shareholders’ trunks, everyone hopes to resume normal activities in 2021.

Whatever this year holds in store, there will be plenty of fresh vegetables in the mix.



Eric Diekhans
is editor of Earth News, a fiction writer, a video producer for the Greater Chicago Broadcast Ministries, and a member of Lake View Presbyterian Church in Chicago. His family enjoys fresh vegetables each summer from Angelic Organics CSA in Rockford, IL.





Tuesday, April 27, 2021

PEC is Hiring!

HELP WANTED:
Coordinator for Presbyterians for Earth Care 
 
Presbyterians for Earth Care (PEC) invites individuals and congregations to participate in the growing earth care movement within the PC(USA). PEC is a national eco-justice network that cares for God’s creation by connecting, equipping, and inspiring Presbyterians to make creation care a central concern of the church. We are looking for a new paid, part-time coordinator to help in our work.  We are open to creative job sharing.
 
Job Description
The PEC Coordinator will report to the PEC Moderator and work with the Presbyterians for Earth Care Executive Committee to provide administrative support on specific tasks, including but not limited to the following:
  • Enhance communication and publicity of PEC through printed and electronic materials and social networking. Coordinate printing and mailings, send e-mails, and maintain and update the PEC website.
  • Assist membership development and maintenance. Receive membership forms and donation amounts and maintain a database of member contact information and giving history. Prepare lists of members and donation history as requested. Communicate with membership and respond to requests in a timely manner, referring to regional representatives and committee chairs as appropriate.
  • Assist officers and committee chairs in projects, commitments and general work, as needed.
  • Help prepare materials for the Annual Meeting and PEC booth such as the annual report and update the PEC brochure as needed.
  • Promote/coordinate national and regional gatherings and conferences, both Presbyterian and Ecumenical.
  • Network with PC(USA) offices and Presbyterian and ecumenical groups to expand the mission and ministry of PEC into new realms.
  • Assist the Moderator in setting agenda for meetings, and maintain files of Steering Committee minutes, Steering Committee member contact information and terms, and general work in a web-based file hosting service, such as DropBox.
  • Record minutes of PEC meetings and conference calls, when requested.
  • Travel to and staff the annual steering committee planning retreat and the biennial PEC national conference (odd years). Expenses covered by PEC.
 
Qualifications
The PEC Coordinator will have an interest in caring for God’s earth and knowledge of the Presbyterian Church (USA). The Coordinator will be a self-starter with excellent follow-through, able to work independently as well as collaboratively. Desired attributes include a calm and professional demeanor, good verbal and written communication skills, good time management and a history of meeting deadlines.  Proficiency in Microsoft Word, Excel, Access, PowerPoint, Publisher and website-related software desired.
 
Work is up to 20 hours a week, annual pay is up to $28,000 and work is done at home.

Please send resume to pecdreamjob@gmail.com     Deadline:  May 3, 2021.

Monday, April 26, 2021

Recommit to Earth Care on Earth Day

 Dear Friends of Presbyterians for Earth Care,


As we approach Earth Day next Thursday, April 22, we leave winter behind, and - we hope - the pandemic that has dominated every aspect of our lives for over a year. Signs of new hope in our world include a new administration and the appointment of persons of color to cabinet positions. We have arrived at this moment by working together. Now we ask you to renew your membership and support of our work precisely because we are indeed stronger together. If you are not yet a member of Presbyterians for Earth Care, you can add your voice to ours TODAY.

In the past year, PEC has:

  • strengthened existing partnerships and formed new ones, including with the Southern Utah Wilderness Alliance.
  • continued to join our voices with those of Fossil Free PC(USA) supporters in a call on the Board of Pensions to divest from fossil fuels.
  • worked to mitigate a changing climate by working with the Presbyterian Hunger Program to establish a tree fund so Presbyterians can offset carbon impacts resulting from our travel.
Your financial gifts in 2020 made it possible for: 
  • Jonathan Lee, a student at Yale Divinity School, to serve as PEC’s 2020-21 Programming and Learning Fellow. 
  • PEC’s inspirational Advent and Lenten devotional series, coordinated, edited and laid out by Jonathan Lee.
  • a virtual 25th anniversary celebration.
  • monthly Greening Your Presbytery Zoom meetings where attendees learn to have a greater impact on earth care in churches by working though their presbyteries.

Like many churches and organizations, Presbyterians for Earth Care engages with the intersectional issues of this time through an ongoing, intentional process of action and reflection. Our strength individually and organizationally is in our diversity. Each one of us is fearfully and wonderfully made (Ps. 139:14). 
 
Please prayerfully renew your commitment as a member of PEC or consider becoming a member today.You may also print the form and mail a check to PEC Treasurer, 501 Valley Drive, Durham, NC 27704 by Earth Day, April 22. Thank you as always for your support of our ministry and mission.
 
Yours in caring for the Earth and for one another,
Dennis Testerman, PEC Moderator