Dear Friends of PEC,
You and Presbyterians for Earth Care (PEC) have been working hard to be good stewards for our earth. As individuals and as a group, we are speaking truth to the powers that exploit and destroy our environment. Please continue to support the work of PEC and join or renew your membership by Earth Day, April 22.
In the past two years, members of PEC have done exciting things to bring attention to and address those problems, and to begin solving some of them. The PEC 2017 Conference at Menucha Retreat and Conference Center outside of Portland, Oregon provided an immersion experience into the culture of Native Americans in the Northwest that was a powerful and uplifting experience for all who came.
The Church of the Reconciliation in Chapel Hill, North Carolina used information and experiences from the conference at Menucha to plan a Sunday School class on a 15thcentury papal bull called the Doctrine of Discovery. Conference goers learned that this document set in motion the idea that land not ruled by Christians was up for the taking by European nations who came to North and South America and Africa. The Sunday School class focused on how that document allowed Europeans to claim and settle these continents without respect for the natives who had lived on the land for centuries.
The PEC Team of the Presbytery of Northern Plains sent a PEC member to take food and water to the people at the Standing Rock Reservation as they protected their sacred waters and holy sites threatened by the construction of the pipeline. PEC Midwest Regional Representative Paul Henschen arrived with a truck load of water, apples and granola bars. That offering was in some ways only a symbol of the solidarity that Presbyterians from the Northern Plains felt with the Standing Rock Sioux. It was also an opportunity to learn from our brothers and sisters as they spoke about the injustice the pipeline would bring. The opportunity to listen and pray together is as powerful to the spirit as apples and granola are to the body. On a second trip gift cards donated by PEC members totaling over $1200 were given to the people gathered at Standing Rock. Additional money was sent to an agency providing legal defense for Water Protectors who were arrested.
As part of our commitment to advocacy, PEC is supporting three overtures at General Assembly in June. Hudson River Presbytery (NY) and thirty-five concurring presbyteries, to date, are proposing to direct the Board of Pensions and the Presbyterian Church (USA) Foundation to divest from fossil fuel companies and to actively invest in securities that focus on renewable energy. One overture from Monmouth Presbytery (NJ) asks our denomination to raise a prophetic voice regarding the urgency of healing our climate. A second directs our denomination to be active in responding to environmental racism.
Please prayerfully consider the role PEC is playing in moving our denomination toward environmental healing and justice. This can only be done with the support of you and others who believe in protecting God’s creation. Please join or renew your membership online today.
Thank you for your commitment to healing God’s good earth.
Yours in Earth Care,
Dennis Testerman, PEC Moderator