Monday, August 12, 2019

PEC Award Winners for 2019

PEC Honors Three Award Winners at
National Conference

Each year, Presbyterians for Earth Care (PEC) recognizes two deserving individuals and one organization for their exceptional environmental achievements. This year, awards were presented during a reception at PEC’s national conference, Peace for the Earth: from the Bible to the Front Lines, on August 7 at Stony Point Center in Stony Point, NY. The William Gibson Eco-Justice Award was presented to Natalie “Lee” Pippin, a visionary and activist from South Carolina. Ashley Bair received the Emerging Earth Care Leader Award for a young adult, and Westminster Presbyterian Church’s Earth Stewardship Ministry Team received the Restoring Creation Award for an organization. Continue reading for more about each of the award winners.

Natalie “Lee” Pippin, William Gibson Eco-Justice Award

Lee Pippen has been described as a quiet, steadfast and persistent force for earth care. Not only has she consistently led her church, Forest Lake Presbyterian in Columbia, SC, since 2005 to be a creation care leader in the community and denomination, she also actively promotes environmental stewardship in SC Interfaith Power and Light, Presbyterian Women, Church Women United, and her Midlands of SC community organizations. At her church, Lee led her team of volunteers to become a PC(USA) Earth Care Congregation in 2011, and Forest Lake was awarded Presbyterians for Earth Care’s Restoring Creation Award in 2015. Lee has motivated many people to incorporate sustainable lifestyle habits that are healthier for individuals and for the environment. She has also been a motivator for congregations—both Christian and Jewish—to incorporate a focus on the environment into their programs. Lee accepted the award from her home via a ZOOM connection.

Ashley Bair, Emerging Earth Care Leader Award

Ashley Bair is an associate pastor at Central Presbyterian Church in St. Paul, MN and embodies the values of the emerging earth care leader award. She is at the beginning of her ministry career and chose a call that would allow her to build on her experience and skills in organizing around climate justice and peace issues. She works with both religious and secular groups to advocate for climate justice. Ashley is a member of the Presbyterian Peace Fellowship Activist Council and helped organize the PCUSA Walk for a Fossil Free World. She is also an active participant in the Sunrise Movement, organizing and advocating for the Green New Deal and other environmental justice efforts. Ashley is committed to this work and ministry and will encourage others to follow her example through this Emerging Earth Care Leader Award. Ashley is pictured with Emily Brewer (left) and abby mohaupt (right) who nominated her for the award.

Westminster Earth Stewardship Ministry Team, Restoring Creation Award

The Westminster Earth Stewardship Ministry Team provides education and environmental actions for members of Westminster Presbyterian Church in Dayton, Ohio since 2006. In addition to recycling and switching to LED lightbulbs, the teamof eight sponsors various adult education classes, and encourages a yearly Earth Sunday with stewardship-based sermon, local flowers and after-church presentations. In the spring, they organize a group to help with a park clean-up. Each month, they sell fair trade coffee, tea, and chocolate and collect electronic waste and batteries for recycling. During Advent and Lent, the group offers short eco-oriented meditations or suggestions in the Sunday bulletin. The church has won local awards and received a city beautification grant to help defray the cost of improvements. Westminster Presbyterian has been an Earth Care Congregation since 2017. Laurie Leach accepted the award for Earth Stewardship Ministry.

Congratulations to this year's award winners! Their conference registration was waived as a reward for having been selected to receive an award.

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