Friday, November 29, 2019

Devotional for First Sunday of Advent

Sing, O heavens, for the Lord has done it;
shout, O depths of the earth;
break forth into singing, O mountains, O forest, and every tree in it!
For the Lord has redeemed Jacob, and will be glorified in Israel.  Isaiah 44:23

Let's Bring Christmastime to Creation

Snow on evergreens
My Advent journey always begins with a prayer for the Vision of ‘What kind of Christmas I think I want to have’.  That Vision focuses me in the framing of my approach to…preparing.  As I reflect on my 2019 approach to the Manger, my focus is significantly seasoned by my experience this past summer as Music Worship Leader for the Presbyterians for Earth Care National Conference. Two days after the close of that Conference I was inspired to compose the song (Let’s Bring) Christmastime To Creation. 

As I reach to hear the Trees singing, they begin (even now) to sound like the Angels who serenaded the Shepherds…calling my attention into active participation as an instrument of God’s Orchestrated Plan to Heal the Land. I share a portion of the verse and chorus of that song as my prayer for this Advent Season; that a gift I the newborn King…will be the gift of a renewed sense of personal responsibility for the health, welfare and vitality of our Planet Earth. Let us indeed…Bring Christmastime to Creation. 

As we give the gift of presents and extol the manger birth
Let’s repent of all the things that we have done to Mother Earth
We have pillaged, we have plundered, we have poisoned every plain
And we’re having Christmas…We’re Still having Christmas…

So as we celebrate let’s participate in The Prayer 2 Heal The Land
As a mind can get true knowledge, then a heart can understand
That we’re running out of time – so let’s keep these things in mind
While we’re having Christmas…just because it’s Christmas…

Let’s bring Christmastime to Creation
From a manger place to the sea and the sky above
We need to love The Earth from every nation
So that The Children will still have an Earth to love.                        


Warren B. Cooper
©2019 Music Media Ministry

Prayer: Creator God, we are reminded of your love as we look, see and hear the beauty in the creation you have given us. At the same time, we see the damage we have caused and repent of all that we have done. Give us Lord, a sense of renewed responsibility for the earth so that all nations, and especially children, will have an earth to love. 

Warren B. Cooper is a Performance Artist, Producer and Music Minister who is dedicated to the creation of transformational art that is focused on redeeming humanity and healing the land.  He is based in Philadelphia, PA where he serves as Executive Producer for Music Media Ministry (  His new release CHRISTMASTIME 2 CREATION is available on I-Tunes, Google Play, Spotify and all digital music platforms.  Each download will result in a donation to resource efforts for protective environmental legislation.

Thursday, November 21, 2019

Introducing PEC's 2019 Advent Devotional

PEC's 2019 Advent Devotional

23 Sing, O heavens, for the Lord has done it;
shout, O depths of the earth;
break forth into singing, O mountains, O forest, and every tree in it!
For the Lord has redeemed Jacob, and will be glorified in Israel.
Isaiah 44:23

I hate waiting. It seems like all we do these days is wait. Waiting in traffic. Waiting for people to call or text us back. Waiting in line at the grocery check-out. Waiting for our friends to get a clue and agree with us. And so we wait, in well-practiced squirmy, cranky and frustrated ways.

But is this the waiting of Advent?

This Advent we will be endeavoring to wait, not with a low-grade fever of irritation but with anticipation, like those who know their tickets to Disney have already been purchased, or the answers to their deepest need have been written and are about to be revealed. We will be waiting together in community, sharing strength with each other as we wait.

Ecologist, Susanne Simard, is a professor of forest ecology and teaches at the University of British Columbia. She is a biologist and has tested theories about how trees communicate with other trees. She explained in her TED Talk that the trees communicate below ground via an infinite number of pathways sharing information, water, nutrients, carbon, nitrogen, minerals and warnings. The young trees are supported by more mature mother trees. Trees talk to each other. That talk makes it easier for other trees to survive, to thrive in community. But what happens when trees are damaged or even clear cut? Then those left behind are weakened, left without the full capacity of the community to heal and to thrive. But trees allowed to stand with even a small part of their community intact tend to thrive.

Just like the trees, we are meant to live in community, sharing information and resources for the good of the community. We are planted in community and called to share resources, called to share the wisdom and grace of Christ as we grow together. When one tree falls another arises to carry on the legacy, to learn the wisdom and to share in the connectedness of the community of grace.

So this Advent we wait in community. We wait to soak up again the wisdom of the generations past, to tell again the stories of our faith in community. But we also wait with anticipation the renewal of those communities, the redemption of the land, the healing of scars and the emergence of the continuing work of our Savior in this time.  Perhaps the wait will end with renewed commitments to wholeness, to preservation, to stewardship and to the sense of peace that comes from believing in a God who can, has and will transform us again and again.

It is worth the wait!

Barbara Chalfant is currently the Associate for Mission for the Presbytery of West Virginia. She is a curriculum writer, artist, singer, and is prone to bouts of laughter. Having seen the direct effects of bad environmental stewardship as she works in disaster ravaged communities, Barbara has become proactive concerning environmental issues. She serves as the Central East Regional Representative on the Presbyterians for Earth Care Steering Committee. 

Tuesday, November 19, 2019

Support the Fossil Fuel Divestment Overture

Act Now for a Fossil Free PCUSA
by rev. abby mohaupt, Moderator Fossil Free PCUSA

Fossil fuels are the greatest contributor to the current climate crisis and there are many ways to reduce/eliminate their use. As a denomination, an effective way for the PC(USA) to curtail the production and use of fossil fuels is to send a message to corporations by selling the Church’s investments in fossil fuel stocks – a strategy called divestment. Presbyterians for Earth Care advocates for Fossil Free PCUSA’s divestment overture to the 224thGeneral Assembly. This overture is circulating and already in process in several Presbyteries. Along with FossilFree PCUSA, PEC invites you to support this overture in your Presbytery by doing the following:
  1. Take it to your church’s session. Any member of session may bring an overture. If you aren’t on session, talk to the leadership of any relevant committees, or your pastor or stated clerk. The session can consider and pass an overture.
  2. After your session passes the overture, the session’s stated clerk sends it to the presbytery’s stated clerk, who will add it to the agenda for the next presbytery meeting.
  3. At that presbytery meeting, someone from your session presents the overture, and will usually be given time to share why they support it and are asking the presbytery to pass it.
  4. The presbytery will discuss and vote on the overture. If it passes, the stated clerk will send it to the General Assembly.
  5. If the overture has at least one concurrence*, it will go before the General Assembly
  6. Let Fossil Free PCUSA know where the overture is in your process on our tracking sheet
  7. Act soon! The deadline for Presbyteries to submit overtures without constitutional implications, including this one, is May 6, 2020.
*Since the 2016, GA all overtures that are approved by Presbytery and sent to the General Assembly must have at least one other presbytery who concurs, or also votes “yes” on that overture. The recommendation of the overture must be exactly the same, although the rationale can differ. Each overture that goes to the General Assembly must have at least one concurrence (i.e. the original presbytery + one more), but there is no limit to the number of presbyteries that can concur. In fact, if an overture has many concurrences from many different presbyteries it shows a wide support for the issue. Each presbytery that sends the overture may also send an Overture Advocate to speak on behalf of the overture to the committee, so overtures with many concurrences get more time in committee. 

abby mohaupt is a Teaching Elder in San Francisco Presbytery, PhD student at Drew University in New Jersey, and a farmer in rural North Texas. abby's heart work is devoted to living with integrity at the intersections of eco-feminisms, social justice, and spirituality. She regularly guest lectures on religion and ecology, with emphasis on the intersections of race and gender.

Tuesday, November 12, 2019

Renewing PEC's Advocacy Ministry

Friends of PEC and of creation!

I am writing to invite you to be a part of a meaningful ministry of healing for creation through the Presbyterians for Earth Care (PEC) Advocacy Team. PEC proceeds from the following convictions: 
  • Like you, we feel the growing urgency of our climate crisis, and that this moment in history is like no other. The crisis is real and so is the opportunity for common action! 
  • You are a blessing. PEC is so thankful for you–for your faith, your commitment, your action on behalf of all life. 
  • We believe that the community of faith, and PC(USA), have a unique, holy, and powerful role to play in an effort to bring healing and justice to all creation. 
  • PEC is called to be a prophetic voice for creation care in and through the church. 
  • We are faithful and more effective working together than we are individually or apart.
Our vision for Advocacy centers around three areas of focus: 
  1. We feel called to nurture discussion of systemic change for creation care in and through the church. The church is a natural place for us to tackle sensitive issues together in meaningful and loving ways. Using the Green New Deal (GND), we would like to facilitate a meaningful and substantive discussion in congregations and the wider church around the systemic change needed for restoring health to the environment. We believe that the GND, and the momentum currently around it, presents a golden opportunity to consider and advocate for systemic change. 
  2. We feel called to advocate for divestment from fossil fuels as an effective means of pushing for change in the church. One of the most effective tools we have in effecting change is using our $. We feel called to work with other PC(USA) Advocacy groups on making our denomination fossil fuel free in any and every way we can. We believe this is a clear and faithful path for change. 
  3. We feel called to leave room for the Spirit to lead us! There are many aspects of creation care, and we are open to partnership with others. What pressing issues need to be addressed in your region? Is there a need to press for a carbon pricing initiative? Is there a pipeline, or a fossil fuel facility that needs to be opposed? What’s your particular passion? While we will remain focused on the first two efforts above, we recognize that the Spirit may lead in new and bold directions, and we want to be ready to listen! 
Based on these convictions and vision, we would like to invite you to be a part of a meaningful ministry of healing for creation through the Advocacy Team of Presbyterians for Earth Care. We believe that the PC(USA) can be a denomination where creation care is at the core of life, and we believe that we (the Holy Spirit, PEC, and you) can help make it so. If you’d like to be involved in this renewal of Advocacy ministry in and through the PCUSA, please contact me.

Paul R. Heins
NW/Mountain Regional Representative for PEC
PEC Advocacy Team Leader
Pastor, First Presbyterian Church, Port Townsend, WA
Church: (360) 385-2525
Cell: (435) 881-9337