PEC Honors Three Award Winners at 25th Anniversary Celebration
Presbyterians for Earth Care (PEC) celebrated 25 years of connecting, equipping and inspiring Presbyterians to make caring for creation a central concern of the church on September 29. At the virtual celebration, PEC recognized two deserving individuals and one organization for their exceptional environmental achievements. The William Gibson Eco-Justice Award was presented to the Rev. Dr. Neddy Astudillo, a GreenFaith Director for Latin America and Florida. Michelle Peedin received the Emerging Earth Care Leader Award for a young adult, and Second Presbyterian Church of Little Rock received the Restoring Creation Award for an organization.
Rev. Dr. Neddy Astudillo, William Gibson Eco-Justice Award
Dr. Astudillo is a Venezuelan American, eco-theologian and Presbyterian pastor, who coordinates GreenFaith’s outreach to Latin American and the US Latino faith communities. She has taught eco-theology courses at seminaries in Mexico, Costa Rica, Colombia and the US, been published in “Working Preacher and Earth and Word: Classic Sermons on Saving the Planet” and is co-author of “God’s Earth is Sacred: Essays on Eco-Justice.” In 2017, she coordinated GreenFaith’s Convergence in Rio de Janeiro with Latin American multi-faith partners. She continues to lead and teach people of faith from around the world at COP meetings and has been a fierce advocate of decolonizing eco-theology so that people from all over the world can participate in our shared work to love the earth. Dr. Astudillo has done all of this work from a place of faith and love, inviting people of faith to love the earth with their whole selves.
Michelle Peedin, Emerging Earth Care Leader Award
Michelle Peedin is a leader in advocacy on behalf of farmworkers and climate change and in her efforts to organize and involve youth. Michelle is NC Council of Churches Program Coordinator for Partners in Health and Wholeness and co-director of Youth Leaders Initiative, a group of high school youth committed to climate justice within their communities and congregations. She is the President of the Board of LILA Latinx LGBTQ+ Initiative. Michelle also serves as an advisor to the United Church of Chapel Hill, NC youth group and volunteers with Student Action for Farmworkers. Michelle has worked educating congregations about the science of climate change, social justice issues related to climate change, the benefits of renewable energy and solar power, and the importance of sustainable food movements.
Second Presbyterian Church of Little Rock, Arkansas, Restoring Creation Award
Second Presbyterian is a founding Earth Care Congregation of the PC(USA) and has developed one of the most comprehensive church creation care programs in the country. The Environmental Stewardship Committee and volunteer sustainability coordinator oversee extensive programming on a variety of environmental topics including climate change, sustainable living, ethical eating, recycling, waste and water conservation issues. In addition, Second Presbyterian has installed solar panels and EV charging stations, maintains a church-wide composting/recycling program, hosts a weekly farmer's market in the church parking lot, and holds collection events for a Habitat for Humanity resale store among other initiatives.