Images of a minister in clerical collar blessing a crawfish, a seven-person congregation that installed solar panels on its church building and a woman tending her church grounds with Earth-friendly lawn care equipment might not seem like ways to protect the environment.
But one speaker during the recent Presbyterians for Earth Care Conference suggested otherwise.
“We know that we can’t always address every single environmental problem that exists, and it’s easy to be overwhelmed with how big that is” said Jessica Maudlin Phelps, the Presbyterian Hunger Program’s Associate for Sustainable Living and Earth Care Concerns.
But there are some simple – yet serious – ways for churches and people to integrate environmental practices and thinking into all the different facets of their church life,” she said.
During her presentation, Maudlin Phelps noted that:
- The woman who used the Earth-friendly lawncare equipment inspired several congregation members to purchase the same lightweight, eco-friendly equipment.
- The seven members of Spencer Presbyterian Church in West Virginia secured financing to install the solar panels and inspired a neighboring small church to do the same.
- The crawfish was blessed during a ceremony in Hastings, Nebraska.
Maudlin Phelps and others offered workshops, led worship and presented information during the 2021 Earth Care Conference which, this year, included three weekly online meetings in August.
Click here to see a summary article published online August 18, 2021 by Rich Copley of the Presbyterian News Service about the special dinner-break presentation Maudlin Phelps gave on August 15, 2021.
Earth Care Congregations are churches that have taken the Presbyterian Hunger Program’s Earth Care Pledge in which they promise to incorporate Earth care in their worship, education, facilities and outreach and complete activities and projects in each of those areas to be certified. The certification period is January 1 to February 15 each year.
There were 276 Earth Care Congregations certified or recertified during 2021, including five from the Presbytery of Lake Michigan.
- Westminster Presbyterian Church of Portage – first certified in 2014
- First Presbyterian Church of Buchanan – first certified in 2018
- First Presbyterian Church of Richland – first certified in 2018
- First Presbyterian Church of Grand Haven – first certified in 2019
- Pennfield Presbyterian Church of Battle Creek – first certified in 2019