Stewardship of Creation
The Creation Care Committee meets every second Thursday of the month at 7pm. Our meetings contain a brief committee business agenda and an education/discussion component that rotates on a quarterly basis. Please contact Cris Rivera for the Zoom link information. New faces always welcome!
February 11, 7pm: Business meeting; annual planning
March 11, 7pm: Presentation by David Smith on Biodiversity
April-May-June: Sacred Ground: Cultivating Connections between Food, Faith, and Climate Using Interfaith Power & Light guide for Faith Climate Action Week April 16-25
July-Aug-Sept: Intersection of Race and Environmental Justice (TBD)
History and Current Work:
The Creation Care Committee of FPC was formed in 2020 as a arm of the Stewardship Committee, underscoring the link between environmental sustainability and our charge to care for all of God’s creation. Our church has been actively engaged in conservation, recycling, and other environmental stewardship projects for many many years, but as the issues continue to pile up, an intentional focus and commitment from the governing body and congregation is necessary. Susan Dunlap and Sharon Hirsch led a series of Sunday School classes on the environment in early 2020. Meanwhile Emily Wilkins spearheaded FPC’s signing onto an overture regarding PC(USA)’s divestment in fossil fuels to the Presbytery. The committee’s first order of business was assessing the church through PC(USA)’s Earth Care Audit and by forwarding a motion to the Session to affirm the Earth Care Pledge (below). The pledge was affirmed and signed by our clerk of session in October 2020, and we will apply to be recognized as an official PC(USA) Earth Care Congregation in January 2021.
The committee is actively using the Earth Care Audit for 2021 planning in the areas of worship (David Smith), Christian education (Johanna Bernhardt), facilities (Barbara Buckley), and outreach (Tom Bacon & Susan Dunlap). A Sunday morning education series is planned for early 2021 (contact Johanna Bernhardt for more information). The committee actively seeks input from the community on local, state, national and global actions; Larry Brockman brought measures regarding the Atlantic Coast Pipeline and Durham’s local interest in renewable energy which were forwarded by committee to the Session and congregation as a whole.
November 2020 The Story of Plastics (1hr. 22min) – Virtual Film Screening and discussion with Crystal Dreisbach of Don’t Waste Durham. Please screen film prior to discussion: The Story of Plastic FPC Screening Link. RSVP for password.
Earth Care Pledge:
Peace and justice is God’s plan for all creation. The earth and all creation are God’s. God calls us to be careful, humble stewards of this earth, and to protect and restore it for its own sake, and for the future use and enjoyment of the human family. As God offers all people the special gift of peace through Jesus Christ, and through Christ reconciles all to God, we are called to deal justly with one another and the earth.
1. Our worship and discipleship will celebrate God’s
grace and glory in creation and declare that God calls us to cherish, protect
and restore this earth.
2. In education, we will seek learning and teaching
opportunities to know and understand the threats to God’s creation and the
damage already inflicted. We will encourage and support each other in finding
ways of keeping and healing the creation in response to God’s call to
earth-keeping, justice and community.
3. Our facilities will be managed, maintained and
upgraded in a manner that respects and cherishes all creation, human and non-human,
while meeting equitably the needs of all people. In our buildings and on our
grounds we will use energy efficiently, conserve resources, and share what we
have in abundance so that God’s holy creation will be sustainable for all life
and future generations.
4. Our outreach will encourage public policy and
community involvement that protects and restores the vulnerable and degraded
earth as well as oppressed and neglected people. We will be mindful that our
personal and collective actions can positively or negatively affect our
neighborhood, region, nation and world. We will seek to achieve environmental
justice through coalitions and ecumenical partnerships.