Earth Care Congregation

Tackling Climate Change During a Pandemic

A message from the Green Committee of Oak Grove Presbyterian Church

Though travel-related green house gas emissions have been reduced during the pandemic, little progress toward reducing green house gas emissions has actually been made at the national level in the past four years.  Churches can help educate, motivate, and lead by example.

In 1990, the 202nd General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) adopted Restoring Creation for Ecology and Justice, which calls our denomination to engage in the tasks of restoring creation.

Oak Grove Green Committee submitted goals to Session in 2013, that can be viewed on our web page.  The Green Committee has influenced our congregation to address climate change in many ways including:

  • 220% of our electricity comes from solar and wind to avoid millions of tons of CO2 emissions;
  • Working to reduce/eliminate natural gas use through conservation and replacement of natural gas equipment, thus avoiding CO2 emissions;
  • All lights inside and outside are LEDs, reducing power usage by 35%.
  • Two rain gardens capture, clean and infiltrate millions of gallons of stormwater runoff per year while providing pollinator habitat and soil health.
  • Complete recycling, composting with a dramatic reduction in trash.
  • EV Expos to teach the public about Electric Vehicles, e-bikes, e-lawn care and e-mobility.
  • Our church has installed two level 2 EV chargers for the congregation and the community.
  • Nuts and bolts education sessions about how to get clean energy, electric vehicles, recycling/composting, rain gardens and sustainable diets.

Earth Care Pledge Signed by Session in December of 2017.

  • Our worship and discipleship will celebrate God’s grace and glory in creation.
  • Our education will encourage and support each other in keeping and healing the creation.
  • Our facilities will be managed, maintained, and upgraded to respect and cherish all creation.
  • Our outreach will encourage community involvement and public policy to protect and restore the earth.

Congregations across our nation are taking action.  We became a PC (USA) Earth Care Congregation in 2018, joining hundreds of Presbyterian Congregations dedicated to actions to address global warming.  Some of their stories are available on the PC (USA) website see (Climate Change).  The Green Committee has taken many actions to address climate change and as explained in previous articles of the Oak Leaves.  We are now looking at what to tackle next and in the process, encourage new members with new ideas to join our committee.  We are currently meeting monthly on the first Thursday of every month at 7:00 PM, via Zoom, until we can gather again to meet at church.  Below is a list of what other churches have done to address climate change.  Additional ideas are available on the website noted above.  We invite suggestions and volunteers to help us work to address climate change.

  • Devote a Sunday Service to earth care
  • Engage youth in earth care awareness worship programs
  • Create earth care themed banners or other art to display in church
  • Use locally grown, pesticide free flowers in the sanctuary
  • Minute for Mission on earth care issues
  • Communion by intinction
  • Creation care songs, sermon, or prayer?
  • Children’s/youth Sunday school courses (series of classes) on earth care
  • Adult courses (series of classes) with an earth care focus
  • Vacation Bible School series with an earth care theme
  • Guest earth care speakers or programs
  • Youth projects related to earth care conducted
  • Articles/announcements about earth care in the bulletin/newsletter
  • Bulletin board on earth care display
  • Pages on the church’s website devoted to earth care
  • Books, games, videos, or other materials with an earth care focus in church library
  • Educational events focused on sustainable lifestyle choices for members
  • Email group of members interested in earth care
  • Earth care fairs or educational events
  • Art displays or exhibits focused on earth care held at church
  • An earth care component included in confirmation classes
  • An earth care component included in new member classes?
  • Sponsor a scholarship or send a member to attend the Presbyterians for Earth Care biennial conference
  • Offer, or attend a mission trip focused on an earth care issue
  • Sponsor a community garden
  • Support programs like Second Harvest
  • Support training for disaster response volunteers
  • Support youth and young adults to enter into creation stewardship as a vocation
  • Host a farmers market
  • Host a vegetable sharing table for gardeners to share produce with members after services

If you see an idea above that you like, or have an idea of your own, please contact the Green Committee via the church office, or by emailing one of us.  Our contact information is available in the Church directory.  Our current members are:  John Crampton, chair, Pastor Anne Fisher, Bob Gerdes, Pdon Pinkham, Erin Anderson Wenz, Allen Greimel, Frank Bliss, Randy Dop, and Allen Frechette.