Lewinsville Presbyterian Church became a PC(USA) certified Earth Care Congregation in 2019. Earth Care Congregations commit to the Earth Care Pledge (see below), and every year seek to accomplish a specific number of actions toward caring for God’s earth. Earth Care Congregations work to make their church buildings, operations, worship services, education and outreach respectful of the glory of God’s creation. This concern for preserving and sustaining what our Creator has made is intended to go beyond church operations and extend into the homes and family lives of congregation members. The ECC program helps churches plan their continued earth care ministry and encourages greater support for this ministry from the whole congregation.
EARTH CARE MONTHLY MESSAGE
SOMETIMES LESS IS MORE
For many of us, autumn is a time for raking leaves and cleaning out garden beds. Best earth care guidance, however, is to “leave the leaves” and defer most garden clean-up until early spring. Decaying leaves and dead garden stalks, particularly those of native plants, greatly benefit our soil and insects, birds and other small animals that need these materials to complete their lifecycle, or for food and shelter in winter.
If you uncomfortable with a totally ‘au naturel’ look, or if you are worried about heavy leaf cover smothering your lawn, here are ways to tidy up somewhat while still benefitting the ecosystem:
- Rake excess leaves from the lawn to the bases of your trees and into your planter beds, leaving a light covering on the lawn to protect and enrich your soil.
- Or, use your mower to mulch leaves fallen on the lawn.
- Compost excess leaves and fallen sticks in a pile in your yard, if you have space. Otherwise, collect them in paper (not plastic) bags for removal by a service that composts yard waste or, like most NoVa County waste removal services, converts it to mulch.
- Remove any diseased material from bedding areas, and trim back very tall or gangly flower stalks, but leave as much as you can. Dried stalks add visual interest in winter, while providing habitat. And, most will pull up more easily in the spring, than in the fall.
Doing less will free you up to more fully enjoy the splendor of autumn and the wildlife that visits your garden. A win for all!
EARTH CARE from the PULPIT
April 25, 2021: Full Service of Worship from our Faith & Climate Sunday –
Holy Ground, Good Soil – Rev. Dr. Scott Ramsey, preaching.
Note: Sermon begins at 22:18
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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
Join Lewinsville’s Earth Care steering committee
and help create a sustainable future at Lewinsville.
Click here to contact the Earth Care team!
Header Photo on this page by Nature Walk participant, Lewinsville