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
CREATION CARE AND ENVIRONMENTAL JUSTICE
“When we take our air, waters and land for granted; when we show a simple lack of respect for nature and our environ-ment, we unmake God’s good creation.” — John Lewis
Mourned as a civil rights icon and the conscience of Congress, Representative John Lewis was also a long-time champion of environmental justice. He introduced “Environmental Justice Act” legislation in 1992, and a similar bill in every subsequent session of Congress.
What exactly is environmental justice? The EPA describes it as “the fair treatment and meaningful involvement of all people regardless of race, color, national origin, or income with respect to the development, imple-mentation, and enforcement of environmental laws, regulations, and policies. It will be achieved when everyone enjoys the same degree of protection from environmental and health hazards and equal access to the decision-making process to have a healthy environment in which to live, learn, and work.”
Those living in low-wealth areas, mostly people of color, have shouldered disproportional burdens caused by pollution and climate change. The Sierra Club recently declared that “the fight for environmental justice cannot be separated from the fight for racial justice.” Fortunately, in 2020, Virginia’s General Assembly established the Virginia Council on Environmental Justice (VCEJ) to ensure fair treatment and meaningful participation of all frontline communities when assessing environmental risks and benefits.
In 2019 Rep. Lewis reminded us, “Clean air and clean water are rights, not privileges. We have a right to know what is in the food we eat, what is in the water we drink, and what is in the air we breathe. Each and every one of us must cherish this planet, for it is likely the only home we will ever know…. We have a moral responsibility to lead, and the time to act is now.”
EARTH CARE from the PULPIT
April 19, 2020: Sermon from Earth Care Service“Tree of Life” by Pastor Scott Ramsey
Note: Sermon begins at 19:09
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!