Creation of Care Policy
Peace and justice are God’s plan for all creation. The Earth and all creation belong to God. 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.
Therefore the National Capital Presbytery and its member churches covenant to become God’s creation care stewards by pledging to do and be the following:
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, by, for example, devoting a worship service to Earth care, having a Moment for Mission related to Earth care, and using locally grown flowers in the church.
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. NCP congregations might choose, for example, to offer classes for children, youth, and adults that help them understand humankind’s stewardship role in caring for the Creation and the harmful human and natural consequences of ignoring God’s call.
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. NCP congregations might consider, for example, upgrading lighting in their facilities with LED lights, post reminders on light switches to turn them off when not in use, plant native species and a butterfly garden, and greatly reduce the use of fertilizers and pesticides.
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 advocate for eco-justice, sustainable food policies, and reduction of waste of every kind. 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. NCP congregations might consider, for example, holding a rummage sale, participating in rebuilding projects, like Habitat for Humanity, and making public officials aware of the congregation’s support for earth care related issues.*
*From the “Earth Care Pledge,” Environmental Ministries, PC (USA), http://www.presbyterianmission.org/ministries/environment/earth-care-congregations/
See also, “Restoring Creation for Ecology and Justice,” a report adopted by the 202nd General Assembly of the PC (USA), 1990 and “The Power to Change: U.S. Energy Policy and Global Warming,” a report adopted by the 218th General Assembly of the PC (USA), 2008. These can be found on the PC (USA) website at http://www.presbyterianmission.org/ministries/environment/pcusa-environmental-policy/.
National Capital Presbytery
National Capital Presbytery comprises 108 churches in five counties in Virginia, five counties in Maryland and the District of Columbia, speaking eleven languages in worship on a Sunday. Spread across the Washington DC metro area, the National Capital Presbytery is a diverse tapestry of people, churches and relationships.
Our churches are involved in ministry within their own neighborhoods, in partnership with each other across the presbytery, in partnership with other congregations and faith groups. We count more than 100 global ministry partnerships with congregations in Cuba, Haiti, Mexico and around the world to Hong Kong, Korea, Cameroon, Kenya and everywhere in between.
Our churches are forming New Worshipping Communities. We are discovering new forms of ministry for this new cultural context in which God is sending us. We come here from East and West and North and South and sit together and celebrate God’s amazing action that has called us together. We are Evangelical and Progressive, black, white, Hispanic, Anglo, Asian, African, even European. We worship in a variety of familiar “classical” styles as well as at least ten types of other worship expression styles.